I have been trying to find out what happened to an old “Hardanger Jekt” called Betlehem (Illustration):
In 1964-65 I sailed with a Bosun who had been the Owner and Skipper of the Betlehem, carrying fertilizer around the Oslofjord for Norsk Hydro (now Yara) for many years.
According to him he had gone with his Father to pick up this “Jekt” in Kristansund sometime in the mid-1940s and sailed her to their home port of Stavern.
At the time she had no engine, but one got installed and the sails removed before commencing trading on the coast, mostly in the South and East of Norway, with occasional trips to Sweden and Denmark.
I found a picture from Stavern Museum that shows a Jekt that is said to be Betlehem before being converted and partly de-rigged:
And another that is Betlehem after conversion:
That identity has been confirmed by several local sources.
He had got into “a spot of problems” and the Betlehem was sold to a Norwegian party that wanted to restore her to her former glory.
According to Bosun she “ended up” in Australia, either because the buyer had migrated there, or she had been sold to somebody from there. He was a little unclear on this last, nor did he know anything about where in Australia she may have gone.
I have checked with his son, but he did not know any more than that she had been sold to somebody in Norway for private use, not commercial.
Since we have some Aussies here that is involved in sailing, maybe they know of an old Norwegian Jekt that is/has been plodding around somewhere in Oz??
PS> Restored Jekts sometime gets confused with Baltic Traders, although their original rigging was very different.
PPS> The speller refuse to accept the Norwegian spelling of Betlehem in the heading.