Archive for April, 2007

Man overboard!

April 28, 2007

News on the main page – a crewman is reported overboard on 26 Apr 2007!

The drills worked – note that new crew had come aboard at Nice – the deckhand immediately shouts “Man overboard!” A lifebouy is thrown out, sails are taken in and the ship turned around. The MOB raft is launched and reaches the deckhand in a minute; she is safe. Well done everyone!

Earlier in the Captain’s log, Peter Kaaling writes that the ship had arrived at Nice in grand style,

“…we “sailed” along the beach and Promenade des Anglais. The spanker was set, but there was no wind to fill it. It looked impressive anyway. There is enough depth here, so I went in really close. Later on people who had been sitting on the beach told me that it had really been a formidable sight.

We later on also learned that the mayor had been giving a speech about the Götheborg in the afternoon. He had stood by a window with his back to the sea. Just as he is talking, the ship appears outside.”

But the bit I liked the best, that reminds me of the man so well:

“…In the afternoon I was down on the quay and was asked whether it was free admittance for children. Yes, I said. Could you then show the children around, we cannot afford going aboard! And a little boy and a little girl of about 4-5 years were ushered up to me.

Well, it was just taking them by the hand and lead them around. I was speaking Swedish and they were speaking French, but as usual with children, it worked very well. Children have a marvellous ability to understand, even if they do not know the words. It is part of their development, I suppose.

Having seen with big eyes the guns and the wheel and jumped from sundeck to quarterdeck, I handed them back to their parents, waiting on the quay.”

Having left Nice on 24 Apr 2007, the Götheborg is now on leg 10 of a 11 leg journey. She is now headed for Gibraltar and is scheduled to reach London on 19th of May 2007.

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Götheborg t-shirt in flooded Jakarta (Feb 2007)

April 26, 2007

I just discovered Amreta Sidik’s blog after responding to an invitation – Amreta was one of the Swedish embassy staff from Indonesia who volunteered to help out during the Götheborg layover in Singapore.

To my dismay, she got caught in the terrible floods in Jakarta, Indonesia that we had heard so much news about in February. But there she was, perched on her roof, drinking coffee in her Götheborg t-shirt. A veteran of a few floods, she was taking it calmly.

“The water started to ‘invade’ our house on Thursday night, and that it would go up until (at least) 1.60 meters inside the house (and about 2 meters outside) was quite unexpected. It happened very quickly, and certainly the electricity was cut off very soon after. …The water went up and up and up.”

Earlier she had looked down from her balcony to see the neighbourhood responding quickly; weren’t they great? Certainly the sort of folk you want on your ship in tough seas!

“…people ‘swimming’ in the flood, we could only see their heads above the water. Turned out they’re guys from our neighborhood, working very hard hand-in-hand to put ropes along the streets so that people can hang on them since the current in that particular junction (just below our balcony) was very strong.”

She did lose a lot of her books. But what did she say? “I think this is a big lesson in letting go.”

I’m so glad you’re strong, Amreta; stay cheerful!

Read the complete account “The February Flood.” By Amreta Sidik. Amreta’s Site, 05 Feb 2007.

Raffles Museum marks Linnaeus tercentenary

April 24, 2007

Raffles Museum News has begun a commemorating the 300th birthday of Swedish botanist, physician and zoologist, Carolus Linnaeus (1707 – 1778).

In a series called Linnaeus300, Raffles Museum News will feature 30 images of species described by Linnaeus himself, in the month around his birthday on 23rd May 2007 – one to mark each decade since his birth!

Each post also features information about Linnaeus or a link to news of celebrations in Sweden and around the world.

A symposium is also planned and news about that will be posted soon!

See Raffles Museum News.

Ikea Singapore takes a bold step

April 23, 2007

Earth Day 2007 – “Ikea Singapore has taken a bold step – they are the first retailer in Singapore to stop issuing free plastic bags. From today, shopppers will have to pay the cost price of five cents for standard-size plastic bags and ten cents for the larger ones at both Ikea outlets in Alexandra Road and Tampines.”

Habitatnews has the story.

A story from last year heralded the culture. In “No plastic bags for her,” by Leong Su-Lin (The Sunday Times, 21 Dec 2006), she reported that:

“Candida Ho says that cutting down on using plastic bags can easily become a way of life, going by her experience in Sweden three years ago on an exchange programme.

The Swedes, she says, always take reusable bags to the supermarket or pay for the few plastic bags they use.

The habit stuck, and Ms Ho uses NTUC FairPrice and Sheng Siong reusable bags or her own knapsack to carry her groceries. “They’re light and convenient to carry around and less painful on the hands than carrying plastic bags,” she says.”

Ikea Singapore says no to free platic bags

A taste of Singapore

April 20, 2007

Former Götheborg port watch crew-mate Tobias dropped anchor for a few hours on his way back to Sweden from Australia today. His flight to Singapore yesterday was delayed but he finally got though – but now with only a few hours to spare.

So there was no time cycle in Pulau Ubin but enough time for me to stuff him with ice-cream, chilli crab, seafood and the like in Holland Village, Singapore. The Singapore Navy guys missed dinner with us as they were out at sea or working late in the office. Poh Huat assured me our tax-payers money was being well spent with them working so hard!

Tobias at Block 40, Holland Village, Singapore (20 Apr 2007)

Tobias also drooled over “Around Cape Horn,” and wished the Beijing television documentary about the Götheborg that my friend Alvin brought back for me would be released with English titles – him and me both! Still I had watched that footage about the birth of the project in fascination.

We chatted about the ship and our former crew mates and he showed me this YouTube video of when our ship left Harbour City, Hong Kong. That was a lovely night and a great singing send-off by Henrik and the port watch crew. I realy enjoyed that performance and am glad linautb put it up here.

Tobias also says he hopes to be in another ship escorting the Götheborg back to the city in June when she completes her journey.

We talked a little too long (actually we were just getting warmed up) and panicked a little! But we were spot on time and I saw him off in a taxi and waved goodbye. But a short while later he texted to say that his flight to Sweden was cancelled!

However Tobias has great luck and an alternative flight through Frankfurt was found for him. His parents will be glad to see him after 7.5 months! He’ll be back in Göteborg tomorrow morning, Swedish time! Bon Voyage!

Vodcast of Götheborg, Singapore

April 11, 2007

In the 88th episode of the podcast Voyeurism, Kenneth Lim features the Götheborg in “Days of yore.” I missed Kenneth’s contribution when I listed Singaporean responses in the blogosphere to the visit of the ship in January 2007 and its a lovely addition to the list!

The episode ends with scenes of the ship leaving Singapore. As she draws away and fires her canons in a farewell salute, you can hear the crowd go “Waaah,” in true Singaporean fashion!

Here is the direct link to the video.

Peter Kaaling returns to the Götheborg

April 5, 2007

Peter Kaaling has returned to captain the ship for the last part of the voyage back to Göteborg, Sweden. Two captains share the responsibility of leading the ship on its long voyage from Sweden to China and back. When I joined the Götheborg in Hong Kong, Peter Kaaling was captain and he would stay with the ship until Chennai, India.

Captain Gunnar Silfverberg Utgaard took over then and at has now handed the ship back at Alexandria, Egypt. Best wishes to him for his health.

Peter Kaaling will now sail the Götheborg back to her home city of Göteborg, Sweden.

Meanwhile, the SOIC website has put up the 27th March 2007 video update by Peder Jacobsson which was shot while they were at the Great Bitter Lake, Suez Canal.

Peder included footage of the Egyptian naval cadets who were with the Götheborg until recently and one of them says “every single day you get do something that you have never done before!”

The guitar strains of Ludwig Sääf that accompany the clip is lovely. Peder is doing a great job putting these clips together from the enormous footage he shoots. Everytime I watch the videos in the early morning, I ache to be back on board the Götheborg.

They are now heading north across the Mediterranean.

Götheborg has cleared the Suez

April 1, 2007

She has sailed past the Suez canal and is making a portcall in Alexandria between the 1st and 3rd April 1st 2007. See the daily log reports.