"We became men"
Sørlandet got a "flying start" with successful voyage to Denmark and London in 1927. It was also memorable that King Haakon and Crown Prince Olav were welcomed on board the ship's first Oslo voyage . It happened on 23 July 1927 while the schooner was at anchor outside Kontraskjæret. The King and Crown Prince showed great interest in the school ship boys' display in rigging and yards with setting and salvaging sails. The king and entourage were on board for a couple of hours and inspected the entire ship under the leadership of captain Selmer Lindeberg. It was the first time that the Royal House was a guest on board the ship, and there were to be more such events in due course, most recently during King Olav's 25th anniversary as monarch in 1982.
Surviving schoolship boys remember the royal visit in 1927, and one of those who remembers it particularly well is the first pupil in the first litter, shipbuilder Fridolf Lund, who was photographed with King Haakon and the captain, an image that remained in many newspapers. Fridolf Lund also had a rather special connection to the school ship. It was no coincidence that he was number one on board.
You understand the connection better when Lund tells that his paternal origin, the Arendals man Carsten Thorvald Clausen Lund, was the man who, together with engineer Vik from Fevik, designed the schooner. Lund was a renowned shipbuilder. He was brought from Arendal to construct " Sørlandet » - and with the load was Fridolf, who at the age of 14 was allowed to participate in the drawing work. He drew up the entire hull with his own hands, helped to nail the ship by hand. He had a hand in both here and there. The skylights on the deck are Lund's work. A jackass like that had to be rewarded - and therefore Harbor Master Tønnesen, chairman of the school ship's board, insisted that Fridolf should be pupil number one on the first voyage. - It's your boat, said Tønnesen. Take good care of it.
- What do you have to say now- is the ship taken good enough care of?
- I was afraid it would be lost abroad a few years ago, but now it is secured for posterity. It is fantastic that the interest in the schuta is so good, and I know that " Sørlandet » is well worth taking care of. It is a schooner that is rock bottom - and if you can only sail it correctly, then there is no one who can compete in that rank, says Lund, with a sly glint in the corner of his eye.
- Did you learn anything as a sea cadet at « Sørlandet » in 1927?
- The first cruise to London and Edinburgh was an experience. By the way, I was photographed with King Haakon and Captain Lindeberg, who was then named Pedersen, during a visit with the ship in Oslo. I saw that picture in a lot of places, but today it seems to be gone. The both the ship and we students were shown what we were doing on the first cruise. We came out in stiff gales and got to feel the anguish of the sea sickness. If you learned anything? I guess we all changed in the five six months that lasted. Most of us became somewhat more grown-up. We were ninety boys on board, and we grew both mentally and physically, not least lately. I myself put on 15 kilos at the same time as the breast width increased by 8-9 cm. A lot higher, too. At least I had grown from all my private effects that I brought on board. Most of us met to the de-up with clothes that we had grown out of. There had been men of ours," lund says.
- Source: " The Ship Sørlandet - a school under sail",
published by the Foundation The Ship Sørlandet in April 1987.
Editor: Helge Svein Halvorsen
OTHER ARTICLES IN THIS SERIES:
- The gift letter that became a national cultural treasure
- A school of a lifetime
- Discipline - order - seamanship
- They came down from the rig and manned our fleet
- School under sail
- "We became men"
- Our youngest Vikings
- "Continuation School" for future sailors
- War, occupation, reconstruction
- Inspiration in art
- Over and out as a training ship
- In 1956, at the age of 14, he took part in the Tall Ships Races