Swedish Vessel Berthed on the Beach in Indonesia

On Sunday evening, a wooden Swedish Vessel called “Vega” berthed on Pantai Mutiara beach in Pluit, North Jakarta. A crowd gathered to listen to the vessel’s 120-year history narrated by her owners – Shane Granger and Meggie Mecoun.

Built in 1892 in Norway by Ola H. Nerhus, the vessel was reconstructed and registered in Sweden in 1905. In 1991, Granger and Mecoun left their jobs at an advertising agency in Europe, bought the Vega, and sailed across the world, with the Swedish flag, supplying medical and school supplies for people living on remote islands.

Vega’s Captain Granger said that Vega was one of the first boats to help distribute assistance to remote islands when the tsunami hit Aceh in 2004. Vega always sails from April through September to remote islands in the Banda Sea in East Indonesia. Despite her small size which is about 25 meters, the vessel could carry up to 15 tons.

Vega will be berthed at the Jetski Club wharf for two weeks, giving opportunity to interested people and companies to donate medical and educational supplies. After the trip in September, Granger plans to distribute the list of what is needed to the donors which mainly are private companies and individuals from various countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand.

“We do not tell people what they need. We ask them what they need,” says the captain.

This year Vega will visit seven more islands. An Indonesian doctor, Ruth Indira, will also join Vega’s crews. She will train traditional midwives on proper delivery of babies.

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