This would be cool to see out on Lake St Clair!
The world’s largest Viking ship, Draken Harald Hårfagre sails from Norway to America, beginning April 24, 2016. The vessel sets sail from its homeport of Haugesund, Norway and will cross the North Atlantic ocean, on the same route of the original Vikings a millennium before. The route moves from Norway to Iceland, to Greenland, to Canada and finally to the USA. The last stop will be in New York in mid-September.
The Draken Harald Hårfagre is the recreation of a Viking Longship, and is built with knowledge derived from three sources: archaeological information gleaned from ancient Longships, stories of Viking Longships from old Norse sagas, and contemporary boatbuilding techniques. Combining this ancient/modern intelligence was a complex task, as the Vikings left almost no record of how they built their ships and how they sailed them. But one exceptional occurrence helped with this project: the discovery, in 1879, of an almost perfectly wrought 9th century Viking Longship, found in a burial mound on the Gokstad farm in Norway. Much of the Draken Harald Hårfagre was built from studying and replicating this original Longship, now on display at the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo, Norway.
The Draken Harald Hårfagre is 115 feet long, 26 feet wide, with the mast reaching almost 78 feet high. The sail is 360 square yards and the ship is rowed by the sailing team, with 25 pair of oars. It is a large, long, high vessel, and is also called a Dragon (Draken) ship.
This name is derived by having a unique head of a dragon carved for the bow of the ship. Historically, Viking Longships that were owned by kings and chieftains often had the head of a dragon on the bow that offered protection from sea monsters, bad weather and raids. The dragon head, besides having the necessary function of protection, was also a sign of wealth and strength the more decorated and spectacular the head, the more powerful the owner. Traditionally, the dragon’s head was not mounted until just before the ship’s departure.