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NJORD: God of the Sea

Graphic: A. Leal de la Torre

Christened in 1997, Manson’s 200-ton derrick barge NJORD is named after the Norse god of sea, winds, and wealth.

Very little literature exists about Njord, except in the Norse tale The Marriage of Njord and Skadi. In this story, the giantess Skadi seeks restitution from the Aesir gods for the death of her father. As part of an agreement, Skadi is offered her choice of husband among the gods present, but she must choose by the sight of their legs and feet alone. Skadi chooses a muscular pair of calves that could only belong to the handsome god Baldur—but discovers she has accidentally chosen Njord!

The marriage was tumultuous and short-lived, as the couple had little in common and could not even decide where to live. They first spent nine days at Skadi’s snowy mountaintop home, but Njord disliked the darkness and the sound of howling wolves. They then tried nine days at Njord’s sunny home of Nóatún, known as “The Place of the Ships,” but Skadi found the cries of seabirds intolerable. Unhappy with their options of living arrangements and their conflicting interests, the couple immediately parted ways.

One of the most popular gods in Scandinavian history, Njord is widely believed to have brought wealth to Vikings at sea and is exalted by seafarers and navigators alike.

If the legends remain true, the name NJORD will bring fortune and luck to Manson’s 200-ton derrick barge for many years to come.

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