Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Draken Harald Harfagre Makes and Appearance

Due to some issues with the Coast Guard, the next ship left Fairport, Ohio after the previous ships that I've been posting.  I thought that I had a chance to catch her last night but as I kept looking at AIS, she sped up in some places and would have ended up passing Port Huron after I could get up there.  What I didn't know was that she stopped for fuel, so I might have had a chance to catch her.
 Well strange things happen sometimes.  I thought that she was going to enter Bay City earlier in the day today but apparently she received a distress call and went to help.  The Coast Guard called off the search shortly after she went to assist but still.  I have to admit, it would be pretty cool to be assisted by a Viking ship.  Anyway, this delayed her entry into Bay City and when I found out I could make it time to catch her, I was on my way.
 The Draken Harald Fairhair (or what I have in the title in Norwegian) is the longest Viking longship built in modern times.  She is an example of a Viking warship in that she could also be equipped with oars.
 Her keel was laid in 2010 and she was backed by Sigurd Aise was is described as a Norwegian Oil and Gas Tycoon.  She is named after Harald the I who was described as the first king of Norway.  He was born in 850AD and died in 932AD.  His reign as King lasted from 872 to 930.  He ended up conquering many little kingdoms to form the larger kingdom of Norway.    According to legends, he had anywhere from 11 to 20 sons.
 The ship itself was built using many of the archeological record they could find.  So with the exception of its modern equipment, is probably about as close to a longship that you are going to get.
 Currently, she is tracing some of the path that was used by Leif Ericsson to discover what is now known as Minnesota.  It started in Norway, went over to Iceland, Greenland, Canada and a few other places.
 I'll have to admit, this is probably one of the cooler things that I have seen boatwatching.
As I said above, she had an issue with the Coast Guard.  Because she is considered as a foreign commercial vessel above a certain length, she is required by law to have a pilot on the Great Lakes.  I'm not sure for the exact reasons but I'm sure something happened in the past that requires it now.  Apparently, it costs up to $400/hour to get a pilot.  As a non-profit, that is a hard sum to come up with.

If you would like to help her go here.

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