They´re from the West Coast and self-appointed good at life at sea. From the 4th of July Bjørn Dahl and some of his friends will sail on board the tall ship Christian Radich from Belfast to Ålesund.
Bjørn Dahl, Einar Wiik, Werner Petersen, Ståle Fure, Finn Rasmussen and Espen Sundgot are in their late forties. They are going to sail "Race 1" during this years The Tall Ships Races.
And it all started lying on the couch reading the newspaper, Dahl tells me over the phone.
– I saw that The Tall Ships Races was going to be hosted in Ålesund this year. The family and I didn´t get to participate during the Cutty Sark back in 2001 and so, the summer was already planned. This we had to experience.
– But then, as I´m turing the page I see it. An add for the tall ship Christian Radich, wanting more trainees. And so my plans got a bit changed.
An arrangement on Facebook was created and within the week, six of Bjørn Dahls friends had registered their entusiasm.
Adventurous sea lions
– Well, boats and the maritime lifestyle is in our blood as the West Coast breed that we are, he laughes.
I ask him if sailing or being on board tall ships is something they are accostumed to.
– Sail? Well, we haven´t done that much of. I grew up with my dads boat and so are some of the other of the guys. But ropes we can manage and on the Radich there are 26 sails. A lot of rope.
Dahl has been on board Christian Radich before. After a Friend trip, an arrangement for supporting businesses or members generally, back in 2014. With other members of the vessel they sailed a roundtrip from Oslo to Horten in Norway, and during the cruise Dahl started talking with the captain.
– He told me about the longer sails and regattas, where basically everyone can tag along as trainees, and so I tought to myself; this is something I have to do before I die. It´s on my bucketlist and this summer I can cross it off.
Trainee - regardless of age
The gang of six are not the only ones finding themselves out in the open sea this summer. 51 young adults from Møre and Romsdal county has been assigned trainee berths from The Tall Ships Races Ålesund and Ålesund municipality.
Dahl saw the add in the newspaper, but some find the information through national sail training associations or websites. Windseeker, which is a Dutch agency offering adventorous sailingtrips, has still open berths left.
No relevant experience is needed and regardless of age everyone will have the opportunity to come on board as trainees on some of the smallest and biggest vessels in the world.
The summer cruise ends in Ålesund
After 10 days at sea Dahl is clear in his speech about the first thing that will happen when going ashore in Ålesund.
– We will gather the rest of the gang for a beer or two. Or more. And after, I´ll meet up with the family and enjoy the arrangement.
The Tall Ships Races Ålesund will like to wish the crew on every vessel a safe trip this summer!