Palle Brogaard, 61
With over forty years of experience at sea, Palle is one of the most seasoned sailors on the Sea Stallion. As First Mate, you’ll find him at the very back of the aft ship or the ‘Løfting’ as it is called in Danish. Which is where he, along with a small group navigates the ship’s journey.
How long have you been sailing with the Sea Stallion? “Five years now.”
When did you began your life at sea? “I was twenty years old when I started sailing professionally. I’ve had many jobs at sea, as a fisherman, on cargo ships, car ferries and also in navigation.”
What makes the Sea Stallion so special? “The social aspect is very atmospheric. Everyone has a talent; you can eavesdrop on any conversation and listen to various discussions on all kinds of interesting topics, all happening simultaneously. All of these people are being carried by this beautiful ancient wooden ship. For such a simple sail, there are so many possibilities for improving its speed. It’s also very nice to see Danish waters and visit small harbours and islands.
What are some of the challenges of your role as first mate? “We try to impart our experience on others, but perhaps the biggest challenge is trying to keep over sixty people happy! We are constantly trying to find new places to visit nobody has been to before, it’s important that they leave having had a special experience. For many this is their summer vacation”.
After a moment of gazing up at the Sea Stallion’s massive 112 m sq sail Palle turned to me with a twinkle in his eye.
“There is a story I once heard at sea about an old fisherman who spent his summer months fishing on the Scottish coasts. After saying good bye to his family, as he left the cosy Danish harbour of his hometown, he would open his window and yell,
‘Now I look forward to having some privacy … !’
That is something that is hard to come by on the Sea Stallion!”