Recently a dear friend who was moving house gave me four magnificent sailing ship prints and their majesty astounded me. The first of these is the Brig Fride of Göteborg seen above.

The sight of sailing ships is always awe-inspiring. This is true even of pictures featuring them and they evoke an uplifting sense of wonder and adventure.

“You cannot swim for new horizons until you have courage to lose sight of the shore.” — William Faulkner

As always, I wanted to know a bit of the story behind them? Who painted them? I headed to the trusty internet to learn about the artist behind paintings such as the Clipper Ship Challenger pictured above.

However, this time the web failed me and the mystery of sails began.

“Your reason and your passion are the rudder and the sails of your seafaring soul.” — Kahlil Gibran

I could find the prints for auction at one auction house in Sweden. Two of the prints seems to be connected to two different artists: Peter Christian Holm (1823 – 1888) for the steamboat and Signe Marin for the Brig.

Here the trail went cold! I would be intrigued if anyone could shed anymore light on the history of these paintings.

Meanwhile, my mind wondered towards the pull of the ocean, its reverential hold upon us all. Writers not only find it a source of inspiration and rejuvenation but also cannot help but note down the power of this vast expanse. Perhaps even when aboard boats such as the Three-mast Barque Gefion pictured above.

“If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.” ― Rachel Carson

I decided to seek out ocean-related sayings and here the internet proved much more willing. I’ve chosen four from authors whose books are some of my favourites.

The last of the four ship prints is the Steamship Gustaf Adolf pictured here.

Finally, do you have any favourite quotations, poetry or songs related to the ocean? Please feel free to share here and if possible I look forward to collating these in a separate post. For all writers, if you have written a piece based around the seas please include it in the comments or link to your post! I look forward to a discussion all about the ocean!

“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship.” — Louisa May Alcott

109 thoughts on “MYSTERY OF SAILS

    1. Lisa, what an idyllic living room and sounds very much like my mother’s conservatory! 😀 Wow! How amazing that you have this second one on a canvas! It’s not the original, is it?! Do you know the paintings history at all!

    1. Thank you so much, Hilde and the sense of adventure is intense in these images! In our world of connectedness it is hard to imagine how remote, how cut off the lives of these sailors would be.

      Wow! I love your song and its reflections … thank you so much for sharing and I’ve written a comment on your post.

  1. These are stunning prints, Annika. I am green with envy! How beautiful they would look here in our house. 🙂 I say that, not only because I love everything about the sea and ships, but this house we live in – 96 years old – once belonged to my husband’s grandfather who was a skipper on a schooner.
    Gorgeous post, and I can’t wait for your upcoming one all about the ocean. A marvelous idea! xx

    1. Jennifer, I feel like gifting these to you, bless you! 😀 They sound like they would be perfect in your house, with its sea-faring history and your location is a dream! Imagine, being a skipper of a schooner, that is amazing. Do you have any of his log books, diaries of his time out at sea? What a story!

      1. Annika, i wish we did. The only thing we have is a cassette recording of him well after he retired, sharing some stories from his life at sea. I think many people who aren’t from here would have a hard time understanding Skipper Alexander Perry because his Newfoundland accent is so thick, not to mention his dialect!

  2. Looking at those paintings, I wonder how on earth the ship part of the vessel held up the enormous weight of those sails and the masts, ropes etc. And the pressure of the wind on those sails. Pretty amazing engineering feats, weren’t they? Lucky you, being given those as gifts.

    1. Amanda, the engineering of the ships is incredible and I agree, how did they take the strain of the gales? The coordination of them was vital as well … precision science and art to sailing. Gifted courageous professionals. I’m taken with your reflections about the ships, Amanda – and I will look at these prints from yet another perspective.

      1. Agree. Very skilled folks especially in sailing in tremendously difficult area like around the Horn or across the southern Ocean! It seems crazy that the to half is so tall compared to that lower half, doesn’t it?

  3. Wonderful post Annika and I love the prints and the accompanying quotes, it’s just the sort of thing I’d love to hang in my house. Like most of us, I’ve always had a fascination for the sea and feel so alive and at peace whenever I’m near it. Summer or winter it’s definitely my happy place. One of my favourite quotes would have to be this one … “there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shore line, no matter how many times it is sent away”. The romantic in me I guess. Have a great weekend. 😍 xx

    1. Ahh … Miriam that is an exquisite quote and I love it! Can it become one of my new favourites? Do you know who said it?

      I know what you mean about being near the ocean being your happy place – I feel the same, once there all worries, fears seem miniscule, disappear as I’m one with the ocean. The prints are stunning and I feel lucky to have them in my house … although it makes me long to live near the coast even more! 😀😀 Rain and gales here so a cosy weekend indoors, methinks! Wishing you a wonderful sunshine weekend, my friend! xx❤️

      1. Yes, I love the quote too. It’s by Sarah Kay I believe.
        Enjoy your weekend inside Annika. Today was rainy and stormy here too, despite it being spring. Hopefully it’ll clear tomorrow as we have friends coming over for a meal. Stay warm. xx ❤️

  4. What beautiful prints, Annika! I love how the artists were able to capture the power of the ocean. I think that’s what inspires me the most about water: it can calm and soothe, but there is so much energy and power behind it, it’s breathtaking! And the quotes and some of the wonderful poetry in the comments reinforces that awe of the vast waters. Personally, I’ve always liked John Denver’s “Calypso” as an ode to the ocean (and of course Jacques Cousteau)

    1. Julie, I love how you’ve included a song in connection with the ocean! Thank you so much for introducing me to “Calypso” … I’ve been listening to it this moring and my spirits are soaring! A joy – what a song, voice and lyrics! Thank you also for naming Jacques Cousteau. I’m familiar with the name but knew very little. I’ve enjoyed reading up a little about him but want to learn so much more. One of his quotes stands out to me and seems so true how nearly all of us feel about the ocean:

      “The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.” Jacques Yves Cousteau

      You describe the effect of the ocean on you with beauty and clarity … many can identity with the calming and soothing, as well the energy and power behind it. It varies which I find the most awe-inspiring!

    1. Andrea, they are very special to me and give me a sense of harmony and calm in life, inspirational even. Oh, I haven’t quite given up on the search yet and will follow up on a blogger’s suggestion of maritime museum. I do like a mystery!😀

  5. Only you, Annika, could turn the gift of four paintings into poetry and history and mystery. Not only have I enjoyed your post with the photos of the art and the wonderful quotes from Faulkner, Gibran, Carson, and Alcott, but It’s been a pleasure to read the comments from your brilliant readers.

    One of my short stories employs the sea as a major element. I’ve often painted the sea but haven’t written poetry about it. So I’ll leave with all the thoughts posted by you and your readers to broaden my day. Thinking sea and ships and depths beyond imagining.

    1. Wow! Your comments are always a treat, a real gem in my day! Thank you so much, Sharon! ❤️ As soon as I saw the paintings I knew I wanted to write about them … they are so wonderfully evocative and knew so many would feel the same. I feel lucky with all the comments/quotes. Have you posted your story online so I could read it. I would love to! 😀

      Wow! It must be amazing to be able to paint the sea – what an extraordinary gift! I’m overjoyed this has broadened your day … conversations like this is the heart of blogging! ❤️

  6. The ocean inspires, partly because in many ways (perhaps in all ways) we come from the sea. The ins and outs remind us of our journey through life – in and out, waving up and down, floating and then sinking and then bobbing up again. Those prints are beautiful, yet alas, I get seasick just looking at them. Yes, I love everything about the ocean, except sailing on it. ;-0 But I raced to my blog list of stories; yes, I’ve written many times about being near/around/with the ocean. Here’s part of my poem that relates my love of the ocean the most.

    The waves roar in then slink back toward the source
    Might and muse, hope and horror, joy and loss
    Mingle amidst the moon and sun with force.

    I walk barefoot on the sand wet and coarse
    My breath caught along with the seaside spray
    The waves roar in then slink back toward the source.

    Source of our beginning, blue and porous
    Feel the light of love, dawn of ecstasy
    Mingle amidst the moon and sun with force.

    1. Pa, wow! 😀 I’ve read your comment a few times and I’m touched with the poetry of your words. So often I wonder about the almost magnetic pull of the ocean, and yes perhaps it is in all ways because we came from there. At the weekend, I went to the coast and on the beach was a young toddler, racing into the surf, trying to get further in, each time pulled back by his father. This went on for an hour … his longing was tangible! Haha! Yep, the prints are rather nausea incuducing and particularly the lurch of the first image, one can just imagine the impending crash down!

      Oh, thank you so much for racing to find one of your poems! I must have missed this as I was on holiday last summer – so happy you shared it here. It is a work of art, truly exquisite and I felt the force of the ocean, its power as you take us from the power of the ocean – both good and bad – to a humble single person to the magnitude of the universe! Wow!

      1. You always make me (the writer) feel strong and powerful and magnificent – like the ocean, Annika. ❤ Thank you. And of course, it's your wonderful blog posts that all of us respond to in such marvelous feeling ways.

  7. Thank you for sharing this beautiful series of prints – the ships are magnificent! as are the glimpses into the ocean they traverse.

    Growing up on an island and living by the beach, the ocean has always had a special, calming effect on me. I am looking forward to your post on oceans.

    1. Ju-Lyn, it sounds like an idyllic childhood! 😀 The ocean is both grounding and liberating. I think you live far from the coast now? Do you miss it? Ahh … and there was I thinking I wrote too much about the ocean! I spent a heavenly day by the English coast on Sunday, considered a post but reckoned everyone is fed-up of them!

      The prints are indeed magnificent and majestic, bringing to life another era! The drama of the ocean swells are incredible and so realistic, it’s almost as if you can hear them!

      1. Thanks for sharing in this conversation Annika.

        It’s funny but when I spent all that time by the sea (every weekend just about, and also on many family vacations), I just took it all for granted. It wasn’t until I lived in the middle of Texas for a spell that I realised how much I missed it.

        I have now been back in Singapore for quite a few decades. We don’t go to the beach very often anymore, nor do we vacation at beach resorts much either, but I still have very fond memories of the ocean.

  8. Brilliant post and will try and give you one of my ocean poems from visiting The Azores. Lots of ocean around those isles. My husband is a sailor and loves the openness of the oceans but I prefer to look at the sea and any sails from the shore!

    1. Georgina, first, yes please! 😀😀 I would love for you to include one of your poems from the Azores! The name has mystical connotations. Haha! Good for your husband for enjoying sailing …I’m ith you at its best viewed from shore! Or at least a cruise ship where you don’t feel the swells so much!

        1. Georgina, thank you so much for sharing this! I love it, the energy and power of the ocean brought beautifully to life … the waves are just such as ‘cratered peaks’! Wonderful sense of drama … and a darkness, foreboding!

          1. Thanks, Annika, the Azores was a very interesting and inspiring place and dear husband wishes to visit more islands out there. We had a lot of flight delays because of inclement weather and am not sure I fancy being stuck in the middle of the Atlantic again. Am becoming a wimp!

              1. You need to go when weather is more settled but that’s so unpredictable these days. EasyJet pulled out because of often windy weather and a small runway. But I would say the islands there do need a lifeline of flights and visitors. Its a long sailing trip! I think I would be more against the constant weekend trips to cities which become overwhelmed as with Barcelona and I think now Lisbon and Oporto.

  9. I was thinking about your prints, and I wondered where you are (if you are) going to hang them. They must take up a lot of room. Will you hang them all close together or spread out? I am fascinated with how people display art–both for the good and the bad of it, I suppose.
    My favorite ocean poem is “Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking”–Walt Whitman.

    1. Luanne, that’s a very good question! 😀 I’ve already received quite a few other paintings from my friend’s move. Three beautiful butterfly prints are in the bedroom, a couple of special plates in the kitchen. I think I will have these sailing ship prints framed and displayed in my dining room! I can imagine I’m out at sea!
      Wow! That is an amazing poem by Walt Whitman … I’ve read very little of his work and thank you so much for suggesting this one! I can why it’s your favourite and guess you find something new in it with each reading!

      1. Yes, it truly is one of my favorite poems. When my son was a baby I used to recite it to him while I rocked him!
        Oh, I can imagine those prints in a dining room. I love that. In fact, I’ve eaten at restaurants with ship prints, and it always feels so adventurous to eat there!

    1. Exactly, Wanda! 😀 A world away from the later steamships and fuel-powered ships … so noisy and polluting! These pictures capture the grace and beauty of these majestic sailing ships!

  10. The ship prints are truly beautiful, and your quotes are just perfect. You have a treasure. Thank you, Annika. I hope you are able to track down more information.

  11. hilarymb

    Hi Annika – my mother loved the hymn ‘Eternal Father, Strong to Save’, which we had at her Memorial Service in Cornwall in 2012 … having just checked in Wiki – there’s a magnificent painting by Rembrandt van Rijn … ‘Storm on the Sea of Galilee’ …

    I’m afraid I don’t know and therefore can’t help with the artists … somewhere, sometime you’ll find the answer …

    Stunning art work and I love your quotes … take care – cheers Hilary

    1. Hilary, thank you so much for sharing this hymn. I realised we used to sing it at school and it is incredible. The poetry of the words is intense and majestic … very moving.

      Wow! The painting shows the full ferocity of the ocean … the contrast of light and dark almost overwhelming in the midst of the dramatic actions.

      Yes, I will not give up on finding out about the paintings and a fellow blogger had the great idea to ask at a maritime museum!

      Wishing you a blessed week filled with joy and sunshine! 😀

  12. They are lovely prints, Annika! What a thoughtful and generous gift from your friend! I was wondering if a coastal museum, like Harwich Maritime Museum, might be able to suggest where you could find out more about your prints. They may even be able to suggest who the artists are.
    In 2007 we went on holiday to Travemunde in Germany on the Baltic coast and were fortunate to be there when they had their sailing week. Not only were there races but all sorts of ships and boats visited the town including beautiful masted sailing ships. Travemunde also has its own sailing ship on permanent display in the harbour. The ‘Passat’ can be visited by the public and is very interesting.

    1. Clare, what an inspired suggestion! 😀 As you know I’m not far from Harwich at all and I’ve meant to visit their Maritime Museum so I will definitely take them along! If that fails, I realised I could take them to the maritime museum in Gothenburg. Once I become hooked on a mystery I don’t like to let go until it’s solved!

      Ahh … what an amazing week that must have been for your in Travemunde to see all those sailing boats. The ‘Passat’ looks glorious and majestic and how amazing to visit it. Could you sense the history on board? Did you go below decks?

      Thank you so much for your terrific comment. Wishing you a lovely sunny week! 😀

      1. We had a full tour of the ‘Passat’ including below decks. It had been used by the German navy as a training ship for some years before it went into retirement so even though it was a sailing ship it didn’t feel particularly old.
        I hope you have a wonderful week too! 🙂

  13. What a generous gift by your friend; these paintings are gorgeous! The way the first painting is captured reminds me of the movie Master and Commander:The Far Side of the World. I am now as intrigue as you to find out the story the behind the paintings. What a lovely post, I’m inspired by both your paintings and Carson’s quote. Perhaps, I’ll write my own ocean poem. 🙂

    1. Khaya, first, yes, I’d love to read a poem written by you about the ocean! 😀 I’m glad you feel inspired to by these prints!

      You are the second person to mention ‘Master and Commander’ – and I’ve seen the beginning of the film and it is incredible! I was there, on the boat … mighty and majestic but the movement too real, nauseating.

      Wishing you a creative weekend, filled with joy and poetry! 😀❤️

  14. Wonderful as always, Annika. I love the Carsan quote you chose. When I see those huge sailing ships, I’m immediately impressed with the amazing knowledge and synchronicity that a crew needed to have to manage the lines. Like a dance of sound and movement, precisely timed. I wish I could come up with a quote for you, but running around today. I can’t wait to see what you collect!

    1. Heartfelt thanks for your kind words, Diana! 😀 The prints are awe-inspiring, not only as wonderful paintings but also in the life they conveyed. I love how you describe managing the sails ‘Like a dance of sound and movement, precisely timed.’ Beautiful! It is astounding how it always seemed to work, even in the roughest of storms. During the past year or so I read Rachel Carson’s ‘The Sea Around Us’ as well as Henry Beston’s ‘The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod’ and both these affected me deeply, how I view the ocean, its might and power, its fragility too.

  15. The paintings are gorgeous, Annika! Thanks for sharing them with us. I love art depicting the ocean and other waterways, as well.
    I live in South Florida (USA), and I enjoy going to the marina to watch the ships sail away. I found two quotes I love.

    “There’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away.” ~ Sarah Kay

    “The Sea is emotion incarnate. It loves, hates, and weeps. It defies all attempts to capture it with words and rejects all shackles. No matter what you say about it, there is always that which you can’t.” ~Christopher Paolini

    1. Vasthi, first thank you so much for sharing these fabulous quotes! Paolini rightly says how impossible it is to capture the ocean with words, however much we try. Yet he comes close with ‘The Sea is emotion incarnate’. Wow! Sarah’s is a gentler reflection and I’m smiling at the notion of it being sent away only to return to kiss the shoreline. My next step will be to learn more about the authors of these quotes!

      I didn’t realise you lived in South Florida – a pity as it would have been lovely to meet up when I was there a couple of years ago. The coastline there is hypnotic and no wonder you enjoy watching the boats by the marina, sailing out.

      Wishing you a magical weekend, hope you have a chance to view some ships, the wondrous ocean – there is nothing quite like it! hugs xx

  16. My husband inherited an old wooden boat which he is having restored. We have had a long love of sailing boats and the water. Ernest Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea comes to mind. Here is one of the many great quotes from his book. “Let him think that I am more man than I am and I will be so.”
    ― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea
    I love the mystery behind the visage of others. We sometimes imagine them to be more than they are. They surprise us by rising to the occasion. Have a swimmingly lovely weekend.

    1. Mary Ann, thank you so much for sharing this quotation and the deep philosophy behind the words. You are so right that ‘They surprise us by rising to the occasion.’ And in the process surprise themselves! It is wonderful book which I reread recently … one I wouldn never tire of.

      Wow! You are restoring an actual boat – first I thoughts it was a model one! When will it be ready to sail out on? So exciting for you and I can imagine a family trip for you all. Wishing you a magical weekend filled with music, joy and harmony xx❤️

      1. Annika, I always love hearing from you and finding out what you have up your sleeve. The wooden boat being restored is not a sail boat but a row boat with history. I have been keeping photos of the different stages of restoration for a future entry. My husband and his sister owned a sailboat (small) one which I have been on in the Atlantic. I love how quiet the ride was. Hope your weekend is filled with more adventures. Interesting that you wished me joy, music and harmony. Joyful is one of the traits I listed on today’s blog post. Enjoy the read and your weekend. oxox

          1. I agree with you, Annika. It is a slow process but very rewarding for my husband whose family has history with it. I only used to see it in the garage in Southampton and not in the water. Stay tuned in one or two years.

  17. Those are magnificent. I dug around a bit in this world when I read Patrick O’Brian’s amazing novel, “Master and Commander”. It goes deeply into the amazing world of sailing ships in the 1700’s. I googled your pictures, just curious if they were the same time frame, but had no results. Sigh. What a world that was!

    1. Jacqui, I thought of you as I wrote this post as you seem knowledgeable about this era. Thank you so much for trying to dig out something more about them. What astonished me was how many paintings there are of tall ships … obviously very popular! Were they for display in the company headquarters which owned them? I think one painting was from 1856 but very little information at all. My husband has read and seen ‘Master and Commander’ and tried to get me to see it … I couldn’t cope past the first half-hour – didn’t realise I could feel sea-sick on land from just watching a film about it! Such a different world, indeed! Not for me!😀

  18. What wonderful prints, Annika. I always loved John Masefield’s poem, Sea Fever.
    ‘I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
    And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by;
    And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
    And a grey mist on the sea’s face, and a grey dawn breaking.’
    Last weekend a friend and I went to the Riverside Museum in Glasgow which has a restored Victorian tall ship for visitors to explore. It was fascinating – but oh, how cramped the sleeping quarters and how claustrophobic it must have felt after days and days at sea. Much as I love the idea of sailing across the ocean, I fear I’m a landlubber at heart 🙂

    1. Mary, thank you so much for sharing John Mansfield’s poem … it is wonderful and you can sense the movement of the boat. I’ve seen some of this before but never knew its source. Haha! You are so right, the boats look so majestic and we imagine how amazing and romantic it would to sail on them, the reality is far different. However, my grandfather showed me around the old fishing boats they used to sail on (on the opening of a brand new fishing museum on the islands a number of years ago), I commented on the very small sleeping cots, closed with a sliding shutter. He seemed almost confused and replied how much he loved it, how snug he felt. Maybe they just didn’t think about it, accepted it as it was. Yet, like you, I’m a landlubber … with the odd day trip at sea (or a week on cruise ship!) Happy Weekend … on land! 😀

  19. What a beautiful gift your friend left you. These paintings are surely inspiring, but I’m sorry, I wouldn’t have a clue whose talent they are. But I can say I loved the quotes by Gibran and Faulkner. ❤

    1. Debby, those are wonderful quotes, I agree. So inspiring! I am lucky that these were not the only things I brought home after my friend’s move…but probably won’t post about the other items! I feel blessed. 😀❤️

      1. It becomes a marvelous obsession. I learn so much from quotes and it leads to looking into the biography of those who said those words and to a deeper understanding of what has been said or written.

    1. Jacquie, how true about Miriam’s poem and like all her work, full of innate truth and beauty. As you can tell I too am fascinated by the sailing boats and love the sound of the sailing lines clinking against the tall masts. 😀❤️

  20. What beautiful prints, Annika. I LOVE old sailing ships and recently had the opportunity to go onboard one of the only ones left in service in the US, the Elissa in Galveston. It was fascinating and I could easily visualize its time period. The quotes you chose are fabulous as well. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Jan, yeah – another fan of these majestic ships! I read about the Elissa whilst researching for this post! 😀 What an amazing experience to visit her … did you go out sailing? I see they welcome over 40,000 visitors a year and she is only one of three of her kind still sailing in the world! Wow! I long to try go out on a tall ship, or at least a Maldon barge which are close to where I live. These were common transport barges for the Thames and go along the East Coast of East Anglia on day trips. Happy Sailing whether in a boat or in our lives, emotions, actions … thank you so much for your lovely comment!😀❤️

  21. Such lovely prints Annika. They remind me of the little drawings I used to make as a child. I just loved drawing boats and ships. My most fond memories are of trips on the ocean. My next post is of a trip to an island called Gola.

    1. Brigid, how lovely that you used to draw boats and ships as a child – obviously a very early interest for you. Did you often go out sailing? Is this something you still do? Being on the ocean is soothing and the memories are particularly instilled in one’s heart and mind. Oh, I can’t wait to read about your trip to Gola – I wonder if the sea was as wavy as pictured on some of these prints?

      1. I rarely went sailing as a child but I always looked forward to sailing to Ireland every summer. My mother’s family were very keen fishermen, and I sometimes got a chance to sail with them. Sadly, one of my uncles died at sea when I was 5 years old. I still remember him, particularly his gentle energy. The trip to Gola was really calm – not always the case…

        1. Brigid, how sad about your uncle was lost at sea . He must have been one incredible man as you still recall his gentle energy. It must have been special to go out with your mother’s family during your holidays … and I likewise remember going out with my grandfather and family, both for fishing and daytrips to the islands. I did look up images for Gola and many were very stormy – glad it was calm for you!

  22. My husband majored in history and was a ship chartering broker. Also, his great grandfather was the captain of a sailing ship. We have a guest room decorated with shipping things. Although we are surrounded with these things, we tend to talk about modern ships. Your post is exciting to read because you are so interested in the subject.

    1. Anne, what a fantastic history of sailing in your family! 😀 Just imagine all the stories his great grandfather would have told – have any been handed down over time? Your guest bedroom sounds like a haven for all shipping fans and it’s great that you can display the items in your house. I love the ocean, the tranquillity and peace it gives me and enjoy being out on a boat now and then in calm waters. The majesty of these old sailing ship prints struck a chord with me and since then I’ve been researching quite a bit about their history. It’s absolutely fascinating. Thank you so much for your lovely comment!

      1. John is where he is today because his great grandfather was shipwrecked off Long Island. He established himself in NYC and sent for his family in Norway. I wish we had some of the old man’s stories.

        1. Wow! So your family is part Scandinavian! How wonderful … not the part of being shipwrecked but he must have loved the country to stay and send for his family. I wonder what their initial reaction would have been upon seeing the missive!

          1. I wish we knew how the family members felt about their move to the US. The ship captain’s daughter (John’s grandmother) told him she hoped he would marry a Norwegian girl. Her own daughter married a doctor of German descent, and she approved of that marriage. She was dead when I met John, so I don’t know what she might have thought of me. I hope I would have loved her.

  23. What a lovely gift you’ve received, Annika. The prints are stunning! We’re kindred spirits when it comes to the ocean. It’s the one place where I can truly relax and refresh. Louisa May Alcott’s quote is one of my favorites!

    1. Jill, bless you for your beautiful comment …I’m touched how you see the post as a ‘gift’ – that means so much to me. ❤️ Oh, kindred spirits indeed – the ocean seems to be the cure, the tonic that always manages to realign me, refresh me. Coincidentally I came across another of Louse May Alcott’s quote the other day on Twitter from fellow blogger, Rebecca Budd and this one spoke to deeply too: ‘I like adventures and I am going to find some!’ and I feel Alcott definitely did and managed to sail her way through them all!

  24. Annika, I am stunned by this glorious post. So full of life and beauty ! Vivid in design and
    colours. Your words dance along with the incredible sails. How did they ever keep them
    turning the right way with the wind.
    I know, many skilled and fit sailors. But the design. It isn’t just practical. It is Art. Love of your craft. Coming from Göteborg originally I feel proud of their ship building skills.

    As to your quotes, I have read them over and over and all are so true and beautiful. In the end I believe Khalil Gibran wins out for me. Altogether Annika, what can’t you write about.
    I feel uplifted by seeing the wind and sails and men work together.

    P.s. I enclose two stanzas from an old poem of mine. I feel like writing a fresh new on after seeing these vessels.

    The waves from the Atlantic
    relentless, forceful,
    singing their eternal song;
    Powerful, soporific

    dynamic organ to gentle,
    sweet percussions;
    as my ears, my being tuned in
    revealing a mighty orchestration. ”


    1. Wow! Miriam, I can’t thank you enough for your wonderful and in-depth comment. The pictures are stunning and there is something so special about these grand sailing ships. Indeed, how did they know which way twist the sails and it’s incredible to think that they were all looked after by just the sailors? An amazing feat. The ocean inspires so many to write and I thoroughly enjoyed looking for ocean-related quotes and ended up with a file of them.

      I’m over the moon you choose to share these verses of your poem. The massive and magnificent ocean of the Atlantic is beautifully captured and I love how it is ‘Powerful, soporific
      profound,’. It must be quite something to me out on that vast expanse of water, so far from land, amid the ‘mighty orchestration’.

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