“This is one of the smallest ships I have ever captained,” said Bjorn Ahlander, captain of the 115 ft, Draken, this afternoon. He showed this blogger a photo of a gorgeous four masted barque that he captioned years ago. The captain had been retired for fourteen (14) days when he was asked to take over the Draken. But then he laughed and said he will tell the rest of his story tomorrow at a talk he is giving at Shipyard Brewery, 65 Newbury Street, on Munjoy Hill. There are still some tickets available for the event. The event is hosted by TallShipsPortland, although it is not a fundraiser for the non-profit..
Tours of the boat will conclude tomorrow Monday, July 30th and run from 10:00 am – 8:00 pm. See the folks under the small, white tent at the Marina at Portland Foreside, 58 Fore Street. (One particularly busy day up in Rockland, ticket sales reached an astonishing 1,750 according to one of the volunteers).
During a fascinating deck tour, it was learned that following the last day of tours tomorrow, Monday, July 30, the 115 ft. boat will travel down to Portland Yacht Services, 100 West Commercial Street for maintenance work. It’s also anticipated that the one engine that was damaged during an encounter with lobster traps in Rockland will be repaired. The Yard has a new travel lift which may be used for the first time.
It took one hundred (100) Vikings rowing the boat to power it along with the sails up. The top speed of Draken is fourteen (14) knots. All crew members sleep on deck and that is where the galley is located as well. That’s because there are twenty-seven (27) tons of rocks for ballast in the bottom of the boat. The mast, not the original, is made of Douglas Fir and the flooring of pine and oak, covered with tar. John Lindquist, who just joined the Draken two days ago as crew said that the two ravens always aboard except when they find land, are called “thought” and “memory” a/k/a Hugin and Minin. He’s an expert in the mythology of the area having lived there for over twenty (20) years.
It’s anticipated at this time the Draken will proceed to Boston and then to Salem.
Please see previous posts for more information on the Draken.