I’ve been meaning to write this post for the past seven days, and just never managed to get round to it until now. There has just been so much to do recently that sitting down with my laptop to write has been at the bottom of my to-do list; so I’m taking the opportunity while I have a cup of tea before going to bed.
I’m so excited right now. And really, really nervous. I’ve been reading notes, making packing lists, digging out old bits of kit from under the bed, and buying new essential items too. I’ve laid out all my clothes on the bed several times, and counted and re-counted all the underwear that I think I should take with me. I’ve even had to get a certificate to verify that I’m medically fit to take part in strenuous activities.
Because in 3 days time I’m heading off on what promises to be a fantastic trip, a genuine “once-in-a-lifetime/ never-to-be-repeated” experience. I’m going to be part of a ship’s crew for the next month; but its not just any ship that I’ll be sailing on.
I’m going to fly out to Haugesund in western Norway, to join the crew of Draken Harald Hårfagre (Dragon Harald Fairhair in English), a reconstructed Viking ship; in fact, at 114′ (nearly 35 metres) in length and with a displacement of 70 tons, the largest Viking ship built in modern times. It’s just a bit overwhelming to think about, and I haven’t even seen the ship with my own eyes yet.
I’m part of the test crew that will be taking Draken out for shakedown sails around the islands and fjords, testing the performance of the ship in all conditions and helping to work out the on-board systems and procedures, ready for her big adventures over the next few years.
Follow my sailing adventure over the next month, as I find my sea legs, explore the beautiful coast of Norway and learn how to train a dragon.