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"Flying Clipper Logbook" A Mediterranean Adventure in 1959

 

S/Y Flying Clipper was a 3-masted topgallant schooner with displacement of 659 tons and with a length of 60 meters and mast-height of almost 40 meters. It belonged in the 1950s and 60s to Clipper Line in Malmö, Sweden. She served mainly as school-ship but during the summer 1959 she was chartered by William Benton, chairman of Encyclopaedia Britannica. Among his guests aboard was Adlai Stevenson, senator and former president candidate in USA.

 

The crew on deck, 14 sailors, was recruited from the Swedish naval education organization “Sjövärnskåren”.

12 aspirants were 16-18 years in age, 2 aspirant leaders a few years older. The crew members were well educated in navigation and seamanship but none of them had experience from sailing onboard a sailing ship.

 

We embarked in Gothenburg June 10 and left the harbor the following morning. We made Malmö harbor June 15 and further to Kiel and on the channel to Cuxhaven. From there we sailed on the North Sea, through the English Channel, on the Biscay and the Atlantic and arrived in Lisbon on June 29. Our passengers embarked in Lisbon and next stop was Sevilla which meant that we had to go up the river Guadalquivir. During the rest of the cruise we first passed Gibraltar and then made more than 20 harbors in western Mediterranean before we reached our destination Livorno on August 15.

 

This of course was a great and almost unique event for us on deck. Experiences under sail of that dimension are rare and hard to describe. On the other hand a lot of people from our latitudes have experienced and enjoyed the Mediterranean nowadays. Our life on board was also very authentic for that on sailing ships in the old days. This strengthened indeed the experience: we lived in the fore-castle, 14 men on 129 square ft (12 m2), and worked watch

on watch, i.e. we made two working teams relieving each other continuously. It meant basically 84 hours work a week, frequent occasions when “all hands” was ordered, to be added.

 

During the sail I wrote dairy/logbook daily and took photos/and or filmed when given the opportunity.

My memories from the summer 1959 have been resting but when my son Jonas, who is photographer and experienced book designer, found my pictures some years ago he was enthusiastic and proposed that we should produce a book so that others could also enjoy them. Now we have been working on it for more than a year. One of my ship-mates, Gunnar Stenström has taken part in the work and contributed with reflections on our notes in the diaries, with film-loops, artwork and ship history.

 

Staffan Wettre

 

 

The Co-authors

Staffan Wettre, born in Gothenburg 1941. Working life as a doctor has been imprinting, but roundabout ways like training in the Swedish Navy Sea Cadet Corps and work on board a sailingship were valuable. Grown up with relatives having keen interest in art, some being artists, and a father teaching me photography. Drawing was a main interest in my youth, thereafter on low heat but maintained with some courses and carving in juniper..

 

Gunnar Stenström, born in Uppsala 1942; father Leica-fan, mother art painter. Physician, diabetologist. Art education 1984-2008 with own exhibitions in Gothenburg 2004-08. Swedish Navy Sea Cadet Corps 1957-59, 3rd summer as crew member during s/y Flying Clipper´s Mediterranean odyssey. A longing to artistically shape 50-year-old feelings and experiences from this sailing-trip was delivered by participating in Jonas and Staffan Wettre´s "Flying Clipper Loggbok (Logbook)" project.

 

Jonas Wettre, born in Gothenburg 1972. After several educations and work in foreign country for the military, photography and graphic printmaking took over. He studied photography in Gothenburg and Stockholm and

graphic printmaking on Biskops-Arnö, Sweden. Bergen National Academy of the Arts, Norway and USF

(University of South Florida), Tampa Bay, USA. Between 2002 and 2012 at Steidl Publishers in Göttingen, Germany. Now back in Sweden working with design and retousch.

 

Wettre förlag, Uddevalla, Sweden founded in 2009 with the purpose of publishing "Flying Clipper Loggbok (Logbook)" and future titles especially with an association to art products.

 

 

The Book

Flying Clipper Logbook

ISBN: 978-91-978084-0-8

• w. 5.9 inch, h. 8.27 inch

• 128 pages

• 70 four color printed photos, paintings, graphic prints, double 8 stripes and drawings

• essay “reflektioner 50 år senare”, (reflections 50 years later) by Staffan Wettre and Gunnar Stenström

• 2 varnish, spot UV and glossy water varnish

• screenprinted cover and cotton-clothbound

• elastic strap for a safe journey

• printed on Arctic Volume Ivory 130g

• a 32-pages insert with the english translation, printed on Arctic Volume Ivory 100g

The book is all written in Swedish, but an insert with the English translation page by page will be included.

 

Publisher: Wettre publisher

Printing house: Göteborgs Tryckeriet, Sweden

Exhibition prints: Pictoform, Gothenburg, Sweden

Exhibition scans: Achim Grohs, Göttingen, Germany

 

 

HISTORY S/Y SUNBEAM II, FLYING CLIPPER, EUGENIOS EUGENIDIS

Viscount Sir Walter Runciman is for ever associated with building the ship Sunbeam II at Denny Bros, a three-masted topgallant schooner of 659 tons, length 60 m, width almost 10 m and sailing area max. 1180 m2 at the launching 1929 at Dumbarton. (Cutty Sark was built here in 1869). 1930 a successful cruise in the Mediterranean, was reproduced by Mary Richardson, in her book “Sunbeam, Ahoy!”.

1939 mothership for the “Inshores Patrol Flotilla” based in Helford River, Cornwall.

1945 Sunbeam II was sold for the price of 275 000. Swedish crowns to the Abraham Rydberg Foundation, Stockholm, as a sail training ship.

1955 Sunbeam II was purchased by ship-owner Einar Hansen, Clipper Line, Malmö for 110 000 Swedish crowns, also for training. The name was changed to Flying Clipper. After renovation several long distance voyages were made.

1955-1956 South America and The West Indies.

1956 First Tall Ships´ Race Tor Bay-Lisbon.

1956-57 South America and The West Indies.

1957 The Baltic Sea.

1957-58 The West Indies.

1958 Skagerak and Kategatt.

1959 Western Mediterranean.

1960 Skagerak and the Baltic Sea.

1961 Lisbon to Eastern Mediterranean.

1962 Palma de Mallorca, recording the German film ”Flying Clipper -- Traumreise unter weissen Segeln”.

1963 The Mediterranean.

1964-65 No more sailing trips.

1965 Flying Clipper was sold for 700 000 Swedish crowns to the Greek Ministry of Marine,

renamed Eugenios Eugenidis.

1965-75 regular voyages in Greece as sail training ship.

1975-1989 sporadic sailing.

1995 Eugenios Eugenidis transferred to the Greek Ministry of Culture.

1995-2008 time-to-time renovations to be placed as museum ship in a Greece harbor.

2009 Located in the Nautical Museum of Greece, Athens.

 

William Burnett Benton. Born on 1 April 1900, Minneapolis, Minnesota I USA, died 18 March 1973 in New York City. As a book publisher (1941-1973) he was recognized for the development of the Encyclopaedia Britannica. He hold positions as public servant at several universities, was employed by US State Department (1946-1973) and US Ambassador for UNESCO in Paris 1963-1968. He was senator for the Democrats 1949-1953. Benton was against communism, however, he became a strong critic of Joseph McCarthy´s paranoia in his chase of communists. After the period in the Senate he returned to previous duties within education and culture.

 

Adlai Ewing Stevenson II, born 5 February 1900 in Los Angeles, California, USA, died 14 July 1965 in London, United Kingdom, was an American democratic politician and diplomat. The years 1949-1953 Stevenson was governor of Illinois. He was nominated the Democratic party´s president candidate 1952 and 1956, however, he lost against the republican Dwight David Eisenhower. Stevenson served as US UN-ambassador 1961-1965. Stevenson was known for his quick humor: ” During one of Stevenson's presidential campaigns, allegedly, a supporter told him that he was sure to "get the vote of every thinking man" in the U.S., to which Stevenson is said to have replied, "Thank you, but I need a majority to win."

 

Is the project based on

 

Staffan:

Zeiss Ikon Nettar 515. Kodak negative film and Agfacolor slides. Braun fixfocus.

Kodachrome double-8 for motion film and animations.

 

Gunnar:

Paillard double-8 camera.

Kodachrome double-8.

Ferric chloride etched copper-prints on Hahnemüllers copper-print paper with black and blue Charbonnel printing ink.