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Islendingur
by Lew Clayman lew_clayman@yahoo.com

Islendingur ("Icelander") is a 70' replica Viking ship which visited New York late in October, and I visited her there. In addition, we took a zip around the harbor, camera in hand, aboard the tourist speeder "The Beast". In honor of the 1000th anniversary of the discovery of Vinland (North America) by Leif Ericson, the ship sailed from Iceland to Greenland to Newfoundland to Boston to NYC, where she docked at South Street Seaport, a para-turista deal a few blocks south of the Brooklyn Bridge which, I am assured, may be purchased at a very favorable price. One reason for visiting NY is because Islendingur's captain has a theory that part of Leif's expedition made the trip and stayed there for a while.
1) Also, dig that crazy deckhouse. BTW, the sail is not in tatters, those are lashings of various sorts. You are facing roughly southeast, lower Manhattan to the right, Brooklyn across the water, and all kinds of interesting flags atop the mast. i01.jpg (17756 bytes)

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2) the backs of two commemorative US 25-cent pieces.  (that's Geo Washington and Co crossing the Delaware River by standing up in a skiff in a snowstorm on Christmas Eve at midnight, heading for a fight in Trenton. And we worry about Bush and Gore!  On the right, Sir Walter Raleigh leads a bunch of people to a certain death from causes which are still debated. On the plus side, they named a cigarette after him.)

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3) the sleeping quarters from the forward cabin of Islendingur.

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4) A detail of one oarport-blocker and some nail roves.

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5) Looking forward along the port rail, around midships. Barely visible to the right is the side of the plywood deckhouse. The lines hanging down secure the faux shields to the gunwale. Note the plywood pieces through-bolted to block up the oarports, the grown framing knees, and the lack of rowing thwarts.

This scan brings out several more details: lines lashed at the bend of the knee, pullup holes for the false floors, and probably more I don't see or recognize.

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6) The faux shields are mounted only on the port side, farther from the camera. That little tidbit will help you orient some of the other pics.

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7) Q: What's tall, lanky, and wears a bolo necktie and a shirt with sleeves but no bodice?

Hint: it has a marked Reykjavik accent.

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8) It's four pics, stitched together by PanaVue software ( http://www.panavue.com )

The deal is, it takes photos of overlapping scenes and merges them "seamlessly" into one panoramic strip. In this case, there are four shots of the boat, but it'll do any number. I used the free download edition, if you pay the freight it doesn't put the logo all over your pictures.

If you're wondering about the disemodied legs on the dock near the bottom of the picture, they come from the software guessing wrong. It got the boat connected up pretty well, though.

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In the picture, you can see a little bit of the FDR Drive on the left, behind Mystery Kid's

9)  Here is are grown shroud toggle belaying pins, or whatever the correct term is.  Basically, they appear to be lengths of straight branch or root, complete with the knotty area at the trunk (or whatever that knobby end is). The bottom of the thing is secured to a knee via a rope arrangement which also serves as turnbuckle, and the shroud has an eye worked into it, which is passed around the kink and standing part is lashed to the branch end of the grown whatzit.

It might be that the ropes visible on all the knees are there to allow the shrouds to be moved to other attachment points along the side of the hull. Clearly, these are running rigging, since the yard is currently over the center line of the boat! I'm guessing that the procedure is to move one at a time, leaving three to bear the load until the moving one is secured again in the new location. Very clever, these murderous medieval barbarians.
10) Look closely and you'll see the engine controls, compass, sternpost antenna, and a line of unknown (to me) purpose running from the rudderpost to sternpost. Possibly it keeps the rudder from floating up and aft, as it might try and do if not weighted in the modern style.

Today we're back at the midships port rail, this time looking aft. Note the lashings for the shrouds (?) - detail photo to follow. Also, down near the floor, there is a large timber with a large hole in it, which angles forward and inboard and does not cut all the way through the timber. What's it for??? There is a mirror image on the starboard side, if that helps anyone figure it out.

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Re the lack of thwarts, I was flipping through a book the other day in Barnes & Nobles (the brick and mortar kind) about the Hodding Carter longship voyage: they stood and rowed, facing forward I think. Islendingur does not appear to be deep enough for this, but remember: these are false floors.

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