Commander Robin Pennock is presently serving m HMAS ALBATROSS His interest in wind driven ships dates back many years bol by necessity lay dormant until the inception ot the Ships and the Sea column of the Journal He is an avid believer in practical training, especially in the dying an ot seamanship
Part of Erikson's fleet at Manehamn in August 1935. The VIKING is in the foreground with WINTERHUDE. PESTALOZZI and PENANG from left to right in the background.
Aland Islands were, after capture by the Russians in 1809. ceded to the Tsar. Subsequent to Finland gaming independence from Russia in 1917 both Finland and Sweden laid claim to Aland but a referendum proved more favourable to Sweden Sweden however relinquished its claim and in 1921, in its first settlement of a territorial claim dispute, the League of Nations gave Aland to Finland.) At age 20 (1893). Erikson took command of the ADELE and after two years sat for. and gained his Masters Certificate Later, whilst serving in the barque FINLAND he fell from the foretop when the ship was alongside in Pensa-cola (USA), breaking his thigh After six weeks in hospital (then the maximum time allowable by law) and several weeks ashore, he found a berth as Mate in the barque MARIEHAMN Erikson joined complete with crutches Returning home he visited a doctor in Finstrom. and on his next visit home threw away his crutches From then on he became Master of the barque SOUTHERN BELLE (1901/05) on the North Sea trade In 1905. he became engaged to the 16 year old Hilde Bergman and in the spring of 1906 took command of the full rigged ship ALBANIA He and Hilde were married in Swansea, South Wales, and his bride sailed with him in ALBANIA until reaching South Africa.
Returning to Fredrikstad. ALBANIA having paid off in Rio de Janeiro. Erikson took command of the barque LOCHEE (mid 1909) and remained her master until 1913 when he came ashore to Manehamn. During the 20 year period. 1893-1913. the Aland fleet had undergone radical changes and all the signs were that the days of sail were numbered
In September 1913. Gustaf Erikson set himself up as a Ships Husband by entering into a partnership with six other Captains to buy the composite barque TJERIMAI This was to be the start of the great Aland's revival of sailing vessels, albiet under the one owner Before the year was out Erikson had bought the four masted barque RENE RICKMERS for the equivalent of £6,500 He owned 15/100th shares, with 50 others becoming small holders in the (re-named) ALAND. Wrecked on 20 August 1920 off New Caledonia. ALAND was paying her way FREDENBORG was his next purchase owning 75/100th shares When sold for breaking up in 1916 she was helping to make a profit too.
During 1918. under pressure and some difficulties. Erikson contemplated selling his small fleet Indeed he offered his ships for sale in August. His asking prices were high and there was to be no sale The asking price for his fleet was Kr 54 million, showing shrewd