A Cultural Sight sign on the seabed tells scuba divers that they have arrived at the right spot, namely where a Dutch merchant vessel was wrecked in the early 18th century. In 1985, two scuba divers from Molde found the so-called Stoplelei Wreck in Hustadvika, and marine archeologists immediately became interested in the ship.
The wettest attraction of Hustadvika
When the unknown merchant vessel was lost with man and mouse in Stopleleden close to 300 years ago, this tooks place in one of the sections of the Norwegian coast offering the roughest weather. At that time, Dutch vessels frequently sailed along the coast.
From the late 16th century and far into the 18th century, Romsdalen and Nordmøre participated in extensive timber trade with the continent. Many refer to this period as Hollendertiden (the Dutch time) because of the Norwegian trade with the Netherlands, the leading shipbuilding nation in Europe.
Food collection produced a historic find
During their winter vacation in 1985, the two scuba divers Bjørnar Johansen and David Berg Tuddenham travelled to Hustadvika for a diving trip. The two guys intended to collect mussels, crabs, and other seafood goodies, but they rapidly lost focus when halfway in their dive they became aware of large quantities of yellow bricks on the seabed. During this dive, they understood that they had discovered a shipwreck with a very exciting load.
The find was reported to the NTNU University Museum, and it did not take long before conservator Jørgen Fastner and archaeologist Kristian Pettersen arrived from Trondheim to visit. The practical excavation of the shipwreck was carried out by voluntary divers from the Molde Diving Club with Knud Jørgensen leading the work. For one of the divers, Berg Tuddenham, the excavation job had the personal consequence that he later was educated as an archaeologist with protection of cultural heritage under water as his field of work.
Two summer seasons were used for excavating all the material of the wreck. These objects may today be found at NTNU Vitenskapsmagasinet (Scientific Storage Site), the Romsdal Museum, and out at Hustadvika Guesthouse. Our location is only six kilometers as the crow flies from the wreck site, and on a stormy day it is easy to imagine the drama taking place in Stolpeleden 300 years ago.
Hustadvika Guesthouse appreciates being able to show the more than 300 well-preserved objects; in our boat shed loft in Storholmvågen, everybody may visit the exhibition during our opening hours.