Archive for June, 2007

Götheborg Commemorative Chinese Tea

June 23, 2007

The Sunday after the Götheborg returned to her home port (10 Jun 2007), Ivan Chew and his wife were at a Chinatown tea shop that they frequent. Ivan spotted a picture of the Götheborg on a box of tea and asked the shop assistant if he could take a picture. He says,

“I quickly added that “a friend was onboard this ship,” and she said “ok, take take”. The picture but alas not the tea!”

The label apparently states that it is a limited edition and each box has a serial number and a little certificate. He was a little vague but did add that the tea hop, D’Art Station, had two premises in Chinatown at 63 Temple Street, Singapore 058608 and 65 Pagoda Street, S(059224).

I know many of my Swedish crewmates who were in China had returned home with bags of tea from the Chinese, which had been offered in friendship. The sailors from three centuries ago had done pretty much the same thing in an effort to rake in a some profit from the demanding and long voyage from Göteborg to China and back.


Gold plated model of Götheborg at Suntec City, Singapore

June 23, 2007

Ng Hua Qin was at Suntec City (Singapore) on Wed 13 Jun 2007 when he spotted a model of the ship Götheborg. He had visited the Götheborg when she was in Vivocity (Harbour Front, Singapore) and I had taken him on a guided tour so he is one Singaporean who is quite familiar with the ship. He sent me the photo of the model he saw and I responded enthusiastically, “where did you see this?!”

Since the photos was rife with reflections, he promised to take a better photos for the blog. He returned to the shop two days ago and found himself to be the only local there (Koh Inc: 3, Temasek Blvd #02-036, Suntec City Mall Singapore 038983). The shop appears to be a haunt for tourists and possibly for ship model enthusiasts for half the shop was dedicated to models of old sailing ships and several were gold-plated.

On display outside the shop was Götheborg model, all bright and shiny. You can’t miss it for its a 24K-plated model constructed in Taiwan, how about that? Apparently this has been with the shop for 6 months and the retail price is $599. Right now, however, the salesman said it’s on 20% discount now, making it $479.

I rarely venture out to town but it’d be nice to this ship model up close!

Thanks Hua Qin!

A Singaporean welcome for the Götheborg

June 20, 2007

I was unable to visit Sweden to welcome back the Götheborg to her home port of Göteborg but a search of the blogosphere revealed a Singaporean presence! Carineswan has been there since mid-May for work, what are the odds? Of course she saw our grand ship, how could she miss it?

Not only was Carine there to see her, she saw our flag hoisted on the ship along with the other ports of call from her Sweden – China return voyage. I’m glad she was there and blogged about it!

carineswan said, in “The Gotheborg Ship Returns” (After Thoughts, 10 Jun 2007):

“It was a big event in Götheborg. It was largely publicized on posters along the streets. I didn’t know it’s such an important event until I heard that China President Hu Jintao and Swedish King and Queen are attending the event.

A whole lot of people just stand around the canal and waited for the ship to return and dock. At the place where it docked, there’s celebrations going on with musical and dance performance.

See the Singapore flag? Apparently, it has stopped over at Singapore a few months ago, and hold some exhibition at Vivo city.”

*Seaotter waves madly at Carine in Göteborg!*

We swapped comments, and she obligingly sent me these photos; thanks Carine!

Ostindiefararen Götheborg returns home!

June 10, 2007

Saturday 9th of June 2007 – The Swedish Ship Götheborg returned to her home port of Göteborg, after over 20 months on her first expedition to China and back. See this slide show with sounds of the return by Dick Gillbert.

I was unable to visit Göteborg to welcome the ship home and Katarina Svensson of the Embassy of Sweden here in Singapore said,

“…did you check out the homecoming of Götheborg? It was fantastic with close to 300 000 Swedes welcoming the ship home. And the guest of honour being the president of China, well, what can I say?!

My boss Capt Jarvid attended the welcome ceremony in Göteborg and he said it was truly a grand experience. I got goose bumps when he recaptured the event with the thousands of small sailing boats welcoming Götheborg. And rumour has it that she will be visiting Shanghai for the World Expo 2010, maybe a good time to revisit your old “home”?”

The Local reports:

“Thousands of onlookers gathered to welcome the three-masted wooden ship – an exact replica of the Swedish East India Company’s 18th century vessel of the same name – to Gothenburg’s Frihamn on Saturday afternoon.

Dozens of small boats escorted the ship into harbour and with a 21-gun salute Götheborg was brought into the quay by two tugboats.”

Video from vartgbg.

“King Carl XVI Gustaf and Chinese president Hu Jingtao watched the vessel arrive, along with some 90 guests of honour including the local bishop, top figures from business and Nobel Prizewinner Arvid Carlsson.

Peter Kaaling, who captained Götheborg into port, stood on deck and looked out over the flotilla of boats, from canoes to Chinese TV boats, surrounding the East Indiaman.

“I feel humbled. It’s fantastic that so many people have turned up to welcome us,” said Kaaling.”

See also the Xinhua report.

The 21-gun salute to mark her return takes the crowd by surprise!
Video by lumingliu