Friday, 30 January 2015

Stavanger and Ships in Norway - Sepia Saturday

This week's prompt of ships in Tønsberg harbour is ideal for me.


Tønsberg lies on the west coast of Oslofjord just over 100km south-south-west of Oslo near the fjord's mouth onto the Skagerrak.

Stavanger where I worked for most of the 1980s, long after the first two of my photos were taken, is on Norway's west coast.

Ships along the quayside - 1902
(This is my photo of one too big for my scanner - so excuse the 'fold' in the middle)

The town centre is to the right of the the shot where ten years earlier the quayside had the replica of a Viking ship tied up alongside.

'Viking' the replica of the Gokstad ship - 1893
The Gokstad ship was found in a burial mound at Gokstad farm in Sandar, Sandefjord in Norway's Vestfold county - the same county where Tønsberg is located. Dendrological dating suggest that the Gokstad ship was built around 880 AD

After visiting Stavanger the Viking sailed crossed the Atlantic to appear at Chicago World Fair of 1893.


In 1978 the opening of the Stavanger City Bridge connected the city to the islands in the borough of Hundvåg where Rosenberg shipyard is located.

Rosenberg Verft on Hundvåg
The structure on the dock at the bottom is the main support frame for Statfjord 'B'. The 'inlet' to the right of this is a dry dock where previously Rosenberg had been building LNG tankers.

RV's last LNG tanker (from the Stavanger City Bridge)
I had the opportunity to see the Royal Yacht Britannia pass by Rosenberg in May 1981 when the Queen and Prince paid Norway a state visit.

Britannia passing dummy platform legs at RV - May 1981
I acquired a number of posters of platforms under construction during my time in Stavanger. The legs of Gravity Base Structures and concrete storage cells were outfitted at Gandsfjord close to Stavanger. We travelled there by boat out under the City Bridge to teach the site.

Mechanical outfitting Statfjord 'C' - 1981-1983
The concrete legs are over 100m tall and the storage cells beneath around 80m. That bridge linking the top of the cells was an interesting place to walk!

Before a platform is towed out to its location in the North Sea the legs are ballasted, sunk down with the completed deck floated over the top and secured to the legs.

Gulfaks 'A' Platform (not at Stavanger)
When it comes to big passenger ships the visits I remember during my time in Stavanger included SS Norway and the QEII.

QEII passing Statfjord 'B' deck at Rosenberg in July 1980
SS Norway with RV assembly shop in background

I guess I'd better end this maritime rambling before anyone gets seasick.

However for more salty tales check out the links at Sepia-Saturday-264.

17 comments:

Karen S. said...

Wow it sure is! This and dogs two of your greatest loves, and what about a good old ghost story, it's been a while since you've shared one. You've had one heck of an exciting and well rounded life. Great source of photos and story here in your post too. I have to squeeze in a post this week too. I am getting so far behind!

Author R. Mac Wheeler said...

I managed your story without even getting dizzy. :)

Jo said...

Nah, too used to boats to get seasick any more. Interesting time you must have had when you worked there.

Postcardy said...

Just thinking about crossing the Atlantic in the Viking could make one seasick.

Mike Brubaker said...

I'm not so much seasick as airsick! The harbors in Norway must have great depth to allow the construction of those fantastic platforms. I've always wondered what was beneath the sea for these man made islands. The engineering challenges must be formidable to deal with boyancy, wind, cold, and ocean depth.

Liz Needle said...

Your posts are always so interesting and informative.You have some great shots here.

Mattias Kroon said...

Like a story in itself.We will see where the oilprice will go the coming time.

Deb Gould said...

Love that Viking ship; will pass on the walkway between those two towers...yikes!

La Nightingail said...

Wonderful photos & info. But my favorites are the ones of the Viking ship. I know it's a fantasy found only in certain books, but the Viking era seems so 'romantic'. If built on the same principles as the original Viking ships, sailing the replica of the Gokstad ship across the Atlantic to Chicago proves the Viking ships of old were capable of sailing just about anywhere!

Barbara Rogers said...

I confess to not understanding all the terminology you used, but the pictures do speak for themselves. Thanks.

diane b said...

That must have been an interesting time for you. Sure is a whole lot of maritime business going on there. The construction of the platforms is pretty amazing stuff.

boundforoz said...

What an interesting place. And I always marvel at the navigational skills those Vikings had when they plunged out into the vast ocean.

Jo Featherston said...

A lot of very interesting information, even if rather technical. I hope all that industrial activity doesn't detract too much from the harbour's natural beauty.

ScotSue said...

Fascinating photographs old and new.

Joan said...

A fascinating post of a time a place ow which I know little about. As a history junkie, I particularly liked the viking ships. Always have been in such awe of those early sailing folks.

Joan said...

Interesting posts about a time and place of which I know little about. As a history junkie, really enjoyed the photos of the viking ships. Always have been in awe of those early sailing folk who plied the oceans in tiny vessels. Brave beyond compare in my view.

Helen Bauch McHargue said...

Those platforms are breath-taking. So enormous. A fascinating post.