The fascinating story of Hawila’s wood for the refit 2020/2021

    The decision to plant thousands of ship oaks in 1810:

    In 1810, after events of Napoleonic wars, the king Frederik made the decision to plant thousands of oak trees between Hillerod, Esrum and Helsinge, an area since known as the Gribskov (Vulture forest) to make it possible to rebuild the Danish fleet 200 years from then, since that is the time oaks need to mature into ship oaks.

    In 2010 the time had come. In a public announcement, the Royal Forestry Commissioner of Denmark informed Queen Margarethe II that the oaks were now finally ready to be used for the rebuilding of the Danish Navy. Of course, this announcement sounded odd in our modern times, but the legal obligation from 1810 for the Royal Forestry Commissioner to announce to the reigning King (or queen) the day when the oaks officially would become ship oaks, was still in force.


    The obligation was duly fulfilled.

    Hawila’s incredible luck (based on a good deal perseverance):

    Now, at the antique sawmill of Kagerup, 15 of these matured ship oaks finally are waiting to fulfil their destination. Not by becoming ships of the Danish Navy, but by becoming a part of Hawila during the Great Refit, starting September 15th in the Isefjord town of Holbaek.

    It took several months of negotiations until 15 of those beautiful 200 years old oak trees were ready for Hawila to purchase them.

    On February 20, the trees were felled and transported to the sawmill in Kagerup, soon to be milled into planks, ribs and deck beams for Hawila.
    The final comment when we thanked Peter Chrois Moeller, the sales manager of Naturstyrelsen, who made it possible was:


    “It makes me happy that at least some of our great ship oaks can fulfil their destination and become part of a great sailing ship.”

    We feel privileged and grateful to Peter Chrois Moeller (Naturstyrelsen) and Gribskov’s forester Jan Erik Løvgen, for making this happen!


    Without their support it would not have been possible.

    LAG Midt-Nordvestsjælland supports Hawila’s refit

    We are happy to announce that Hawila has received financial support for the refit in Holbæk from LAG (Local Action Group) Mid-Northwest Zealand. LAG is an association supporting projects that contribute to the development of projects and activities in Lejre, Holbæk, Sorø, Odsherred and Kalundborg municipalities. In 2020 LAG has a focus on sustainable development and green conversion. Its funds come from the Danish state and the EU’s Rural Fund.


    We feel honoured to be recognised by the local actors as a desired element of the sustainable development of the region.We are looking forward to becoming part of the local community, contributing to the development of the area with innovative and green approaches to maritime transport, maritime cultural heritage and sustainable tourism development of the region.


    We eagerly anticipate further collaboration with the local community as well as getting to know the people of Holbæk and the surrounding area to co-create activities and work on sustainable entrepreneurship development.

    Hawila needs YOU!

    Join a one year refit in Denmark

    Hawila is looking for volunteers from October 2020 to October 2021 for major refit in Holbæk, Denmark.

    The refit will last up to a year to convert Hawila into a commercial registered vessel with a transformation of the mess-room to allow the transport of cargo.

    The team will consist of 8-16 people. We aim to keep an enriching working atmosphere that sustains a good community life.

    You will join as a volunteer. In addition to becoming part of the Hawila community, being hosted and provided wholesome meals we will make specific arrangements with each volunteer depending on the length of their volunteering period, their skills and previous experiences.

    As a common reward, all volunteers will be offered days of sailing in exchange for their time and commitment. Specific details and arrangements will be explained once the application round will be closed.

    Tools and working clothes will be provided by Hawila but you are welcome to bring your own beloved toolbox.

    A minimum commitment of 1 month is required for all volunteers; we believe that’s the minimum to integrate within the community and sustain a continuous, efficient and interesting learning/volunteering experience.

    Needed from October 2020:

    woodworker, carpenter, boatbuilder, jack of all trades. Later in the refit (from spring 2021): Sailmakers, Riggers, Electricians, Mechanics.

    Refit plan:

    Framing and planking below and above water line, keel work (mid-ship keelson, keel bolts), caulking, decking, rigging work, 2 additional bulkheads, new sails, new electrics.

    How to apply?:

    If you are interested, send us an application email with a few words about you, your motivation to join the adventure, your experiences and possibly a CV to volunteer@hawilaproject.org

    We will be receiving applications until August 15th.

    Fair Winds!

    Hawila Crew

    STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics] workshops for kids in Isefjord

    Are children interested in building a robot or studying marine electronics?

    We have a chance to find out when spending a week with amazing boys and girls and their guardians in Isefjord. Together with the French-Danish school Hawila Project organised STEAM [science, technology, engineering, art, mathematics]- a week of non-formal education workshops for kids taking place in breathtaking nature onboard Hawila and on a farm inland.

    Our little fellows have a chance to immerse themselves in practical knowledge on how to weld, make print on a T-shirt, program a robot, work with analog photography and sound.

    Amongst the workshops there are also possibilities for adventurers to try sailing with Hawila, tree climbing, steering a little boat or challenge themselves when climbing the main mast.

    Our amazing chefs provide delicious meals prepared from organic ingredients to fuel the body and spirits of the kids crew.

    We are looking forward to the last days of workshops!

    Hawila: one year refit in Holbaek starting in October 2020

    Hawila’s life story has been full of twists and changes. She started as a cargo vessel transporting ice at the beginning of the century, she was used for fishing and smuggling during WWII, in the late 70s and 80s she became a platform for non-formal education for a creative group of teachers. Since the Hawila Project runs the vessel, she has been a place serving a community, inspiring artists and ramblers.

    In 2020, she will begin another transformation. This one will bring her back to her roots, Hawila will gain yet another dimension.

    We are happy to announce that starting from October 2020, Hawila will be staying in Holbaek where she will undergo a major restoration in the local shipyard. This work will allow her to safely transport large quantities of cargo by sail by late 2021.
    As a sailing cargo vessel, Hawila will provide an environmentally friendly, sustainable alternative to long distance maritime transportation. More details about our future routes and ambitions will come in following posts.

    We are very grateful for excellent collaboration with our partners from Holbaek: Kystliv Holbæk ,Det Gamle Beddinger, Holbæk Museum – en del af Museum Vestsjælland, thanks to whom we felt very much welcome and fitted in the local maritime environment. The city of Holbæk has a rich boat building tradition to share as well as charismatic personas leading educational and innovative projects on site. Hawila Project is honoured to be a part of a local Holbaek community!

    There is a great amount of work ahead of us. We estimate that Hawila will stay in the shipyard in Holbaek for 10 to 12 months. We aim to replace most of our bottom planks (galbord, robord…), maintenance work on our keel, keelson and keel bolts. We will install a new pine deck and covering board as well as 3 wooden bulkheads. Lastly, Hawila will get a total rigging refit and perhaps a new set of sails.

    We are looking forward to the support of local and international carpenters and boat builders. We will soon publish an official volunteer call with more details of the planned work, but if you are already curious about the volunteer possibilities, please contact us by sending an email to: volunteer@hawilaproject.org .

    COVID-19 Hawila sailing updates

    Alterations in Hawila sailing plans for the summer 2020

    Dear sailors and friends!

    We hope this message finds you in good health and well-being!

    It is with great sadness that we need to inform you that due to the current coronavirus situation and travel restrictions in Denmark we found no way to make the Ship of Opportunity project happen this year.

    We have been researching, trying to find ways, changing routes, but we couldn’t come up with a solution that would not be putting you at risk of being returned from the border.

    We put a lot of work and heart in planning the residency and we really appreciate as well the efforts of potential participants, the applications and amazing ideas that those inspiring people came up with and wanted to contribute and share with others.

    We do hope we can stay in touch and think about resuming the project in 2021 or 2022, depending on the availability of our beautiful Hawila that will spend next year in the shipyard.

    We are preparing alternative summer plans for August at the moment, we will shortly publish them. If you live in Denmark or if you know you can legally cross the border, you are still warmly welcome to contact us and join one of the alternative sailings.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.
    Please use our Hawila email for communication with Hawila about sailing this summer: booking@hawilaproject.org

    The shipofopportunity@gmail.com email can be used to contact Agata, an artist with whom the Ship of Opportunity project was co-designed.

    All our best and may the winds always be in your favour,

    Hawila Crew and Agata Engelman!

    Residencies- summer 2020

    COVID-19 update: Because of the COVID-19 pandemia we needed to make a decision to postpone our summer project. At this moment we decided to begin the sailing on the 5th of August until the 28th. We stil believe it will happen although it might be again altered if the circumstances will require it. The legal and health authorities requirements will also affect the route. At the moment it seems like we might be able to sail in the Danish and Swedish waters. We will take decisions on the route based on the winds and the circumstances on a daily basis.  We see this challenges as an opportunity to connect with the uncertainties, let go of the fixed plans and destinations, observe the wind and the nature to work alongside. Therefore resilience as a theme of our journey becomes even more relevant.  This also gives us and you more time to apply for additional funding. 

    Dear friends! The deadline for applications got extended until the 07th of April 2020

    The Ship of Opportunity invites artists, scientists, and storytellers to embark on Hawila, a 32-meter gaff-rigged ketch built in 1935, departing from the Danish island of Bornholm and arriving 23 days later in the town of Turku in Finland. We will follow the weather and winds to travel between those two points. Destinations will be suggested by the crew on a daily basis based on the group preferences and weather conditions. All residents will be invited to participate in sailing the ship. We will provide basic training in navigation, interaction with the wind and water, and understanding the nature of the ship. The group will also be invited to support the cooking and maintenance works. While on the ship, we function as a community, working closely together, sharing responsibilities, stories, skills. We will make sure there is enough time not only for absorbing experiences but also for independent work. The participants’ individual projects do not need to address any specific themes and there is no requirement to produce finished work during the residency, the programme mainly aims to provide a space for experimentation and exchange.

    The Ship of Opportunity is a collaboration between the members of Hawila Project and artist-researcher Agata Engelman – diverse group with a variety of experiences, and working on our own projects, we want to invite a variety of people to join in for the journey. We are looking for artists, scientists, researchers, storytellers and explorers. Attentive to the environment in which we will be sailing, one of the aims of the project is to inquire into the changing condition of the Baltic’s human and nonhuman communities and multispecies entanglements, and searching for, exchanging, and sharing situated knowledges. This year we will place particular focus on the topic of food. When sailing on a ship, everyday conveniences become limits, such as storage space, electricity, water and gas. Facing scarcity of resources, we become particularly mindful when preparing the food and storing it. Food provides an insight into community, culture and resilience, we are interested in learning about local knowledges and practices. We also plan to transport seeds and local goods between the harbours. Our guests get to experience delicious, high quality, mindfully cooked food prepared in challenging conditions. Facing climate change and resource scarcity, we find it important to shift the focus to something positive and local. By using the power of the wind, on a small-scale sailing ships can provide an alternative to the transport practices that harm the environment. We see this niche practice as being important symbolically, provoking critical thinking and inspiring changes that are needed on a larger scale.

    We will organise events in some of the harbours we visit, sharing food, stories and art, meeting local communities, learning about local food production, wild harvesting or traditional methods of food preservation, like fermentation and drying. Everyone will be welcome to participate in those activities, but there are no fixed expectations. We want to visit several places on our way that we find interesting for the project and the residents, including a permaculture community farm on a Swedish island of Gotland.

    Application:
    1) your CV/ portfolio / link to portfolio or short bio (max 1 page A4)
    2) your proposal (max 1 page A4), please address the following:
    ● why would you like to join us;
    ● what would like to engage with during the journey;
    ● how would you like to contribute to the voyage;
    ● what inspires you based on the above residency description,
    ● state also your expectations and what would you need to feel comfortable living and creating onboard.

    Please bear in mind that the space on the ship is limited. Hawila is an old wooden vessel, the things that will be stored inside can get wet and messy if not secured properly when the weather gets rough. Hawila is not a luxurious ship. The experience it offers is unforgettable, the crew is experienced, warm-hearted and will do their best to keep you safe, warm, well fed and respected. Nevertheless, please remember that it can get wet, cold and challenging in many ways. The residents will be free in their exploration and creations as long as safety and integrity of the group on board is not compromised. For safety reasons the applicants need to feel confident moving around the boat, on very steep steps and wet deck during rough weather. The residency is designed for people above 18 years old.

    Send your application, including any questions you might have, to shipofopportunity@gmail.com.
    Please put your name in the names of the files that will be attached.

    Residency fee: 1550 EUR per person.

    The fee covers the entire stay (23 days), accommodation on the ship in single bunk beds with curtains, three wholesome meals cooked by the onboard chef (we use mostly local and organic products, there will be vegan options), introductory sailing course (no previous experience required), harbour fees etc. The fees will also contribute to a large dry dock renovation of Hawila that will take place from winter until summer 2021. We can provide administrative support and letters of invitation to participants seeking external funding to cover their stay. Our work is voluntary, all the profit supports the further development of the Project.

    Deadline for applications: 07.04.2020

    We will inform all of you about the results within several weeks.

    Hawila Sailing for climate justice

    a group of people from several European contries travelled by wind through the Baltic Sea to address climate crisis

    During the past weeks we have been sailing alongside a German sailing boat Lovis with an inspiring group consisting of sailors, scientists, activists and artists as a part of Turning The Tide project.

    An eclectic mix of international individuals met in an unconventional environent to form a saling think tank and approach current environmental issues such as climate change, climate justice, ecological hazards in the Baltic sea and sustainable farming.

    The trip started in Lubeck and continued through the Baltic Sea using the power of wind to visits the Samso Energy Academy, Grobund– the largest community led initiative in Denmark, Aarhus and then Copenhagen. In each destinations the group was engaging local communties in debates, common activities and dialogue on possible paths to more sustainable future.

    In Copenhagen, on the 12th of Setember the public and like-minded individuals were invited to Teaterøen to discuss new initiatives, actions, examples of good practices gathered during the trip.

    Hawila Project and Acting 4 Climate Nordic Tour

    On the 18th of August we officially ended our Hawila Project and Acting 4 Climate joint collaboration in 2019. We have been sailing together on Hawila since June, trying to translate raising climate emergency awareness into the language of contemporary art. The tour powered by sail gave the artists the opportunity to experiment with new ways of low emission travelling. We visited Aalborg, Fredrikstad, Oslo, Melsomvik, the island of Anholt and Helsingor. Durig our stays in harbours the ship were being transformed not only in an unconventional stage but also in a platform for sustainable knowledge and ideas exchange bringing together the artists, the crew, travellers and local communities. Our first and last events took place in Copennagen.

    Those past weeks were an intense time of working and being together. We were experimenting with living as sustainably as we could. Whenever we could we travelled by sail, emission free. We were cooking from organic supplies brought with as little plasting packaging as pssible. 
    We tired to stay conscious about our resources, precious sweet water, electricity (partially produced by Hawila’s movement in the water thanks to our shaft alternator),

    We were struggling while crossing difficult waters together, we were getting wet together, we were drying in the sun together, we were laughing and enjoying moments of sun and relax together. We were getting emotional after the circus performances seeing the audience being touched by it.

    We went though moments of not being able to escape togetherness which challenged us as individuals and a group but also made us stronger.

    The tour made us grow and dream, we are looking forward to more adventures!

    Education through action and adventure

    Last Friday Hawila hosted L’école franco-danoise – Den dansk-franske Skole that organized a tech workshop for daughters and the girls’ primary role model- their mothers, to churn up interest for STEM subjects. 
    http://blog.ecolefrancodanoise.dk/model-moms

    The event was a continuation of our collaboration with The Danish-French School in the field of adventurous and inspiring education for kids developing different sets of skills like group work, motor skills, overcoming the fear of heights, gaining confidence in the water and many more.

    Thank you for an amazing couple of days!