She is the East Indiaman Gothenburg, and she reeks of tar, turpentine and linseed oil. The splendid wooden sailing ship is moored quietly, her reflection mirrored in the calm waters of the guest marina in Horten. Boarding her is like walking into another era.
High-tech on the inside
The vessel is a replica of the East Indiaman Gothenburg that sank on her return to her home port in September 1745. However, all similarity ends with the equipment installed below deck. Kongsberg Maritime has supplied the alarm, control and monitoring system that helps ensure the vessel fulfils all modern standards related to health, safety and the environment. "All of the equipment has been placed so that is does not destroy the original look of the vessel", points out Second Engineer Officer Bengt Göran Nilsson.
Considerable efforts have been invested in making all the details, including the interior, as similar to the original as possible. The woodwork below deck was generally painted white to brighten things up since there were no electric lights on board back in those days.
A beautiful sight
"A large number of volunteers have given generously of their time to accomplish this. And just look at what they have achieved", says an absolutely beaming Bengt Göran Nilsson. Along with Chief Engineer Sture Arvidsson and Captain Gunnar Utgård, he is on his first real voyage with the vessel. From Horten, the next leg will be to Oslo where the vessel will be participating in the 100th anniversary of Norway's independence.
Below deck there is equipment that did not exist on the original East Indiaman. Per Bruun is responsible for the equipment delivered by Kongsberg Maritime.
Read more regarding the East Indiaman Gothenburg on www.soic.se