Viking ship sets sail across North Sea


THE VIKING replica longship Sea Stallion is en route across the North Sea on the most demanding leg of its voyage from Ireland to Denmark.

The replica, which is modelled on an Irish-built longship, left Lowestoft on the east English coastline early this week on a light southeasterly wind. Lack of suitable winds for its square sail had forced it to berth for almost a fortnight in the English port.

The longship had to weather gales when it set off from Dublin port in late June on its return voyage to the Danish harbour of Roskilde, home of the Viking Ship Museum and the original Sea Stallion, or Havhingsten fra Glendalough.

A multinational crew of 65 under Danish skipper Carsten Hvid sailed up the Liffey last August. The ship was then lifted out of the water and exhibited at the National Museum of Ireland at Collins Barracks over the winter.

The route home was planned via the southern English coast, and it is estimated that it will take up to five days to make the 360-nautical-mile journey to the mouth of the Limfjord across the North Sea.

Mr Hvid said the plan was to make for the Dutch coast and then follow it north.

Safe arrival in Roskilde is scheduled for August 9th, and will represent the culmination of the largest experimental marine archaeological project of its type, according to the Viking Ship Museum.

Tens of thousands of people are expected to welcome the ship back to Danish waters.