Interview With Lisa Månsson

Who are you?

I am the museum director of the Vasa Museum in Stockholm, the world’s most visited maritime museum. I am also a keen sailor since I was very young.

What was your first experience of working?

When I was a student my summer job was as a lockkeeper at Göta Canal. The Göta Canal is a 190 kilometre canal that runs from east to west in Sweden with 58 locks.

3. What is your earliest memory of being on or close to the sea?

My first night outside of the hospital as I was just born was actually in my family’s little sailboat. I do not remember that specific day, but I have plenty of fond memories from my childhood summers at the sailboat.

Who or what first attracted you to the sea?

I guess sailing was a part of my life before I made an active choice and it never occurred to me not want to spend time at sea.

What do you like most about sailing and/or being at sea?

I enjoy being close to nature. Sailing can both be very relaxing but also a very intense. It all depends on the weather. It has also brought my family tighter together.

Do you have a favourite sea story or book or poem?

Pipi Longstocking’s father, South Seas seafarer Ephraim Longstocking, captain of the sailing ship Hoptoad (Character in children’s books by Swedish author Astrid Lindgren)

Who do you most admire for what they did at sea?

Being the director of a museum based on a salvaged ship’s wreck I need to say that I really admire those that enabled the salvage of Vasa in 1961. It had never been done on this scale anywhere in the world before and they had to work really hard to make this dream come true. Vasa is like a time capsule from the 17th century and now she is inspiring 1.5 million visitors every year.

What lessons have you learned about the world of work?

You spend a lot of time at work so it is worth it to work hard to get a job you really like and are motivated to do.

Why should we care about the sea and have you had a wildlife encounter there that you’ll never forget?

I remember the first time I went scuba diving. It was like visiting a whole new world! A parallel universe – but on the same planet! The world above and below the surface are dependent on one another and we need to take a greater responsibility on how we are affecting the sea life.

If you could be the captain of any yacht or ship, past or present, which would it be?

Kalmar Nyckel II that is a replica of a 17th century ship (like Vasa) but that is sailing on the east coast of USA today.

Where in the world do you most like to be at, on or near the sea?

My family have a country house at the Baltic Sea and I love to spend time there.

What do you know now about the sea and working life that you wish you had known before you left primary school?

That the options are endless! If you feel that the maritime world is calling your name, go explore and possibly you will find a job that is suitable just for you and your interests and abilities.