A pack of Danes have gotten together and built themselves a replica of a 100-foot Viking longship. The model they based their vessel on was recovered from the bottom of a harbour where it had been sunk, along with four other longships, to barricade the harbour.
The original longship had been built a thousand years ago in Ireland, and who knows where it had sailed before being scuttled.
Well, the folks that built the replica -- called the 'Sea Stallion' -- decided it would be a nice symmetry to sail her back to Dublin.
So, they're on their way.
The website linked above has a beautiful presentation video of the building of the 'Sea Stallion', and a clickable map of her progress.
If my old LandNav training holds true for water, I figure she's just now entering the North Sea.
Beautiful ship. As I watch the videos of her dancing through the sea, I awes me to think that open ships just like her crossed the North Atlantic to Iceland, Greenland and North America; sailed the length and breadth of the Mediterranean; and up Russian rivers to their headwaters.
Did they bring the feared Norse raiders? Oh, hell yes. Just as often, though -- if not more often -- they brought traders, spreading goods and ideas from one end of the Viking known world to the other by way of those sleek little longships.
As I sit here polishing a sword, a part of me envies those lads and lasses on their historic voyage -- but an even larger part of me wonders if the Irish still have monasteries along the shore, and would the skipper mind making a quick little detour...?
Good luck to the 'Sea Stallion' and her crew. Easy trip and a safe landfall, boys and girls.
Tip of the Stetson to my friend Peter for the link and story.