Judged by The Cover

The cover picture of our Eco Sustainability issue shows the 113-year-old wooden research vessel, Toftevaag during one of her expeditions in the Western Mediterranean. Via www.alnitak.org you can learn about the many marine research and conservation achievements she assisted in. She measures 23m overall and 18m without her bowsprit. She draws 3m and is 3.75m wide. The word Toftevaag means “Meeting Place” in Viking language and has lived up to this name over the years. Since Alnitak acquired and restored her in 1989, some of the world’s top scientific institutes have been on board, as well as more than 3800 volunteers from over 100 nations.

113 years old.

Toftevaag was built on the island of Halsnöy in Norway in 1910 by Lars Olai Sjo and worked fishing for herring in the North Atlantic until WWII when she was used to carry pilots to an airfield around the North Cape. After the war, she worked as a trader carrying people and goods up and down the fjords. For 79 years Toftevaag proved to be an excellent working boat in one the most beautiful but also most challenging environments on Earth, the Atlantic Ocean. She worked under sail until 1958 when she got her first engine installed – a 60 Hp Grenaa semi diesel.

34 years of research and conservation.

In 1988, in the port of Mahon (Menorca) two Greenpeace activists on board the ship Sirius were dreaming of restoring an old working boat and converting her for a new mission: to develop research and education programmes for the conservation of our maritime cultural and natural treasures.

They found Toftevaag in March 1989 at the shipyard of Risör (Norway) and founded ALNITAK. To mark this, they bought an old ship bell and engraved this word on it. The bell still hangs on Toftevaag’s deck today. Approximately 70% of her hull is still original Norwegian pine. Keeping Toftevaag working for over three decades sends a strong message to society to embrace ‘another way of living’ – one where we take care of things and refuse the ‘single-use’ culture. Restoring and taking care of this ship is also ALNITAK’s main contribution to the conservation of our maritime heritage.

Photos by Katerina Funk


Also read

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

Get your hard-copy now!

Your advert in The Islander Magazine?

and receive your invitation to our events