Saturday Scenes

Fri 16 August 2013

Resting on the Seabed

Filed under: #satscene —— Sylvia @ 20:25

On the 10th of August in 1628, the Swedish warship Vasa departed Stockholm for her maiden voyage. It had taken two years to build the warship, her hull built of over a thousand oak trees and carrying 64 cannon. A hundred crewmen were on board, along with their family and guests who had been invited to celebrate her departure.

She made it twenty minutes before she sank, only 120 metres from the shore. It turned out the ship was top heavy and had insufficient ballast. The first gust of wind into her sails caused her to heel. Water then rushed in through the open gunports and dragged her underwater, killing between 30 to 150 of the crew and passengers on board while the shocked spectators on shore watched.

The Ship – The Vasa Museum

Whose fault was it?

Vice Admiral Klas Fleming, partly. He had been present before the ship sailed, when the captain demonstrated how crank the ship was by having 30 men run back and forth across the upper deck. On their third pass, the ship was ready to capsize at the quay. The admiral was heard to say that he wished the king were there.

King Gustav II Adolf, partly. He ordered a large ship with so many heavy-calibre cannon, and approved the ship’s dimensions.

Master shipwright Henrik Hybertsson, partly. He was a talented shipbuilder who had delivered several successful ships to the navy, but he had too little experience with building ships with two gundecks.

Captain Söfring Hansson, ultimately. Vasa’s sinking can also be blamed on the captain. It would have been safer to sail the ship with the lower gunports closed, since he knew the ship was unstable. It might have been possible to redistribute weight in the ship or even rebuild it. If the inquest were held today, the captain would probably be held responsible.

333 years later, the ship was salvaged from the deep and it has now been reconstructed and restored into a stunning museum, highlighting ship life in the 17th century.

Sadly, we don’t have any SatScenes from Sweden today but we do have these wonderful shots from all over the world:

And here are the brave souls that took them:

Would you like to add your photo? It’s simple to join in:

  1. Take a photograph on a Saturday
  2. Upload the photograph
  3. Send a tweet to @SatScenes with the location

Please be sure to include your location! I know you know where you are and I know that many of you send photos from the same location ever week. But with a hundred different people who have submitted in 2013 alone, it is difficult for me to remember who is where. Add a location! (If you fill in your profile location or tag the photo with location information, I can use that for quick reference when you forget to add it in the tweet. :)

Wherever you are – take a photograph on Saturday! We’d all love to see even more SatScenes in the next edition!

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