Fwd: Vasa – the lopsided warship
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From: rb <broroger@...>
Date: Fri, Aug 31, 2012 at 10:15 AM
Subject: Vasa – the lopsided warship
To: terry foreman <terry.foreman@...>
I first learned about the Vasa from Get Fuzzy, the cartoon. The dog had built a replica model, the cat flushed it down the toilet in the interests of historical accuracy. I think the PBS show (Nova maybe) came later. There was Vasa news recently, it is continuing to disintegrate.
Sent to you by rb via Google Reader:via Past Horizons Archaeology by Past Horizons on 8/31/12
On Sunday, the 10th of August, 1628, Vasa lay rigged and ready for sea just below the royal palace Tre Kronor in Sweden. Ballast, guns and ammunition were all on board. On the quays and shores along Strömmen, an excited public waited to watch the ship leave Stockholm and celebrate her departure.
A disaster rediscovered
Over a hundred crewmen were on board, as well as women and children. The crew had permission to take family and guests along for the first part of the passage through the Archipelago.
Sailors climbed the rigging to set four of Vasa’s ten sails, a salute was fired, and the ship slowly began her maiden voyage. Once Vasa came out from under the lee of the Södermalm cliffs, the sails could catch the wind, but the ship heeled over to port and water rushed in through the open gun ports. The ship’s fate was decided and Vasa sank after sailing barely 1300 metres from where she was built.
It was not customary to sail with open gun ports but a salute had just been fired, which was a tradition when leaving the harbour.
Vasa breaking the water surface on the 24th of April in 1961 with the help of the two lifting pontoons Oden and Frigg. Aft of the ship is the divers’ raft, with spectators and staff on board. Behind it the steamship Viking (built in 1910) can be seen. Photo: Archives, the Swedish National Maritime Museums.
Vasa was raised in 1961 and floated on her keel on 4 May after being sealed and then emptied with powerful bilge pumps. She was piloted towards a dry dock where she was placed on a floating pontoon, where she still rests.
Documentation of this remarkable ship
A major project of documenting and measuring the timbers of Vasa has been in progress for four years and has recently been completed with a digital 3D image of Vasa now being available. The whole ship has been measured using an advanced digital method where over 80,000 points provide precise detail about the inner secrets.
One surprising find is just how asymmetrical the construction of Vasa is. It is now clear that the ship was built more askew than previously believed and that the gun ports on the port side are less well lined up with those on the starboard side.
The carpenters who built Vasa had come from both Holland and Sweden and used measuring rulers of different sizes -a Swedish foot differed from a Dutch foot – which explains the asymmetrical construction.
Measuring rules found on-board Vasa – note the different measurement marks. Photo: Anneli Karlsson, the Swedish National Maritime Museums.
The worth of Detailed study
“We knew that that there were differences between port side and starboard side but that they were so great was unexpected. The information that has emerged raises new questions and reminds us that Vasa is a project in constant flux”, says Vasa Museum’s director of research Fred Hocker.
No other ship in the world has been measured in such detail. The method used, which is unique, will probably become a standard for other researchers in the future. The vast documentation work will also be of vital significance for the design of a new construction which is being developed to better support Vasa in the future.
Source: Vasa Museum
- Vasa Museum
- During Sweden’s period as a great power (1611-1718) the Kingdom’s prestige and navy witnessed an expansion. In 1625 King Gustav II Adolf commissioned the construction of the ship Vasa. A ship which would participate in the war against Poland. With 64 guns and 300 soldiers Vasa would become a formidable display of military power – and artistic splendour. Thus a true showpiece.
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