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Hilde Aagaard - Vesterisen 1952

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Vesterisen 1952 is the diary of Asbjørn T. Aagaard the father of Hilde Aagaard. Asbjørn T. Aagaard felt close to the sea, as he kept his diary on board the Arctic vessel, the Søndmøringen. The diary itself bears the signature of the sea in the form washed out ink and water marked pages from the salt water that often washed over the deck and down into the crew's narrow quarters in the interior of the ship. Aagaard's story takes place under some of the most extreme weather conditions nature has to offer: On frozen fields of ice at earth's northern extremes, on a stark and compromising sea. Carefully and concisely, he records days of optimum weather conditions and good catches for the sealers. Then with equal precision, he tells of other days - days when the crew fought a life and death battle against heavy seas, packice, and gale-force winds. This is a battle many sealers and their vessels lost. In 1952, the year of this account, many a young man in the prime of life was lost to the sea. Aagaard was not among them. Both his vessel, the crew, he himself, his diary and his Leica camera made it safely home. Ten years later, long after Aagaard had left its service, the Søndmøringen met its fate. It disappeared into the ice. The photographs in this book have been taken by Aagaard himslf over a ten-year period. They are from sealing expeditions, not all of them from the expedition of 1952.