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A Viking Voyage: In Which an Unlikely Crew of Adventurers Attempts an Epic Journey to the New World

ISBN: 9780345420039
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Edition: 1st
Publication Date: 2000-05-02
Number of pages: 320
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  • Regular price $17.24

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Description


W. Hodding Carter admits he cannot sail a Sunfish, hates to be cold, and panics when he's lost. So why did Carter devote three years of his adult life, not to mention a small fortune, to dodging polar bears and icebergs on an open-decked wooden ship resembling an over-sized canoe?

He wanted to be a Viking. Obsessed since childhood with Leif Eriksson and his triumphant voyage a thousand years ago from Greenland to North America, Carter hatched the admittedly crazy idea of reenacting Erikson's voyage in a replica of the precarious square-rigged Viking cargo ship known as a knarr. Never mind that he had a wife, twin daughters, and another baby on the way. Carter was going to make it happen. This enthralling, inspiring, occasionally hair-raising, and genuinely hilarious book is the account of how he pulled it off.

With funding from Lands' End and expertise gleaned from Viking enthusiasts all over the world, Carter had the knarr constructed by an eccentric boat builder on a small Maine island. He then arranged to have the Snorri, as he dubbed the craft, shipped to the southern tip of Greenland, where he and his grab-bag crew of eleven would embark in midsummer. The departure was inauspicious, to say the least: for two solid weeks, the Snorri tacked back and forth in the windy fjord by Erik the Red's ancient farm, covering a grand total of eighty miles.

Although that first attempt ended in defeat in the middle of the Davis Strait, Carter, his prudent red-haired captain, and their crew were not about to surrender. The next summer, in even worse weather, the Snorri was back on course and these latter-day Vikings were ready to handle anything Mother Nature dished out atop the icy, open sea.

Well, almost anything . . .

By turns thrilling and slapstick, sublime and outrageous, A Viking Voyage is an unforgettable adventure story that will take you to the heart of the most magnificent, unspoiled territory on earth, and even deeper, to the heart of a journey like no other. A celebration of the people and places Carter visits and a treasure-trove of fascinating Viking lore, this is a mesmerizing story of friendship and teamwork--and of accomplishing a goal that once seemed impossible.

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