HOME
 
 

"The Ships"
 

- featuring -
 

SKA 4
 

- a survey vessel manned by Royal Danish Navy personnel -
 

(incl. her sister ships, crew and Greenland.)
 
 

8 units built as survey launches 1958 - 1968, - 27 tons standard.




This section will be quite extensive, - a total of 8 pages - - -
The pictures on these pages are mostly added in the same order as it happened in Greenland for 38 years ago.

Here an index and some "Quick Links" to the 8 pages - - -

Page 1.:  Our shore base, -Making the boats ready, - On the slipway, - Launching, - Active service, - Grounding, - etc.
Page 2.:  Active service, - Surveying, - Interior, - Engine Room, - Erecting a "Raydist" station, - etc. - - -
Page 3.:  Surveying, - "Hydrodist"- and Raydist" stations, - Grounding, - Crew, - Exploring grave site, - etc. - - -
Page 4.:  Navigating ice, - SKA boats, - Hiking in the mountains, - and more ice navigation, - etc. - - -
Page 5.:  Crew, - Navigating ice, - Scenery, - More ice, - Island, - Admirals visit, - Morning, - etc. - - -
Page 6.:  Greenland, - Crew, - Ice, - Greenland people, - SKA boats, - "Hydrodist" station, - Islands, - Surveying, - etc.
Page 7.:  SKA aground, - Exploring Greenland, - SKA boats, - Surveying, - Mountain climbing, - Activities,- Towing, - etc.
Page 8.:  SKA 4 high & Dry,- "Ingolf",- SKA 4 Engines, - SKA 4 on slipway, - "Ingolf", - Home and Epilogue SKB boats.
 
 



SKA 4 - in Greenland
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)



SKA 4 was made from wood,- and very heavy constructed -, so that she could survive a grounding head-on to submerged rocks, as well as sailing in heavy ice in the waters around Greenland, where she served from 1959 and up to 1978 - - - -

  Launched:  1959
Displacement:  27 tons
Length overall: 14,5 meters
Main engine:  A six cylinder Volvo MD96B diesel engine of 110 bhp.
Crew:  6 men.

The SKA vessels were used for making surveys, - measuring the depths -, and collecting data for making new charts.
They searched for new navigational routes inside the islands and rocks on the west coast of Greenland - - - - -
With this purpose, I had the good fortune to serve as Engineer on SKA 4 during a summer tour to Greenland in 1968 - - - -

At this point it would be appropriate to explain what "SKA" means - - -
It is short for "SøKort Arkivet" , - directly translated "The Sea Chart Archive" -, which was the government institution that in those days were in charge of making charts of the Danish waters, - including Greenland -, just like "The Admiralty" do in England - -
 
 

And we came to a very beautiful place - - -
 
 


Greenland, - where "Mother Nature" reigns supreme -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

Greenland is a fantastic - - -
And serving on a vessel going there, - to remote areas -, for exploring and surveying "new" land is truly exiting.
In fact this experience was so good, that I consider my Greenland tour as being the first in a long line of other adventures I later experienced during trips and travels all over the World in the years that followed - -
 
 


Greenland - a very beautiful place -
- Godthaab, -present days Nuuk -,the main base for the SKA survey boats in the summer of 1968 -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


- our shore based headquarters, - the "GOK" cabin in Godthaab -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

"GOK" is short for "Grønlands Opmålings Kommando", - or "Greenland's Survey Command" -, a very impressive name for such a small and modest wooden shack - -
 
 



The "GOK" cabin, - interior -
(Photographer unknown ©)

But in spite of the modesty of this cabin, it was warm and cozy inside.
Here Web Master Karsten Petersen to the left, and Jan Walseth to the right, enjoying hot tea with Bacardi rum - - -
 
 



SKA 6 and SKA 4
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

But here is what it is all about, - the survey boats, that had been "mothballed" on dry land during the winter.
We now had quite a job getting all the systems going again, making them ready for the coming summers activities.
There were four of those little boats in Greenland, SKA 3, - SKA 4, - SKA 5 and SKA 6.
Two of them, - SKA 4 and SKA 6 -, were stationed in Godthåb,- present day's Nuuk -, while SKA 3 and SKA 5 were stationed in Frederikshåb.
 
 



SKA 6 is finally launched
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)

After going through the manuals and check lists,- connecting pipe systems, overhauling valves, pulling cables, cleaning contacts, washing tanks, flushing systems, scraping and painting, cleaning filters, getting the heating system going, engines running, and testing, testing and more testing of thousands of other things, we could finally launch the boats, - the first one being SKA 6 - - -
The navy cutter Y 384 "Maagen" is standing by ready to tow SKA-6 to the port, where the final preparations will take place before the job of surveying the waters around Greenland could start - - -
 
 



SKA 4 just before launching.
- SKA 4's skipper, - proffessional sailor Jan Reff Olsen -, sits on the roof and adds a final touch -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


SKA 4 on the slipway
- almost ready to be launched -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


SKA 4 on the slipway before launching.
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


SKA 6 and SKA 4 finally ready and moored in Godthaab harbour.
- ready to team up with SKA 3 and SKA 5 -
(Photography by karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


All four SKA boats at sea -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


SKA 4 aground -

SKA 4 comfortably "parked" on a submerged rock - - - -  This happened quite often since the depths in Greenland vary quite dramatically.
In one moment you can have a hundred meters depth, - or more -, and in the next moment you can hit a rock -

(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


SKA 4, - high and dry -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


Ska 4 , - on the rocks -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


Navy boy
Jan Walseth sailing the rubber dinghy -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


Iceberg in the morning -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


Convoy of SKA boats
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


 Visiting a small local settlement
- with the locals not used to visitors, - the SKA boats stirred a lot of attention -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 
 


A future expert fisherman and hunter
- take note of the boat, - a wooden framework  covered with canvas -
(Photography by Karsten Petersen ©)
 
 

Click here for more about the "SKA boats", - their crews, - and Greenland -
 

Back to  "The Ships"
 

Back to  "My Ships"



Page initiated:  June 01.2001
Page updated:  June 02.2003, -  Oct.08.2006,  Oct.14.2006, - Oct.22.2006, - Oct.26.2006