Jun
01
2007

Be a virtual Viking: North Sea expedition to be on the web

Colorful Viking: Hitting the open waters of the North Sea in July and August, the Sea Stallion Glendalough will be retracing the route of a 9th Century Viking voyage. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
Colorful Viking: Hitting the open waters of the North Sea in July and August, the Sea Stallion Glendalough will be retracing the route of a 9th Century Viking voyage. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
Here’s how I really want to spend my summer vacation.

On July 1, a crew of 100 will begin rowing and sailing the Sea Stallion of Glendalough, a recreation of a 9th Century Viking ship, from Roskilde, Denmark. Seven weeks later, they hope to land in Dublin, Ireland, all in one piece a mere 1,200 miles away.

The 100-foot ship is modeled after a similar ship salvaged from the depths of the Roskilde Fjord in 1962. The 2007 trip in the recreated vessel will backtrack the route the original ship took from its home port in Dublin, a city that was founded by Vikings. The project is being coordinated by the Viking Ship Museum of Roskilde, Denmark.

Old tools: The recreated Sea Stallion was made using hand tools as close as possible to the tools used in the Viking age. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
Old tools: The recreated Sea Stallion was made using hand tools as close as possible to the tools used in the Viking age. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
Work from the crew will be divided up into four-hour shifts. They’ll be rowing the oars and tending the huge single sail. The crew will be made up of 78 men and 22 women, a significant change from the staffing the original Viking ships, which were almost entirely all men.

And the 21st Century crew will have some other advantages: global positioning technology, cell phones and waterproof clothing along with a support team on another boat.

But not all modern conveniences are involved with this new Viking ship. As much as possible, hand tools similar to those of the Viking Sailing colors: Builders of the Sea Stallion had to guess on the color scheme of the ship's sail and trim, but have an accurate recreation of the ship's shape. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
Sailing colors: Builders of the Sea Stallion had to guess on the color scheme of the ship's sail and trim, but have an accurate recreation of the ship's shape. (Photo courtesy of the Viking Ship Museum, Roskilde, Denmark)
era were used in the ship’s construction, as were the fabric methods of that time in making the sail. The only guesswork of the whole process was determining the color schemes of the ship’s sides and sails.

We all have the chance to be part of the trip and keep tabs on the entire voyage through the Viking Ship Museum’s website. You can go to this link to follow the progress of the ship, read the history of its creation and learn a lot more information about the Viking era. You can also register your e-mail address there to get updated information as the trip approaches. The educational section of the website will include 3-D animations, film and photos of the trip.

All I can think of as a way to sign off here is to say “Skoal Vikings!”

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

Alan Tompkins's picture
Alan Tompkins says:

I have had an interest in early man and the sea for quite sometime. I admire those who attempt to recreate ancient craft and learn from them by putting to sea in them. May the lore of Heyerdahl and Severin be yours as you become the first Vikings asea in many a century.

The Viking blood of coursing through my veins caise me to be with you in spirit. I am a descendant of the Danes REFIL BJORNSSON, BJORN RAGNARSSON, RAGNAR SIGURDSSON and SIGURD RANDVERSSON to mention but a few. I salute you and your worthy craft!

posted on Sun, 06/03/2007 - 6:27pm
Isildor's picture
Isildor says:

The BBC will be covering this online too, starting soon at http://www.bbc.co.uk/vikingship/

posted on Sun, 06/24/2007 - 3:10pm
Morag Bell's picture
Morag Bell says:

I live in Orkney and we are expecting the Sea Stallion to arrive here any day now, they will receive a warm welcome. Lots of lovely pics to take, what a privelege it will be to see them all.

posted on Sat, 07/14/2007 - 1:31pm
Frank's picture
Frank says:

Last week the British Museum, London, unveiled a Viking hoard of coins found in Yorkshire. Instead of peacenik farming types, it seemed to show that Vikings were rather keen on, and good at, rampaging and pillaging. Their Hollywood bad boy image is restored. Come back Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis.

posted on Mon, 07/23/2007 - 10:36am
Bruce Dyrhauge's picture
Bruce Dyrhauge says:

Impressed indeed with the historical facts. Kindly, anyone please, advice if remains of Viking ships have been found in Ireland ?
Kind regards
Bruce

posted on Wed, 08/15/2007 - 3:57pm
malcolm ellson's picture
malcolm ellson says:

Have just had the sheer pleasure of watching the documentary of Stallion sailing on its 1200 mile journey.It made us hold our breath as the rudder rope broke,It made us smile as the weather came good for the last part of the journey.It has been an eye opener for us,giving us more understanding of how our ancestors arrived to these Islands.We look forward to seeing the south coast journey,and wish all who sail aboard Stallion,fair weather,and an adventureous/safe/memorable journey

posted on Sat, 01/05/2008 - 4:36pm
Plom's picture
Plom says:

Hello,
I watched the documentary yesterday here in Belgium (we can catch BBC2), and felt enthusiastic about it. What an exciting journey ! If possible, I certainly will go to England next summer, hoping to give the Stallion a glance on its return journey.

posted on Sun, 01/06/2008 - 2:37am
TONY DOWN's picture
TONY DOWN says:

where can i get information regarding crewing on the vikinship please ????

posted on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 7:11am
bryan kennedy's picture

I would suggest using the contact form on their website.

posted on Mon, 01/07/2008 - 11:32am

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