Forty weekends of volunteering on board Götheborg

What started with a somewhat grumpy car ride in 2001, resulted in twenty years of passionate interest in the ship Götheborg. Recently, Inga Blomstrand and Leif Bäckman, joined their 40th weekend of volunteering at the ship.

Forty weekends of volunteering on board Götheborg

The 40th work weekend was celebrated with two cakes, books from the gift shop and some work on gun deck on board. 

 

It was Inga’s idea to first visit the ship. As Leif had built a boat before, she thought that he would be interested in seeing the building project. Leif thought differently, and that it was way too far to drive the 300 kms to Gothenburg from their homes in Örebro, just to look at a ship being built.

“On the way home, all we talked about was the ship”, says Inga and laughs.

More than sixty times on board

Since that first time they’ve been on board another sixty times, and even visited the ship in Guangzhou (Canton) in 2006. After all the hours spent on Götheborg, they have seen every little nook and cranny of the boat, and they feel very at home on board.

 “It’s the incredible craftsmanship that we love about Götheborg; the original materials and that all is being hand crafted”, says Leif. “We absolutely love being on board and volunteering. We really enjoy meeting all the people around the ship and the other volunteers. The atmosphere is always very good.”

Many types of tasks

They’ve had all kinds of jobs during the forty work weekends they’ve been on board – from the first weekend when they were doing inventorying in the gun room, two decks down in the aft of the ship (and first couldn’t find it), to measuring blocks, putting together yards or tightening the standing rigging. Leif has also done work up in the rigging in previous years, but nowadays they both stay down on deck.

The new adventures

Leif has sailed with the ship twice, Inga once – but it’s being on board and working on the ship that they both enjoy the most. They won’t sail on the ship as she heads out towards Asia in 2022, but they will follow her voyage closely.

“We are really happy to see Götheborg sail again, as she is meant to, and we will follow her adventures.”

Sailing to Stockholm in 2008
Sailing to Stockholm in 2008
Work weekend in 2011
Work weekend in 2011
Work weekend in 2012
Work weekend in 2012
Work weekend in 2012
Work weekend in 2012
Work weekend in 2013
Work weekend in 2013

Favourite memory

Inga: There are so many memories, but the very best is probably the launch of the ship in June 2003. That was a very emotional occasion, I actually cried. We weren’t even sure she would float.

Leif: When the ship returned to Gothenburg in 2007. Inga had organised so that we were on a boat that went out to meet the ship. That is a great memory.

Favourite spot on board

Inga: The gun room, because that was the first place we worked while volunteering. And because it’s such a special place with the moving tiller and the tiller rope made out of moose hide.

Leif: For me it’s the workshop on the pier. On board, as I have an interested in technology, I think the engine room is most interesting.

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