Me and the Vasa (the ship) go way back; way back to our first meeting in 1992. She’s pushing 400 years old so I am still a newbie in her books, but she’s one of my oldest and dearest Swedish friends (though debatable if it’s possible to have a relationship with an inanimate object.)
On this past Saturday, Stockholm’s first official “summer” day…glorious sunshine and warm temps, I had the opportunity/honor of following in the Vasa’s wake (minus the sinking part.) A small group of us were guided by Fred Hocker, Director of Archeological Research at the Maritime Museums
aboard a decommissioned mine sweeper, M20.
We ventured out into the stream of recreational boats, commercial vessels and tourist tugs all soaking in the sunshine glimmering up from Stockholm Harbor. Our mission was to follow the making of the Vasa from making her keel to her fated maiden voyage (WARNING: Spoiler…she sinks)
The Vasa Museum is devising a serious of new and engaging tours and visits for those of us who love the old lady.
And yes, I do love her –again, if you can have love for a ship that is. Our relationship goes way back to the first summer I visited Stockholm as a tourist. I was at the museum the day they had their millionth visitor (wasn’t me.) With all the visitors I’ve brought there and my über geek interest in her fascinating history (she’s a real life reality show celebrity) we’ve had many encounters. Each time I see her it’s like visiting an old buddy.
I know her [updated] story pretty (it’s evolved over the years) well by now (all those tours of the ship plus some additional research.) But it was quite a treat to follow her wake on the bobbing harbor.
She hasn’t traveled far, but she’s endured. Perhaps a lesson for us all.