Date: Tue, 27 Jun 2000 10:05:17 +0100
REPLICA viking longship the Islendingur set sail at the weekend on the first leg of a voyage following the route of Liefur Eiriksson, or Leif the Lucky, some 1,000 years ago.
The 73 ft longship was built and is captained by Gunnar Eggertsson, a direct descendant of Eiriksson. She set sail at the weekend from Budardalur harbour 94 miles north of Reykjavik for the original Viking settlement in Greenland and will then sail for Newfoundland in Canada where Viking settlements were found in the 1960s proving that Norse sailors were the first Europeans to set foot in North America. The Islendingur is expected to sail into New York in October. Eggertsson is taking eight people with him on the journey, compared with the 70 strong crew which would have manned the original longship. Two tame ravens are also making the trip as it understood that Leif the Lucky had some on board.
The crew plan to dress up in Viking costume when they arrive in ports, so hopefully this will not lead to any misunderstandings.