She is almost a century old, and if this rather impressive Norwegian boat could talk she would probably regale you for hours with tales of her lifetime’s service.
Thankfully Morten Neset, skipper of 1917-built Arnefjord, is more than happy to talk on her behalf. He has plenty of praise for the aged but well-respected vessel.
The 65-year-old eye doctor from Bergen sailed her across the North Sea to celebrate her key role in Shetland Bus.
Long ago she was used to transport people from Lerwick to Lunna, where Lunna House was used as the base for the wartime operation. She was also sent out west to Foula during her travels.
This week’s journey marked the 75th anniversary since her last visit.
The diesel-powered vessel, which still uses her original 20 horsepower engine, takes her name from her home port in Norway. The one-cylinder power unit emits a faintly amusing “bong-bong” sound that drew attention from crowds as she came into berth at Lerwick Harbour.
Now Dr Neset, whose grandfather Markus first owned the boat which was originally used for transferring hardware (she was also used for postal services), is eager to hear more information from anyone who might remember the Arnefjord.
In the intervening years since she was involved in the war effort the Arnefjord has led a comparatively peaceful life. Dr Neset had her fully restored around a decade ago and is delighted with the end result.
He said: “This sailor is getting old and the boat is very old, but we are still in working condition. Both of us.”
Read the full story in tomorrow’s Shetland Times.