"The Ships"

Traditional Schooner "Nordboen"

- the sea trial, June 25th. 1982 -

- the Ship's Bell -


Two mast schooner "Nordboen" was built in 1933 by the well known shipbuilders Ring Andersen's yard in Svendborg, Denmark.
She is built from oak, - very solid -, and traded as a fish carrier from the Baltic Sea in the south to the Lofoten Islands in the North Atlantic,- well north of the Polar Circle -, and has thereby proven her worth in some of the roughest waters in the World.

In the seventies/eighties she was converted to carry passengers.
Her port of registry was Skagen (The Skaw) but her home port was Middelfart, where also the conversion from freight ship to passenger ship took place.

How I came into the "Nordboen" story is simply because of friendship with her owner and Master, - Capt.  Ivan Olsen and wife Lilli -, and since my "home port" is also Middelfart, I had a great opportunity to follow the work to convert the old North Atlantic trader to a cosy passenger ship.
Therefore I also had the good fortune to join on her "maiden voyage" and shake down cruise after the conversion was finished.
Later I had some terrific trips as deck hand on "Nordboen", - in commercial trade with passengers onboard - , as well as "just fun" trips, when  the ship had to be sailed home after the charter season had ended.
Unfortunately I never thought of having my sailing ship experience recorded in my seaman's book.
Could have been quite a contrast to all those modern super ships I have served on during the years - - -

On the 25th. of June 1982, - the work of transforming the old North Atlantic fish trader "Nordboen" to a comfortable charter ship for sailing ship enthusiasts -, had finally reached a turning point.
For the first time since the long conversion of the old ship started, "Nordboen" was finally ready for leaving port on a sea trial.
Now came the moment of truth, to see how she handled with her brand new rigging and set of sails, combined with a modification of the keel, which was made slightly deeper.

"Nordboen" in the port of Middelfart, - ready to go - -

The standing and running rigging, - including the new set of sails -, had been tested before while the ship was safely moored in port, but now came the real test at sea - - -

Here professional sailor, - Palle -, is giving the rigging a final touch just before departure - -

Finally, - "Nordboen" leaving port - - -

Since this was a special occasion, it was decided to invite a very special person as advisor and ultimate Master on the sea trial.  What could be more appropriate than having a real Cape Horner onboard?
There are not many real Cape Horners left in the World,- and they are rapidly dying out -, but luckily enough, we had one in Middelfart, who had done the great oceans, - and rounded the Horn -, serving on the last of the great sailing ships.
Here he is at the wheel, while Captain Ivan Olsen is standing by - -

- while the crew is working on the rigging, - preparing to set sails.

Sails up!

Finally at open sea,- with all sails set -, and everything is going well -
Now time to relax with a well deserved beer!  Owner Lilli Olsen in the foreground, managing the beer box - -

- while the photographer, - me -, is at work everywhere.

A white swan -

Here a photo I took from the rubber boat, showing "Nordboen" in all her glory, - with all sails set -, while passing the old bridge across Lillebælt. If any old ship in the Danish schooner fleet could be called "a white swan",- this is it!

- here slowly passing -

- in all her white glory -

Click  HERE  for more pictures from "The Sea Trial" -

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Updated: Jan. 03.2006