Solange the Mighty Sailor

The following photos were taken on different ships I've worked on around year 2002 and 2004. The photos were scanned a long time ago, and I have not been able to scan them again and adjust resolution, but I hope you will still enjoy them!


Sailing trip with S/Y Belle Amie end november 2002

This is Belle Amie. I was asked to join on a 3 day sailing trip together with the ordinary crew, one teacher, and 17 students. Some moments I shall never EVER forget...

Here she is, she is a pretty lady, isn't she? She was built for sailing within archipelago mainly, she is very sturdy, and stiff in construction, which makes her safe unless on really open seas in a hurricane or something. But it makes the ship's movements very short and jumpy in moderate gales.

No, they are not drawers. This is the cabin where me and the other teacher slept. On the nights we got any sleep...

At first we had a really nice ride out towards the Baltic, nice breeze and we made quite impressive speed.

After a few hours, the wind increased and towards the evening it got quite rough, as it also got cloudy and started raining. I will never forget how one of the students fell asleep after she'd taken sea sickness pills, that she fell asleep sitting up, with her face towards the sky and rain beating down on her. Poor kid. Around 10pm I crawled around the deck to check that the students were ok. They were laying in piles spread out everywhere, too sick to move, but at least they were alive.

Then the catastrophe happened... A huge freezer that was supposed to be secured in the fo'c's'le fell down, and me and the second mate went down to get it back up. Pitch dark down there as well, electricity was out. We had to bend down and try to pry that blasted thing in place. Bending down like that, while the ship was doing the polka turned out to be too much for us. Both toilets occupied by sick students, I took the sink, and the second mate went up to pray to the gods over the railing. Then another student came and needed some praying. Disaster was a fact. I spent hours the following day cleaning it up.

Sorry for the lengthy description, I just want you to realize that even though the piccies look nice enough, it can also be rather wild...

The rest of the trip was wonderful. We went to Åland and visited a maritime museum. Following day we went down the Swedish coast to a ship yard and looked at their repairs and constructions, very interesting. Crossing the Baltic again was done in the mist. At one point it was so dense we couldn't see more than about 100 metres. The huge ferries turned up like ghost ships, and we could hear the horns everywhere. It was so beautiful as it gradually got foggier and the world and the sun vanished into thickness.

The last day when we went up towards Stockholm again, we had a very unusual sight. Around 8pm, the sky was lit up by the Northern Lights, Aurora Borealis. This is something we don't see very often around these areas, you generally have to go further north, but some unusual sun activity made this visible all the way down the continent. I doubt anyone found more pleasure watching them than me. I lay on my back on the roof of the aft cabin for about 4 hours absolutely enchanted. Half the sky was black with stars, the other half was completely covered in drapes of all shades, shapes and colours. It was absolutely gorgeous!

We docked late, around 1am, on the island Utö, and the following day we had a nice trip the last bit up to Stockholm.

Working on M/S Tranan

These pictures are taken early September 2003 on a charter tour with M/S Tranan (The Crane). On Tranan, I worked as the chief engineer for a few years, during the charter seasons. It was generally day trips or evening trips. Ship was built in 1935 and the "new" engine was installed in 1957. The ship was originally Danish, and built to traffic The Sound and the Belt. But a little war that broke out quite soon after it was built put her out of commission quite soon, and she was drafted for the Danish navy. During the war she actually had a canon installed on the foredeck. She was sold in 1980 to someone who had the idea that she would do well as a charter vessel in Stockholm, and she still functions as that. Engine is the vessel's heart, and though oily and battered, I loved it!

Link to M/S Tranan, where you can see better piccies of her!

M/S Tranan is on it's way out from the harbour. Here are two of the islands that Stockholm is built on.

A bit further out. Some places are narrow!

This is quite far out. This is what we call the mid archipelago.

This beautiful building is an ancient hospital for elderly. It was built late 19th century. It is one of the first buildings on the south side coming in to Stockholm. When the British fleet came to Sweden, I think it was in 1908, to pay a royal visit, they stopped outside the hospital and fired salute. They believed it was the royal castle! Easy mistake to make, the building is much prettier than our castle! The ship is called S/Y Najaden and is owned by the school where I work during winter.

Afternoon. I never wanted this day to end!

Coming back towards Stockholm.

This is an old steam ship. We have 8 or 9 steam ships in Stockholm, still going strong.

When we entered the harbour we met one of the big ferries that go from Stockholm to Finland. Look to the mid left of the picture, there you can see a halo phenomenon. It looks like a tiny rainbow.

The following 2 piccies are from the engine room in Tranan, taken in December same year.. First one is me shutting down the aux engine. I'm sad to say I don't have any better piccies from the engine room.

What I'm doing? I've opened the air valves for the pressure start, and now I'm turning the flywheel to position the pistons in optimal position for startup. To the right in the piccy you can just see the thick exhaust pipe from the main engine.


Engineering on M/S Petsamo

Late in October we set off with a fleet of boats and a group of students so that they could have a chance at training their skills in rougher weather but still under supervision of a teacher. I was lucky enough to be invited as the proud chief engineer on the small, old toll cruiser Petsamo. Weather never got so rough this year, which was unusual, and we had 2 magic weeks out in the archipelago in the late autumn.

During the week we stayed in small cabins on an island in the outer archipelago. This is the view from the front door of the cabin I stayed in.

Gorgeous crystal clear day.

View from the john. Lighthouse to the right.

Kitchen in "my" cabin.

My baby

During those years I worked at a school in northern Stockholm. This was the view from my office window. Not a day went by where I didn't consider myself blessed.

Office next door. I should have opened the window first I suppose!