EXPLORE ERICS ADVENTURES

Eric was born in the early 1900’s in Copenhagen. Growing up in a rich family with housekeepers and high expectations, Eric never really felt at home. Life was quiet and everybody did what was expected of them. Everyone, except Eric.

Explore his adventures!

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Aben Yogo

A sailor and a monkey – it wasn’t abnormal then. And then Eric would have to. In Brazil, therefore, Eric acquired a monkey, which he brought along at sea. Yogo, he called it.

Yogo lived in an old orange box next to Eric’s bed – at one end it ate and at the other end it slept, unless it was allowed to come up to Eric at night.

One day one of the ship’s assistants had looked at Eric and shut Yogo out of his box. Eric was standing on the bridge when he was told that Yogo had climbed up the mast and would not come down.

Eric came down on the deck and called, and immediately after, Yogo came into his embrace. But it had not forgotten the ship’s assistant who had opened the cage and hunted it up on the deck. So Yogo looked at his cut to jump on him and bite him in the chest.

While the ship’s assistant was patching together, Eric Yogo carried back in the orange box. Eric couldn’t help but smile at the idea that the ship’s assistant had been deserved. Oh yes, never a boring day at sea.

Stranded in Brazil

When sailors went ashore during a voyage, they were often drawn towards the local bars and taverns. And so was Eric, when he visited Brazil. That night, he left the bar with a beautiful woman. But once he came down to the harbour the next morning, the ship had sailed without him. He was too late.

Watch the video to learn how Eric managed being illegally stuck in Brazil, until the ship returned six months later.

Babtised at Equator

As traditions would have it, Eric was to be baptised upon crossing the Equator for the first time. Although, this was not quite a regular baptism. Traditions varied from ship to ship but were always a festive event – always on the account of those who were to be baptised.

On Eric’s ship, the young sailors had to undress and be lathered in shaving foam. The crew would then fill a large bath with saltwater and trash for the sailors to be baptised in. The sailors had to get up into the bath and duck entirely under the garbage-filled water. Once the ceremony was completed, the crew would then celebrate the baptised and they would receive a written certificate stating that they had gone through the ritual – a certificate of baptism.

Baptised Again

A few years later, Eric was now sailing with a different ship. Once the ship crossed the Equator, the crew was asked to show their certificates. But Eric had lost it. This meant that he had to go through the ritual all over again to receive a new certificate.

With his great routine in the line-crossing ceremony, Eric later became the one to make sure that all new sailors aboard were baptised. And his own certificate? Well, today it hangs framed on the wall, forever serving as a memory of the proud sailor tradition.

Nyhavn - the seamen's harbor

Back in the days, Nyhavn was known as the port of sailors. From bar to bar, you would hear them singing, sharing stories and drinking beers.

Watch the video and hear Eric describe Nyhavn in the days where the harbour belonged to the sailors.

Swimming lessons at the Faroe Islands

Every sailor should be able to swim. And those who could not, had to learn it at the Faroe Islands. Young Eric was one of them.

It was a cold Autumn day when the ship dropped anchor off the shore and the young sailors had to jump overboard. Most of them quickly caught on and learned to stay above water, and soon enough, they starting carefully swimming around. But not Eric, who had to be pulled up right away. After receiving instructions anew, he jumped back in. But the result was the same. Several attempts later, the older sailors had to give up. Perhaps being able to swim was not that important after all – they just had to avoid capsizing. Quite simple.

And to this day, Eric has never learned how to swim.

The parrot Coco

The days at sea could quickly become monotonous. That’s why Eric always took the chance to go ashore in search of new adventures.

One evening in Colombia, Eric found a local bar where traders and sailors met and raved, drank and told stories. And, as was often the case, this evening the game and the game of money were also gambled.

Despite the fact that Eric didn’t have much money on him, of course he wasn’t pale to gamble. And it wasn’t long before he had come to bet everything he wore in a heated game – including the clothes he was wearing. It amused his fellow players tremendously, and soon there were both big sums of money, a pair of brand new clogs. and a parrot in the pool.

Eric left the bar that night with all his clothes, a big smile on his lips and a parrot on his shoulder. He named it Coco and brought it with him on his travels for many years as his faithful companion.

Shipwreck at Japan

A voyage to Japan offered an unexpected adventure and a new acquaintance.

Somewhere well off the shores of Japan, Eric spotted a shipwrecked sailor in the ocean, floating on a piece of driftwood. Quickly, they pulled him aboard and gave him dry clothes and a warm meal. He was from Japan and his name was Minoru – that much they understood. But how or for how long he had been drifting around, they were not able to learn.

However, the language barrier did not stop Eric, who at the time was the first mate of the ship, from taking care of their guest. He was offered a bed to sleep in and ended up lending a hand at the deck for the remainder of the trip towards Japan.

Once the ship laid ashore in Japan, they learned that Minoru had worked as a deckhand at a small Japanese ship that had sunk in a recent storm. He had spent the last few years at sea and, just like Eric, he had no family ties at home. Where would he go now?

In many ways, Eric saw himself in the young Japanese sailor. Adventurous, hardworking and with a love for the ocean. Once Eric’s ship left Japan, it was thus not merely with fresh supplies, but also with a new member of the crew.

This became the start of a long friendship between the two, and Eric taught the young Minoru all that he had learned at sea. A proof that our greatest adventures may begin when we least expect it.

Ekvatorn Dop

Som traditionerna skulle, fick Eric döpas när han korsade ekvatorn för första gången. Men detta var ingen vanlig dop. Traditionerna varierade från fartyg till fartyg, men det var alltid en festlig händelse – på bekostnad av de som skulle döpas.

På Erics fartyg skulle den unga sjömannen klädas helt av och höljes i rakskum. Sedan fylldes ett stort kärl med saltvatten och det nyliga skräp från skeppet som de sedan måste döpas i. Detta var inte bara genom att flyta över – de var tvungna att gå hela vägen in i badkaret och dyka in i det. När dopet var över döptes de och de fick ett skriftligt bevis på att de hade genomgått ritualet – ett dopbevis.

Dop Igen

Några år senare seglade Eric nu med ett annat fartyg, och när de också korsade ekvatorn måste besättningen visa sina dopcertifikat. Men Erics är borta. Därför måste han döpas igen för att få en ny.

 

Med sin stora rutin inom ekvatorialdop gick Eric utöver för att se till att de nyanlända sjömännen döptes. Och hans egna dopbevis? Den hänger idag i glas och ram för alltid som påminner om den stolta sjömans tradition.

Nyhavn - sjömännens hamn

Tidigare var Nyhavn känd som Seamen’s Port. Från bar till bar sjöng folk, berättade historier och drack öl.

Se videon och höra Eric beskriva Nyhavn, när hamnen tillhörde sjömännen.

The Jytte Tattoo

A sailor without tattoos was not a real sailor.

Throughout his time at sea, Eric graced his body with several tattoos. And as tradition would have it, his iconic faith, hope and love tattoo had to be accompanied by a woman’s name. Although, at the time there was not one woman special to Eric. Therefore, he chose a random name: Jytte.

Many years later, however, the tattoo came to hold a greater meaning, as Eric met another woman named Jytte. They happened to end up getting married – and still are as of today.

The illegal issue

When sailors went ashore during a voyage, they were often drawn towards the local bars and taverns. And so was Eric, when he visited Brazil. That night, he left the bar with a beautiful woman. But once he came down to the harbour the next morning, the ship had sailed without him. He was too late.

Watch the video to learn how Eric managed being illegally stuck in Brazil, until the ship returned six months later.