All Hands on Deck!

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.

Viking ship, Norway.  Photo from
Viking ship, Norway. Photo from

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.


5 thoughts on “All Hands on Deck!

  1. tolde by the weye August 9, 2013 / 14:25

    Very Cool! I’m envious of your experience – but not how wet and cold it will surely be (you did mention you will be testing its performance in “all conditions”). Looking forward to seeing your posts about it.
    All the Best to you and your crew! May you be nimble and strong!

    How did you get involved in this project?

    • vickyinglis August 10, 2013 / 15:20

      I’ve been anticipating it will be very wet and cold at times, but growing up in Northern Scotland has given me plenty of preparation time to deal with those conditions. I was really stressed out at work and looking for a bit of an escape when I stumbled across the project; browsing through crew finder websites, and followed the links back to find the project website English or Norwegian

  2. Bemused Backpacker August 10, 2013 / 05:41

    First of all, awesome photograph! Second of all, awesome adventure! I’m impressed and jealous in equal measure! Crewing a ship is a great experience in and of itself but a VIKING LONGBOAT! That is just … awesome! Damn, I can’t even think of another word for it!

    • vickyinglis August 10, 2013 / 15:04

      I’m afraid I can’t claim credit for this picture, but I’m hoping to take some nearly as good myself. You’ll have to follow my posts to see if I manage. I fly out on Monday morning, and it’s just getting too exciting now!

  3. Viking Queen August 30, 2013 / 10:56

    Don’t worry Vicky… Just go for it… Life’s too short. And if stuff gets bad remember this:

    ‘This too, shall pass’

    That’s how I get through tough times at sea.

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