The mast spire of the jekt Fremad
From the 1600s until the end of the 1800s, the coast, highway number one, was trafficked with boats transporting stockfish from northern Norway to Bergen, and grain and other goods northwards again. In Bergen, those who sailed the boats could trade with the Hanseatics who came up from the continent, and thus Northern Norwegian stockfish was part of an international trading system that provided the very livelihood for the people of the north. The Jekts were largely lost at the end of their service, and today only crumbs remain of this once considerable fleet along our coast.
The picture shows the remains of the jekt Fremad, calling Breistrand on Skogsøya in Øksnes it’s home port. Jekta was owned by a merchant at Breistrand, and the mayor of Øksnes, Halvor Olai Rasmusseen (1833-1902). It was built in 1870. The turned piece of wood is a mast spire, made to decorate the top of the mast of the ship, and is now the very last piece of wood left from the once mighty jekt.