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The Longship
November 17, 2011 6:34 AM   Subscribe

In Tonsberg, Norway, they are building a Viking Ship. By hand, using the same tools and processes the vikings used.

One of Britian's leading craft-heritage advocates, Robin Wood, has gone to help, and is blogging his experience.
posted by Chrischris (49 comments total) 20 users marked this as a favorite

 
Same proccesses? I dunno, those people look pretty sober to me.
posted by griphus at 6:37 AM on November 17, 2011 [11 favorites]


I would like English coastal cities to note that this is strictly for educational purposes. No need to lock up your valuables or hide away your maidens. No sireee....
posted by Harald74 at 6:38 AM on November 17, 2011 [14 favorites]


Awesome. They'll steal the Lindisfarne Gospels yet!
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:41 AM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


Awesome! I wonder what kind of loot they'll be carrying. Maybe some iron ore, a few Steel Swords of Frost Resistance.. wait. This is a Skyrim thread, right?

Seriously though, this is neat.
posted by fight or flight at 6:42 AM on November 17, 2011


This is awesome!
posted by Sternmeyer at 6:44 AM on November 17, 2011


I was expecting scruffy bearded dudes in hand-tanned leathers, dammit. Also there should be much quaffing of ales. WHERE IS THE QUAFFING.
posted by elizardbits at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


If only the Greeks weren't in the midst of a financial crisis. They could build a trireme and we could settle this once and for all.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 6:46 AM on November 17, 2011 [5 favorites]


The "click here to volunteer" link seems to be down; I'd love to know more about how to volunteer on-site becuase mother of god would that be an awesome vacation ("What did I do for my week off? Oh, just built a Viking ship, y'know.")
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 6:49 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


this thread is going to lead me to reinstall Civilization, isn't it?
posted by nathancaswell at 6:50 AM on November 17, 2011 [4 favorites]


I was rather hoping that this was related to the 2015 Viking Raid of Britain which, frankly, sounds like the sort of viral collision of SCAdians, Burners and Nerf modders that can only occur on the Internet. Now just add drunken sailing in the North Sea for even more hilarity.
posted by bl1nk at 6:51 AM on November 17, 2011


Oops: Earlier replicas of the Oseberg ship have been poor sailers. Ragnar Thorseth’s "Dronningen” capsized in a fresh breeze on her maiden voyage after 20 seconds.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 6:52 AM on November 17, 2011


Getting the ship into the water has never been simply a matter of shoving her down the bank into the water. Before the Viking were Christian, the launching ceremony of a warship involved we are told a very bloodthirsty human sacrifice and even today we pour a blood substitute over the bow of a ship when she is launched. Champagne is a very new idea, as it used to be red wine ……….

We will see how strong the commitment to the original Viking process is when they get to this part.
posted by three blind mice at 6:53 AM on November 17, 2011


Ha! The Oseberg ship is hardly seaworthy. But by all means, have a go if you think you're tough enough.
posted by Sourisnoire at 6:54 AM on November 17, 2011


Ooooooooh!

*coughs and deepens voice a 1/2 octave further*

ÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ!
posted by Randwulf at 6:55 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


I was expecting scruffy bearded dudes in hand-tanned leathers, dammit.

Seriously, I took a college class on Vikings that had people who looked more like Vikings than this and they were constrained by the "don't wear period costumes" social norm that is in effect even at the University of Chicago (most of the time).
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 6:56 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am picturing sitting in a class full of bored Norwegian Black Metal dudes, all decked out in corpse paint and gauntlets and shit, absentmindedly carving pentagrams into the table with incredibly elaborate ceremonial knives they bought online for a guy who claims they were tempered in goat blood.
posted by griphus at 6:59 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


...from a guy...
posted by griphus at 7:00 AM on November 17, 2011


Did Thor Heyerdahl ever look into this previously? I do hope they're successful, I like the idea of attempting to recreate the old techniques.
posted by infini at 7:01 AM on November 17, 2011


I am picturing sitting in a class full of bored Norwegian Black Metal dudes

Actually, the only bored metal dude was Lev, and he mostly limited his absent minded activities to drumming loudly on every available surface, no matter how many times he was supposed to stop. The knife thing wasn't totally out of the question, though, and I did once hear him have a conversation about which specific subgenre of metal some random Icelandic band should be classified as.

He did rock a pretty sweet beard, though, so he's definitely in the "looked like a Viking" camp.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 7:07 AM on November 17, 2011


Randwulf: that should be ØØØØØØØØØØØØ! (ÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ! is Swedish).
posted by misteraitch at 7:09 AM on November 17, 2011 [7 favorites]


Actually, the only bored metal dude was Lev...

Growing up, most of my friends were Russian metalheads, so please tell me that this dude was Russian just so I know there's some consistency in this crazy world of ours.
posted by griphus at 7:15 AM on November 17, 2011


Ø RLY?
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:15 AM on November 17, 2011


Actually, it should be ÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅÅ!

ØØØØØØØØØØ sounds sorta like "EHHHHHHH."
posted by RedEmma at 7:21 AM on November 17, 2011 [6 favorites]


the Robin Wood blog is fascinating, thanks for the find!
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:22 AM on November 17, 2011


Viking cortex deletion reason: øø.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:23 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


....should have said 'riveting'.....that blog is....riveting
posted by OHenryPacey at 7:25 AM on November 17, 2011


See also - a Viking ship built in Dublin was found in Roskilde Fjord, they built a replica of it and sailed it back to Dublin.
posted by kersplunk at 7:42 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


that blog is....riveting

I think you mean 'klinking'?

Things like this are really cool.
posted by carter at 7:42 AM on November 17, 2011


The hammer of the gods will drive their ship to new lands....
posted by TedW at 7:56 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, needs a "ralphwiggumsdreams" tag
posted by TedW at 7:57 AM on November 17, 2011


Why, are they building a metaphorical longship?

LET IT BEGIN
posted by griphus at 8:13 AM on November 17, 2011


INTERNETS FISTICUFFS
posted by elizardbits at 8:23 AM on November 17, 2011


See also - a Viking ship built in Dublin was found in Roskilde Fjord, they built a replica of it and sailed it back to Dublin.

I made a post about that at the time. Not that you feckers appreciated it. *pout*

Any road, good to see the men (and women!) of the north thinking outside the box when it comes to models for European economic interaction in these troubled times.
posted by Abiezer at 8:25 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


See also - a Viking ship built in Dublin was found in Roskilde Fjord, they built a replica of it and sailed it back to Dublin.

We went even further -- some guy built a viking ship in Minnesota and sailed it to Norway. I can see the museum's roof from my back yard. Interestingly, they had a Norwegian captain, because nordlands are pretty much smaller versions of viking ships and they found a guy capable of handling such a ship.
posted by AzraelBrown at 8:33 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also there should be much quaffing of ales. WHERE IS THE QUAFFING.

There is no quaffing during the fabrication process. Quaffing while shipbuilding is what got Oddi Sixfingers his name, and you don't want to end up like Oddi Sixfingers, do you, kids?
posted by GenjiandProust at 8:34 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


As odd as it may seem, you can head out to Geneva, IL and see another viking ship replica that was made for the Columbian Exposition in 189X. This was also built in Norway and then sailed across the north Atlantic (!) w/ a small crew, through some riverways and to Chicago. After the expo, the ship bounced around a few locations in the city and is now housed in essentially a tent in a park in Geneva (although it's dragon themed figurehead is in the special collection at the Museum of Science and Industry, I think). It's seen better days, but there's an organization that's taking care of it and trying to restore it to its former glory. We took a group of kids who are doing a production of Beowulf out there and the docents put on a nice show. Tours are over for the year, but you can go and take a gander April through October. You can support their efforts if you're so inclined.
posted by jupturch at 9:01 AM on November 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Awesome! I wonder what kind of loot they'll be carrying.

Lutefisk.
posted by argonauta at 9:08 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


and aquavit
posted by infini at 9:10 AM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


I should really write to my cousins in Orkney...you know, give them a quick heads up...
posted by TheWhiteSkull at 9:14 AM on November 17, 2011 [3 favorites]


Well, the Vikings are having a crappy season. Maybe this back-to-basics approach is just the thing to turn the season around.
As if.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:33 AM on November 17, 2011


I'd love to know more about how to volunteer on-site because mother of god would that be an awesome vacation

What are you doing in March next year? I know some guys building a 10th century workshop using all traditional tools and techniques.

Making stuff out of wood with the tools they tools of 1000 years ago is whee I'm a Viking!
posted by Kid Charlemagne at 1:22 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where?
posted by infini at 1:24 PM on November 17, 2011


whee I'm a Viking!
Pleasing typo of the day award goes to you, Kid.
posted by Abiezer at 2:01 PM on November 17, 2011


If only the Greeks weren't in the midst of a financial crisis. They could build a trireme and we could settle this once and for all.

Already done. Let the battle begin!

posted by dd42 at 3:32 PM on November 17, 2011


I wonder what kind of loot they'll be carrying. Maybe some iron ore, a few Steel Swords of Frost Resistance.

I am picturing sitting in a class full of bored Norwegian Black Metal dudes

Well, the Vikings are having a crappy season.

Relevant: Geek, Jock, or Viking
posted by gueneverey at 4:02 PM on November 17, 2011


Duluth, MN also has the Leif Erikson Ship, that set sail from Norway in the 1920s, taking two years on the journey. It's been somewhat neglected.

The Leif Erikson Ship was built in Korgen, Norway by local boat builders to replicate the type of ship sailed and the route used by the Vikings in their settlement of North America around 997 A.D. The 42 foot vessel was completed in April of 1926.

Captain Gerhard Folgaro and his crew of three left Bergen, Norway for North America on May 23rd of that same year.

On the voyage to Duluth, the ship stopped at the Shetland Islands, Faroe Islands, Iceland, Greenland and landed at St. Johns, Newfoundland on July 20, 1926. While crossing the Atlantic, the crew encountered heavy seas of hurricane proportions and became ice-locked near Greenland.

After landing in Newfoundland the crew and ship set sail for Boston, Massachusetts and arrived in August of 1926. They had traveled a distance of 6,700 miles, the greatest distance for a ship of its size in modern history, logging 10,000 miles, arriving in Duluth, Minnesota on June 23, 1927

The goal was accomplished, reenacting Leif Erikson's route taken in 997 A.D., proving that the Vikings traveled the Atlantic to North America.

posted by RedEmma at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2011 [1 favorite]


Maybe the people at Ozark Medieval Fortress should think about bringing forward their schedule.
posted by unliteral at 5:24 PM on November 17, 2011


Duluth, MN also has the Leif Erikson Ship, that set sail from Norway in the 1920s, taking two years on the journey. It's been somewhat neglected.

This is very sad, especially since, only 100 miles or so away, Grand Marais, MN is the home of the North House Folk School, who regularly host many of America's premiere traditional woodwrights, blacksmiths, and wood-frame builders for workshops and residencies. Given the opportunity, I imagine many there would absolutely jump at the chance of restoring a traditional clinker-built longship, as well as help in creating an era- and material-appropriate building to house it in.
posted by Chrischris at 6:35 PM on November 17, 2011


Yeah, Chrischris. You know.... someone ought to investigate the finances of that non-profit, I think. I hear chatter all the time wondering where the hell the money has gone. The directors are kind of... sketchy.
posted by RedEmma at 9:14 AM on November 19, 2011


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