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VEGAs Schedule 2012

VEGAS Newsletter's 2010

If you like old boats and want to know what we where up to last year have a look at our newsletters. We hope you enjoy the information and find it useful. If there is anything you feel we should add or have an idea how this newsletter can be more useful to you let us know.

MARCH 2010 August 2011 - March 2012
APRIL 2010 APRIL - MAY 2012
MAY 2010 JUNE - JULY 2012
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JULY 2010 For the latest NEWS please
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AUGUST 2010  
MAY TO JUNE 2011  

Select the links below and view some samples of the work we and some fantastic carpenters from Java did on board of VEGA, if you need more information about how to make blocks etc. please contact us.

(top) VEGA in 1894, (below) Mathilde

Jagkt Mathilda

Ola H. Nerhus, one of Norway’s most famous boat builders, built ships from 1863 to 1906. His boats became known as “Hardanger Jachts” a name synonymous with immensely strong, swift sailing, vessels. The best of these were built at the Nerhuson shipyard in Ølve, Hardanger, Norway.

Ola apprenticed in the small shipyards of Ølve, famous for there shipbuilding from before 1600. In 1863, then 23 years old, he founded his own shipyard on Nerhus farm in Ølve. During his life Nerhus built over 100 boats. Several of which having carried cargos for over 100 years still survive, living testimonials to his skills and experience.

“He soon built an unrivaled reputation for strong well formed ships and high quality workmanship becoming a demanded shipbuilder, responsible designer, and surveyor for the most prominent “yards” in this region of Norway”. Historical documents state: “Most of the Hardanger yachts sailed by the men of Tysnes were designed and built by Ola H. Nerhus”. (Tysnes had a large fleet at that time).

Ola also built the historical vessel “MATHILDE”, restored by Hardanger Fartøyvernsenter in Norheimsund in 1984-89.

Lars Nerhus

Historian and great great grandson of Ola Nerhus, has VEGA’s original half model and states, “VEGA” was well known as a great ship. She was a (true) Nerhus Hardanger Jacht, with that typical hull form and heart shaped stern.

“I was always told that “VEGA” was the best and strongest Jacht my great great grandfather ever built”!

The picture shows Lars Nerhus holding a painting of VEGA, done by his great grandfather Jens Nerhus in 1898. Behind him on his right is the boat yard and shed where VEGA was built.

Historic Vessel Vega - Press and media information

Thank you for your interest in Vega's activities.

Our I m a g e P o r t f o l i o 2013 is available for


All images and illustrations in this folder are available in high resolution or as vector graphics for download from our ftp site.

Please download the Portfolio for full instructions.

We also have image folders of the re-fitting and re-cycled wood, as well as many variations on most of the images seen here. For specific background text and quotes please contact us.

Meet the people behind VEGA and her work

VEGA is more than just an important part of our maritime heritage she is also a catalyst for a wide variety of humanitarian assistance ranging from finding equipment and supplies for rural health posts, midwifes and schools to providing training for midwifes ond healthworkers or producing educational and public health materials while working with local counter parts to share her crews skills and experience.

Capt. Shane Granger who studied under Capt. Irving Johnston and Mr. Jim Richardson skippered the Class “A” Brigantine Stargate in the 1982 & 84 Tall Ships races.
He directed the restoration of the 1670’s replica Adventure and consulted on the Clearwater, Maryland Dove, Pride of Baltimore, the 1992 Columbus ships, and other historically accurate vessels. He also trained crews to sail several well-known historical replicas... Read more »

Meggi Macoun born in 1965 in Prague, studied graphic design in Germany. After a time in commercial advertising in Europe she moved to East Africa in 1991... Read more »

Dr.Ruth Indira is taking time away from her busy practice in Jakarta to sail with us to help the communities we assist.... Read more »

Joanne Har & Alexis Marsh vegabonds from Singaporea and Australia... Read more »

and many more... we have been extremly fortunate to have the support, advice, and practical help of many people, and would like to express our gratitude to all of them.

Capt. Shane Granger ... 1984 he returned to Europe becoming a successful advertising photographer. In 1994 he moved to East Africa to full fill his dream to work as bush pilot, during this time the idea developed to use his extensive commercial advertising experience for the benefit of communicating health and environmental messages to the rural population in East Africa. It was not long before he was being sent all over the world by WHO,UNICEF, BBC World Service Trust, and WWF to develop and produce behavioral change and educational materials. It was during this period that he and his partner Meggi Macoun developed their highly efficient community participation based training and production system.

» View some samples

In 2002 he and Meggi discovered VEGA, which together they have lovingly restored, this initiated a new phase in their lives employing VEGA as a platform from which to continue their work while expanding the scope to include various grass root organizations within isolated island communities.

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From Africa to Mongolia and as far a field as the Solomon Islands young people have learned first hand from proven professionals the techniques of producing print, multi media, and web materials and have done so on actual projects that contributed to the needs of their countries. More than one modest budget designed to produce a few posters and a brochure have proven sufficient to not only produce those materials but also to train local counter-parts who could then take over there future management and produced a professional image bank of localized images that can be used for a wide variety of materials for years to come while training local photographers in the professional techniques needed to continue building those image banks.
The VEGA method is perhaps the single most cost efficient approach to behavioral change communications available. It is based on proven professionals who are ready and willing to share their experience with others. We are perhaps the only group around who consider putting our selves out of a job a major success. It is thanks to these programs that we can finance our humanitarian work and maintain VEGA in condition so she can last another 100 years.

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Meggi Macoun ... There after a period away from her profession when she lived at the poorest village level at the Lake Victoria, Kenya she emerged determined to bring her extensive creative and professional skills to behavior change communications. Since then Meggi has planned national, regional, and global campaigns for WHO, UNICEF, WWF, BBC and many others. She was a driving force in developing the community driven communications system and the combined production / training programs that are so cost effective and successful.

» View some samples

VEGA proved a exiting challenge for Meggi, her first experience afloat came with a abundance of new skills to learn. Now after 8 years she manages to hand, reef and steer, remembers her knots & splices and knows where to find the cat heads, mizzen lizards and dead eyes. Meggi is a perfectionist who simply refuses to settle for less than the best and accordingly redesigned the interiors for VEGA.

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Dr. Ruth Indira

... Dr. Ruth provides advice for the local health workers and midwives we visit this year. This is a major help for those communities as well as for the children. Several of the islands we assist have not had official medical assistance since 1978, Dr. Ruth is the first real Doctor who comes to visit. She is also assisting Dr.Dan And Dr.Aida with their mobile clinics and other needs while we are in East Timor. Along the way she is compiling a study of the existing conditions and how best to respond - as well as what comprises the “Perfect” midwife and health worker kit.

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Joanne Har

Jo is a Singaporean who first began working with the VEGA team in 2007 and has brought apart from her skills as sailing instructor, a wealth of technical expertise and training experience in graphic design, computer graphics, and web based media. Jo assists with VEGA’s projects both at a distance, from Singapore, and on board the boat when we sail on our missions of mercy.

Alexis Marsh

This is the second year for Vegabond Alexis Marsh to join us during our long delivery voyage between the islands. This year Alex out did herself by not only taking up a collection to help out with Vega’s running costs but also gathering over ½ ton of educational and medical supplies. The boats of the Darwin to Dili yacht race carried these supplies to East Timor then taken furthe on to East Indonesia by Vega.

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Nusa Tenggara & Southern Maluku The heart of our assistance is to the small islands of S/E Indonesia many of which have been abandoned by their own government; some have been on their own since 1978. Vega provides these island communities with a lifeline of educational, medical, farming, and other supplies to help improve their standard of living. Much of the help we render these communities is in the form of recurring supplies of expendables and the special one off supply of items for village improvement projects. These islands are difficult for us with badly charted coasts, no anchorages, and villages where we must off-load onto our workboat and local canoes then go around in big circles, often for days, while we wait for the shore party to return after making their deliveries. ... Read more »

Timor Leste Timor Leste is a small island country that was born out of a long and bloody civil war. During that time almost its entire infrastructure was systematically looted and destroyed. This young country is poor beyond belief, yet trying hard to rebuild itself from the ashes of conflict. East Timor needs and deserves our help. Medical and educational services are almost nonexistent outside of the major towns, where they are at best basic. Schools lack even the most basic of educational supplies. Orphanages struggle just to feed and cloth the war orphans... Read more »

Banda Archipelago, Indonesia The Banda Islands are a group of ten small volcanic islands spouting out of the deep Banda Sea, about 140 km south of Seram and 2,000 km east of Java with a total population of about 15,000. Part of the Indonesian province of Maluku UNESCO has named them as world heritage sites. These were the original "Spice Islands" that Columbus and others were seeking a route to. ... Read more »

Nusa Tenggara & Southern Maluku Between the months of July and September we are delivering supplies to the smallest and poorest islands of these regions and rendering what assistance we can to the local communities. This year we hope to enlist a young Indonesian doctor to join us along this part of our route providing the first real medical services some of these islands have had in over 30 years. For some of the islands it will be the first doctor ever to visit them. We also hope to be able to provide vaccinations for the island children, Just one more thing these communities have never benefited from.

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... yet there are dedicated people working hard to try and overcome these difficulties. By helping these people directly with the tools and supplies they need to do their jobs we make an important contribution to these communities - above all for the children.

For the month of June we are in East Timor delivering supplies, meeting people, and learning about their work and needs. We are currently assisting 3 schools, 2 orphanages, 1 vocational training center, 1 clinic, 35 rural midwives, various farm development programs, 1 veterinarian clinic. The picture on the right shows Dr. Dan Murphy founding father of the free Bairo Pite Clinic with a part of this years shipment of supplies. We also delivered an entire metal workshop to help establish a vocational training center for the Bakhita Centre (Ermera District) along with fertilizer and vegetable seeds for the local farmers, and 35 complete midwives kits for the rural midwives. These were important contributions we hope will continue to grow.

Targeted Projects: Community development & small-scale agriculture, grass roots clinics, orphanages, midwives, small schools, village level health posts.

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Banda Archipelago

For the past few years Vega has been assisting the local schools, midwives, and health posts with supplies and equipment. This is being made possible by the unselfish efforts of many private individuals and companies. As usual VEGA will concentrate on the schools and health services by providing basic supplies and equipment, but our real assistance is over the long term where our yearly missions can provide on going support. Last year thanks to a kind donation by Jotun Paints of Indonesia we provided the paint to refurbish many of the facilities we are assisting. Thanks to another kind donation by Moduspec B.V. in Singapore we were able to provide basic educational materials to the more isolated island schools.

Targeted Projects: Community Development and Small Scale Agriculture, Schools, Clinics, Health posts.

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Ermera School deliveries This schools in the mountains of Timor Leste are community built there is no electricity and can be accessed by road only during the dry season » see the pictures

Asulau Village School is a community run school and receives no support from the government. If not for community schools, childern in remote villages have little or no chance to attend school because of the far distance to travel to attend public schools.
See our visit to this community school »

Frontline Mobile Clinic Vega delivers 35 Midwives Kits to rural midwives in East Timor
See our visit to Hatolia »

Pulau Medang is a small island just off the North West coast of Sumbawa Island, Indonesia. With a population of around 2,000 this peaceful little island boasts 2 schools and one nurse, whose clinic is the front room of her house. View some images »

Pulau Nila There are two villages on the North of Nila each with its own headman. Pak Hecki is the headman of Lakotani Village and is also the local "Needleman" a local way of saying "Health Worker".
Read more about this dedicated man »
See more pictures»

... view images from Pulau Banda Naira »
... view images from Pulau Syahir »
... view images from Pulau Ai »
... view images from Pulau Rhun »

You have given us so much. What can we give you. We have nothing. - Pak Heki

Pak Heki has little in the way of official training, other than being an assistant to the last official health worker and has been forced by circumstances to keep learning as best he can. When he showed us his "tools" we were shocked. There was really nothing in his kit other than a few old glass syringes, some mechanics tools, and several boxes of double sided razor blades. His stock of medications was just as bad. That said, the man has done some amazing operations in his time, like two years ago when two excited boys both tried to spear a big fish and one managed to spear his friend through the chest. "I started at 7 pm and ended at about 3 am", says Pak Hecki, "That was a 5 razor blade job. The hardest part was the shaft right against his lung between two ribs". The operation was a success and the patient even lived.

We were able to assist Pak Hecki with bandages, surgical implements and supplies, sutures, and disposable syringes with needles, among other things. The list of needs he gave us is very basic but shows a good understanding of the local problems. He also gave us a list of problems to show a doctor and ask what treatment would be best. Next year we hope to deliver comprehensive list of antibiotics and other supplies needed by this community that has been totally abandoned by their government for over 30 years.

Considering there has been no official health worker on Nila since 1978, we are hoping to find a young volunteer Indonesian doctor to accompany us next year to these small islands to do clinics along the route and immunize the children.

Topu Honis Shelter Home Making our deliveries to the East Timor enclave of Ocussi and the Topu Honis shelter home is not at all easy. This year in addition to the health worker kits, school supplies, and seeds we also provided 108 Kits-4-Kids schoolbags and 3 laptops.
View the images & learn more about the life at Topu Honis»

Kits-4-Kids school bags arrive to the mountains of East Timor This is a program where students in a developed country help students in a not so fortunate place. Each of the fortunate students provide a school bag filled with the items from a list of needed supplies as well as some small private contributions of toys or books.
More info and many pictures are here »

Bairo Pite Clinic & Dr. Aida Gonclaves Midwife training program Bairo Pite Clinic provides community health care for the poorest of the poor in East Timor. Dr. Aida Goncalves trains comunity midwifes at Bairo Pite Clinic, and follows them up through regular village visits and supplementary training sessions.
Images and more informaton are here »

... midwife workshop, banda, info & images »

... mobile clinic, pulau nila, info & images »

... medical supplies for pulau nila, info & images »

... the sewing machine, info & images »

Historic vessel Vega under sail
Historic vessel Vega under sail 1
Historic Vessel Vega - Newsletter
Historic Vessel Vega
Historic Vessel Vega
Historic Vessel Vega
Historic vessel Vega under sail

Every year the 120 years old Norwegian build historic vessel VEGA and her volunteer crew sail about 7,000 miles to collect and deliver between 15 and 20 tons of donated tools, educational and medical supplies. Those supplies are loaded on board in Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Singapore then delivered to East Timor and remote islands in Eastern Indonesia. Those supplies help support local level community development, health, and educational services. Supplies are also collected in Australia by VEGA supporters and shipped to Dili on board the yachts in the yearly Darwin to Dili Regatta.

We also provide advanced training for traditional midwives and teaching aids for rural teachers. Every year a fully qualified Indonesian doctor travels with us providing medical services on the remote islands and holding workshops or training seminars for traditional midwives.
        view the movie
                     mission 2013 part 1 - Health

Historic Vessel Vega's galley and details
Explore Vega’s Image Gallery’s:
Vega floor plan and cabin layout
Historic Vessel Vega - Interior images
Historic Vessel Vega - Rigging details

Welcome Aboard

When we first found her VEGA was not at all like she is now. Many years of intense hard work have been invested in restoring her to her current seaworthy condition. We are neither rich nor do we have the backing of some giant company. What we have done was accomplished through passion and pure hard work. Thanks to that tireless obsession Vega is now eminently sea worthy, a good sailor, and also comfortable to live and work on.

As an important piece of maritime history all of the work done on VEGA has been designed and accomplished using the finest materials and traditional craftsmanship. VEGA’s restoration is an on-going project. Direct maintenance or improvements to systems never stop. Those improvements give us great pleasure, but our real challenge is to ensure that VEGA has every chance to be alive and sailing 100 years from now.

H/V Vega quote
These models won Ola Nerhus an award in the Stockholm exhibition in 1898
Painting by Ola`s son Jens, who was captain onboard “VEGA” in 1898
H/V Vega quote
VEGA's original half model is second from the bottom. These models won Ola Nerhus an award in the Stockholm exhibition in 1898.
Painting by Ola`s son Jens, who was captain onboard “VEGA” in 1898.

This copy of VEGA's original half model was used to build several boats along the same lines. The latest was in 1942. None were as strongly built as VEGA.
VEGA's original half model

In 1892 Ola H. Nerhus built another “Hardanger jacht” at his Nerhuson shipyard in Ølve, Norway (see Map). Over 100 years later she has become one of a select few in the world to be officially classified as a "Historic Vessel". VEGA was built to the highest standards and specifications for Mr. Johan Carlsson, the owner of a cement factory in Dagerhamn, Sweden, to be a deep-sea heavy load carrier, and be certified for Arctic waters, a classification few vessels were strong enough to merit. Her construction was a blend of North Sea cargo ship and navel man-o-war. VEGA was the only known Hardanger jagkt ever built with an all oak keel and frame.

In 1905 VEGA went to Bergkvara, Sweden where after being modified and refit in Mr. Olsson's boat yard she was re-launched as a new boat to become the legendary "VEGA of Bergkvara" under the Swedish flag. Over the years VEGA's sailing rig changed back and forth between Jagkt (cutter) and traditional Galeass (ketch). The Galeass was well known as eminently seaworthy, extremely good in bad weather, and easily managed by a small crew.

H/V Vega delivers schoolsupplies to the Banda Islands
to Sumatra

If you’re looking for a fancy organization with big offices then forget us. If what you want is to help others and be sure your help actually gets into the hands of people who need it, then read on. Delivering training, tools, educational, and medical supplies from those who want to help directly into the hands of those who need that help is exactly what we do.

Most of the people we help live in very remote parts of Eastern Indonesia and East Timor. They are the people who have fallen through societies cracks. Simple people that fish and farm for their daily bread, providing for their families as best they can without any benefit from our modern world. Forgotten people who have no voice on the global stage. Our mission is to bring them the materials they need to have healthier happier lives, and a better future for their children.

Vega is an extended group of friends who believe that together we can make a difference in the lives of a few isolated communities. We are not out to change the world. All we want to do, in our own small way, is help others in a manner that makes a real difference. If you would like to join us in our efforts there is a lot to be done. Your involvement will be very much appreciated.

VEGA activities
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Our movements are dictated by the monsoon winds sailing routes unchanged for thousands of years along an annual 15,000 km circuit. We collect donated medical and educational supplies during one monsoon, and then deliver that cargo when the monsoon changes. To the communities we assist these shipments are life changing. When applied efficiently, these donations help entire communities. They allow a fisherman to catch fish, a teacher to teach, or a medical worker to save lives. Training is as important as supplies. Our shipmate Dr. Ruth Indira not only provides clinic for the communities we assist she also provides specialized training for traditional midwives.

The best way to understand what we do is to see us in action. Take a moment to scan through this year’s image galleries. Meet some of the people we help and see what we do.

South East Monsoon (May to September). We sail south delivering supplies and equipment to the village schools, health posts, and orphanages we work with. To the rural people we assist these small shipments are life changing, they allow a farmer to grow food, a teacher to teach, or a medical worker to save lives. Here small donations applied to real needs improve an entire village economy.

Transition Months (April & October). During these months the historic Vessel VEGA is in Singapore and Jakarta taking part in events such as the Boat Asia show and other activities where we meet the public and make important contacts for our work. This is when we do our biannual maintenance. « Back

VEGA stern view

VEGA needs your help.

People living in some of the world's most isolated communities depend on us for educational and medical supplies. VEGA is about people with the spirit and means to help others less fortunate than they are. We volunteer our boat, and ourselves, but alone we cannot gather supplies, find the funding for running costs, and make our deliveries while keeping VEGA in top condition. For that we depend on our network of sponsors and friends who provide the medical, educational and farming supplies as well as support for VEGA's running costs.

If you would like to support VEGA,
please consider donating »

You can be a part of VEGA's work by gathering
Supplies and getting them to us to deliver »

Company's can participate by making us a partner in their Social Responsibility Program or participating in one of the VEGA Team Building Experiences. »

You can organize a Charity sail to raise funds »

Or learn the art of  Traditional sailing on board VEGA »