OK – here’s the deal: We have had some stuff going on, we haven’t been able to post in a bit, and we’ve built up a nice backlog on posts. And it JUST SO HAPPENS that two of them tonight involve the writing of Tom Jackson of WoodenBoat. Pure coincidence, folks. Let’s can those man-crush comments right now.
Of course it would be cool to have a big ol’ man crush on Tom because he got to spend six weeks this past Summer as crew aboard the 2008 voyage of the viking longship Havhingsten fra Glendalough, the 30-meter replica of one of the Skuldelev ships. He wrote about the voyage in WoodenBoat #206, the January/February 2009 issue and this is a fantastic read.
Jackson provides an account of the voyage that is part adventure story and part practical archeology report. He recounts the harrowing sail down the Irish Sea in rough weather and then delves into key design features of the boat. Want to be able to use the word “withy” in a sentence? Then read this piece. You will absolute not regret snatching a back issue for this piece alone.
If you want to see this beauty of a ship in action or to see its construction, the Viking Ship Museum in Roskilde, Denmark has a page of videos – actually a podcast series – about the boat, including some great shots of her in action on the high seas. Good stuff there (though to hear some commentary, I’d brush up on your Danish).