National Geographic : 1954 Aug
183 voted first choice by Deep Water's crew (pages 164 and 169). A great bare rock rises more than 100 feet in the middle of the harbor. At the landward end of the sandspit linking rock and shore an arc of white houses foots a wooded hill. Surf lathers the fringes of sea-worn islets. Cottages lie in clefts among humps of rock. Soon after clearing this summer resort on July 19, we caught sight of the monolith of Ferder Fyr (Ferder Light), marking the west ern portal to Oslo Fjord. Two hours later we entered the last leg of our cruise. Deep Water and Laughing Gull tacked through Oslo Fjord on a leisurely schedule. First we stood across to Hank0 on the east ern shore, world-famed yachting center and annually the scene of an international sailing regatta. Here the Honorable C. Ulrick Bay, who recently completed long service as Am bassador to Norway from the United States, skippered his 12-meter class yacht, Norsaga. He also cruised into most of the harbors of S0rlandet. Our newest envoy to Norway, His Excel lency L. Corrin Strong, shares his predecessor's love for the sea. Ambassador Strong's yawl Pavanacrossed the Atlantic with his son Peter in command; since then the graceful 47-foot yacht has become a familiar entry in Nor wegian sailing events. Erik Anker, commodore of the Royal Nor wegian Yacht Club, gave us a warm welcome to rockbound Hanko and showed us the sum mer home of Norway's popular Crown Prince Olav. Our next leg took us back to the west shore of the fjord. We anchored at the island of Hus0y, lying outside T0nsberg, Norway's oldest town. This venerable settlement, we discovered, celebrated its millennium in 1871. As early as the 14th century it boasted 10 churches and a castle. The town today is a center for the Norwe gian whaling industry. John Bull reminded us that a T0nsberger invented the explosive harpoon that revolutionized whaling. But it was a native of Sandefjord, to the south, who designed the first floating whale factory. In these strange craft, some as large as 25,000 tons, the local skippers make whal ing big business with months-long cruises to the Antarctic to catch the world's largest mammal. We saw floating factories and flo tillas of smaller whale catchers lying moored in the harbor, being repaired and refitted for their next 25,000-mile round-trip cruise. Sandefjord is the world's chief whaling port; whale-oil plants line its harbor shores. Our guide in this region that whaling boomed was Tom Wilhelmsen, grandson of the founder of Norway's largest shipping firm, Wilh. Wilhelmsen, many of whose ships bear "T0nsberg" on their sterns as home port. Viking Queen Sails to Next World On a map Wilhelmsen pointed out to us near-by Oseberg, which gave up the marvel ously preserved vessel we saw later in the Viking Ship House at Bygd0y, near Oslo. In it a young Viking queen and her servant were dispatched to the next world fully equipped for traveling. The ancient craft when ex cavated contained beds, pillows, quilts, and blankets.