Tall ships, including the Sørlandet, arrive in Duluth, Minn. to great fanfare from Norwegians
Bente Soderlind, member of Sons of Norway Nortun Lodge 1-106 in Duluth, Minn., had a crazy idea.
Tall Ships Duluth, a festival featuring ten beautiful tall ships of days gone by, was taking place July 25 – 28. One of the visiting ships was Sørlandet, the oldest of the three remaining Norwegian tall ships, and the oldest full rigged ship in the world still in operation, launched in 1927.
Bente wanted to create a special welcome for the Sørlandet, so she talked with Jeff Foster, Nortun Lodge member and the owner of the USCGC Sundew, a 1944 180-foot sea going buoy tender and former Coast Guard ship, about the possibility of filling his boat with Norwegians and Norwegian-Americans to greet Sørlandet as she sailed into Duluth Harbor on Thursday, July 25. He agreed, and so the members of Nortun Lodge had a fun day ahead of them as the tall ships made their way into Duluth harbor.
“Uff da my goodness but that was a wonderful day on the Sundew today! Thank you and the Fosters for an unforgettable excursion on beautiful Lake Superior and the chance to see the Tall Ships arrive. We knew a few people when we got on the cutter and made lots of new (ekte Norwegian) friends along the way,” wrote Nortun members Wayne and Mary Lou Mathison of the experience.
On Sunday, July 28, some lucky members also got to go aboard the Sørlandet for a special opportunity: serving breakfast to the crew!
Soderlind had contacted the ship several months prior to the festival and invited them to Norway Hall for coffee and waffles (“like any good Norwegian would do,” she says). Unfortunately, the ship’s tight schedule didn’t allow them the time. Instead, they suggested that Nortun Lodge members could serve them onboard the ship instead.
“I know normally we don’t eat waffles for breakfast in Norway, but that was the time that fit the best. So at 5:15 a.m. Sunday morning some of our members met up to make waffles and eggs, and some brought fruit, bacon and sausages,” says Soderlind. The contingent was treated to a special tour of the ship afterward, and Soderlind was thrilled to be part of an even more exciting opportunity: sailing for a few hours on the Sørlandet as it left Duluth.
“Wonderful experience, with a great ship and great crew. I heard nothing but good words from everyone I met who had been on board or met anyone from the ship,” says Soderlind.
This article originally appeared in the Aug. 30, 2013 issue of the Norwegian American Weekly. To subscribe, visit SUBSCRIBE or call us at (800) 305-0271.