Wednesday, April 30, 2008

O is for "D/S Oster" in ABC Wednesday

Today's post is a tribute to a real veteran - "D/S Oster". The ship is an example of the archetypical coastal steamer that sailed along the coast of Norway in the late part of the 19th century and well into the 20th. Oster had its base in Bergen and was for many years the largest of the vessels that connected the Northern part of the county of Hordaland with the city of Bergen. The two first pictures show the ship moored at the quay in a small place called Bjørsvik.

The ship was built en 1908 and is thus 100 years old this year - a fact that will be heavily celebrated. It was built at Christiansands Mæk. Værksted (in Kristiansand in the Southern part of Norway) and had initially these specification:

Length: 106,1 feet
Width: 21.7 feet
Deep-draught: 9,7 feet
Gross tonnage: 167
Passengers: 265
Engine (coal): Christiansands Mek. V. trippel expansion 54 nom. hp.
It was also built more or less like an ice-breaker, since the fjords in the inner part of the county always froze in the winter and the people became isolated. In 1915 it was extended, so that the length became 118,6 feet, the gross tonnage 191, and the number of passengers it could carry was increased to 312.

The ships carried all sorts of goods - from cows to cereal and post to planks. It (and is smaller siblings) represented the main artery for the whole area. Along the coast of Norway all connections had been via the fjords. However, by 1964 the time had caught up with "D/S Oster". New and more modern ships, and not the least - more modern roads, cars and buses had taken over much of the work that "Oster" had done. Despite a large local action (including the song "Dar kjem dampen" by Ivar Medaas, which became a classic Norwegian song), the ship was sold off, rebuilt as "M/S Vaka" and disappeared from history - for a while.

However, in 1996 some enthusiasts managed to get hold of the old ship and have since then done a marvellous job with the restoration. They had to get a "new" steam engine from England (alas, not coal) and they are steadily getting closer to the look the ship had when it was a "proper" steamer. Below the ship is moored in Bergen during the "Norsteam 2005" festival.

I am old enough to have travelled with this ship. I have my roots in the area in which it sailed, and I can vouch for the importance that these ships had for the district. Since it was fired by coal it was never difficult to see where it was. Nowadays it is fired by oil, but as you can see - it can still send up a bit of steam. Here at Ostereidet.


The sound of the steam-whistle close by used to scare the wits out of me as a small boy. It still has the same sound. If you have a couple of minutes to spare - please watch and hear this little video showing the ship entering and leaving Ostereidet last year.



video



PS For more about ABC Wednesday, please visit Mrs. Nesbitt's Place. It is well worth the effort.

45 comments:

detroit dog said...

Wonderful video and photos! I love the ambient noise of the video. Great history, too. You are a treasure chest of information!

Katney said...

It is a noble vessel and your photographs of it are stunning.

Lilli & Nevada said...

I love these photos and the history behind it all. I can imagine those whistles scaring a person out of there whits

evlahos said...

excellent post, great memories

Ida said...

BEAUTIFUL O post and photos! :)
A great tribute to a venerable ship. I give you six on the dice for this post! :)))

Hyde DP said...

Fascinating post - nice video - please change the colour of the font for the "specification" - I can't read them against the background.

Blue said...

What an excellent post.
I really enjoyed the photo's & history of Oster, and the video was such a great addition - I could hear bird song too.

babooshka said...

Excellent collection and very informative. Godd choice for abc.

Pernille's ting og tang said...

Excellent post and very informativ! Wonderful shots and I learned something to day as always:)

Have fun? And have a wonderful 1. Mai:)

Abraham Lincoln said...

I was astonished at several things. The first thing I noticed was there were no rat traps on the line from the shore to the ship on the rope. Not a big deal but I did notice. Then when the ship backed out from depositing the passengers, I happened to see the amount of water being pumped out of the vessel (I would think it would not leak so much to pump that much out). never did hear the whistle.

Let me say that it looks very proud coming into port and sets up nice in the water. That you got to be on it and ride the waves must give you great pleasure. It sure photographs well.

Sharon said...

Wonderful as usual! These are great photos of the ship and I loved reading about it.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Stunning post, the information and history made great reading. And the video was a bonus... The sound of the birds singing in the background was very good also.. the steamer turns better than my land rover.. :O)

imac said...

What a beautiful tribute Rune, love this post a GEM for ABC O.

Fly over and visit my ABC post.

mylittlephotonook said...

What afine post today! Thanks for sharing! Beautiful with the white smoke.

Picturing of Life said...

wonderful Oster with some information also ;)

Will you visit mine Thanks

naturglede said...

Nice pictures and story!

lv2scpbk said...

Beautiful photos and love the way you composed the photos.

quintarantino said...

Not only your photo show us how really beautiful is that steamer, and your post goes well with them giving us quite a lot of great information.

Judy said...

I loved reading about the D/S Oster.

Michele (Rocky Mtn.Girl) said...

Ah, this is a fantastic post to the Oster. What an amazing piece of history. Loved reading about it.
The video was wonderful and yes, the ambient sounds were amazing!
Terrific post!

Neva said...

What a great piece of history....A beautiful ship!
Neva's ABC
Neva's ABC2

Liz said...

Very informative post and lovely photos. THe photo on the header of your blog is beautiful too.

Miss_Yves said...

very interesting post, amazing pictures !
Thank you for your comments on my blog, very funny as usual!
miss Yves

ellen b said...

Oh! That's a beauty. Thanks for the wonderful photos and video...

Miss_Yves said...

Congratulations for the video: the sounds are realistic!(We can hear the whistle, a dog, the birds ...)
but I prefer ...."la toccata "or "a whiter shade of pale"!
Miss Yves

Petunia said...

En flott O post. Rune!
det første bildet var virkelig artig. Måten du har tatt det på, får det til å se ut som det er i miniatyr med små dukkehus.
Interessant å lese også. Det er mye man ikke vet når det gjelder lokalhistorie.
Takk:)

mrsnesbitt said...

That's wonderful Runee. Loved the video too!

Jan said...

A wonderfully informative post. Thank you for the history and all your efforts.

John said...

Må si meg enig med Ida, dette innlegget kvalifiserer til terningkast seks. Veldig informasjonsrik post med flotte bilder - video av D/S Oster.

Dragonstar said...

Excellent informative post. What a deep hoot the Oster has, no wonder it scared you as a child. I think it's great that such a venerable and important ship should be restored like this.

AnnetteK said...

Takk for kommentar i bloggen min.

Lekkre bilder :)

GAWO said...

Utruleg fin O post. Tusen takk for all info. Og bildene er skikkelig spennende. Jeg får fram gode barndomsminner når jeg tenke på båter og frakt langs fjordene.

Tror ikke jeg klarer å finne på noe brukandes denne uken. Har ikke ide om noe på O

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

What a beautiful old ship! Great memories, too!

Kjerstis Hjørne said...

For en stilig gammel båt du har funnet til dagens bokstav. Den likte jeg godt :o)

MammyT said...

What a beauty she is. And the quaint charm of the surroundings add so much to your photos. I like them all. I really like the close up of the hull and the tie-up lines at the bollard.
Nancy

AVCR8TEUR said...

She is a beauty! Thanks for posting the video so we can see her in action.

R&J said...

Where my eyes where
before!? So homely blog.
(and the hoot was powerful).

leslie said...

I'd love to take a tour of that ship. I bet it could tell many a great story of its travels. :D

Autumn said...

Those are wonderful. I love the colors on the boat(ship)

ChrisJ said...

What a beautiful boat -- and a beautiful place. I also heard the blackbird in your video. It is our 50th wedding anniversary next year and we are thinking of taking a cruise around Norway. I want to see the fjords. I think life on board a ship like this would be so interesting.

Alan said...

Excellent post. Loveley photos and video.. A great piece of "living" history.

Lara said...

a great post, lots of info and great images!

ANNA-LYS said...

Simply lovely!

kml said...

What a big beautiful ship! Great photos!

Cathrine said...

flotte bilder :) !