The exhibitition A shore with no harbour is built around the over one hundred year old wooden ship Skaftfellingur. Vík is the only fishing village in Iceland which does not have - and never had - a harbour. With violent ocean waves and sandy shallows inhibiting the construction of functioning piers, people living along the south coast were forced to travel great distances to purchase imported products. In 1918, Skaftfellingur was built in Denmark and bought to Iceland to enable the voyaging of people and products to- and from the sandy shores of the south. The ship played an important role in the growth and development of the local economy at the time and became a beloved part of the community.
Skaftfellingur's most acclaimed act happened years later, in August 1942. The ship had been claimed by The British during World war 2 and was being sailed to Scotland when it came across a German submarine in trouble. The crew aboard Skaftfellingur managed to save the soldiers from the sinking submarine, all but two, who were sadly trapped in the submarine as it went down into the Atlantic.
After serving dutifully for decades, Skaftfellingur was pulled ashore and stood in a shipyard for thirty years. All until Sigrún Jónsdóttir, church artist from Vík, bought it and brought it home to Vík. She deeply cared about the ship and often referred to it as The ship of good fortune, The spring bringer or simply as The lover.
Come see Skaftfellingur at Katla Center in Vík, touch it, smell it and learn more about its enthralling story. The exhibition is open every day, alongside the information center's opening hours.