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Under Sail in Sweden

semi-overcast 13 °C

In the past two weeks we've sailed the fjords of Norway, cruised along the coast from Stavanger to Bergen, visited the thousand year old longships of the vikings and the historic vessels of Heyerdhal and Amundsen in Oslo. We've lived aboard an old Baltic cruise ship and explored the 400 year old wreck of King Adolphus's magnificent warship, the 'Vasa', in Stockholm. And now, the nautical nature of our trip to Scandinavia continues with a visit to a windjammer...
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This is a painting of the four masted barque the 'Viking'. Built in Copenhagan in 1906 she was the largest sailing ship ever constructed in Scandinavia and she has a fascinating history. One day in July 1909, while carrying a full cargo of wheat from Australia to Europe she reached a speed of 15.5 knots (nearly 30 kilometers an hour) under full sail. 'Viking' had an auxiliary engine for manouvering in harbour and this is the ship's telegraph...
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The 'Viking' is a four masted square-rigger carrying course sails, royals, gallants, top gallants and topsails. Along with staysails, jibs and mizzens the ship had 31 sails when under full canvas and was an awesome sight with all sails set. The top of the foremast is a dizzying 182 feet above the main deck and seamen had to climb there everytime the topsails had to be furled or unfurled...
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On 25 February 1917, during the first World War, she was sighted and boarded by a German commerce raider. The 'Viking' was sailing under a neutral Danish flag and was allowed to proceed. However, a few weeks later the Germans adopted a policy of sinking all foreign vessels and 'Viking' had had a lucky escape. This is the 'Viking' today...
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In 1929 the 'Viking' was registered under the Finnish flag and made many voyages around the world. The ship's holds today are conference rooms and guest cabins but in her working years these cavernous spaces held upwards of four thousand tons of Australian grain bound for Europe...
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She took part in many of the Great Grain Races from Victoria, Australia, to Falmouth, England, and won the race in 1948. She continued working until 1950 when the Swedish government purchased her to save her from the breaker's yard. She is now permanently moored in Gothenburg harbour as a historic hotel. This is the dining room...
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It is intriguing to note that although the days of the windjammers were numbered since the introduction of ocean going steamships in the 1840s, the 'Viking' was still sailing when we were born. This is a seaman's cabin from the days of sail...
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And this is our cabin for the next three days...
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Yes – we are staying aboard this majestic old ship in Gothenburg. Unfortunately we cannot sail anywhere because a suspension bridge built in the late 1960s has effectively locked the ship in. Since the masts are taller than the bridge it is unlikely she ever will sail the open seas again but we feel honoured to have had the privilege of staying aboard.

Posted by Hawkson 08:20 Archived in Sweden

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Comments

Now there's a sailing adventure I would enjoy--never leaves harbour. Beautiful ship. Brings to mind the Aubrey novels.

by R and B

Spectacular! I love the theme of your adventure and that you are surrounded by so much history. You must have had fun planning this one.

by Sue Fitzwilson

Wow so beautiful come to Sri Lanka sailing boat ?

by Danushka

Magnificent. Cosy room. Sweet dreams, sogno d’oro.

by Tom

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