Leif Ericson Viking Ship Norseman

Winter 2000 Vol. 8 No. 1


Up to fifteen Viking Ships and crews are planning to gather at L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland in late July, 2000 for the thousand year anniversary of Leif Ericson's landing on North America. There will be a sail from Leif's "Wonderstrands" to L'Anse Aux Meadows, a grand Viking encampment, and many related events planned by the Viking trails Tourism Association for late July and early August. Viking ships coming from Europe include one from Iceland, two from Norway, seven from Sweden, two from Denmark, one each from Poland and the Netherlands, and NORSEMAN will represent Nordic Americans in the US.

Most of these Viking ships will be transported to North America by merchant vessel. One ship, SKIDBLADNER of Stockholm, Sweden, will be sailing from Europe to North America. This new eighty foot long replica will depart Stockholm in early May to sail to Norway via the Baltic and the North Sea. Ceremonies are planned in the old Viking trading town of Kaupang on May 16 and 17. These events will not only celebrate Norwegian Independence day on the 17th, but also give a sendoff to SKIDBLADNER as she sails for Vinland. The Norwegian Viking ship replica GAIA and other ships will join SKIDBLADNER in these ceremonies. (GAIA visited US ports including Wilmington about ten years ago). SKIDBLADNER plans to follow the Viking routes with stops in the Faeroes, the Shetlands, Iceland, Greenland, and Newfoundland. Another large ship, ISLENDINGUR, will be sailing from Reykjavik to Greenland and Newfoundland at about the same time.

By August 6, most of these ships are expected to sail from Corner Brook, Newfoundland, in VIKINGS SAIL2000! down the east coast of North America to celebrate this Millennium event. Weekend visits by this fleet will occur in Halifax, Boston, New York City, Philadelphia, and Baltimore, with many overnight stops in port cities in between. Detailed planning for the sail and for celebrations in the ports of call are now under way, and volunteers are needed in all these cities to help. For further information see the VTTA website ( and the LEMC web site , (

Help will be needed in planning local events, receptions for visiting Vikings, host homes for traveling sailors, organizing Nordic ethnic organizations to prepare for the visits, publicizing local events, and many other activities. Many ship's crews and others accompanying the fleet will be prepared to do re-enactments, crafts displays, weapons exhibits, performances, and other entertainments related to the Viking period. If you or your group wish to become involved, please contact Dennis L. Johnson at for more information, or register with the organizations listed. Funds and ship Sponsors are also still needed and information about sponsorships is available on the LEMC web site listed above.

Should you be planning to travel to visit or take part in any of these activities, make your plans early. Tourist facilities are limited in Newfoundland, and Ferry reservations to and from Nova Scotia and Newfoundland should be made well in advance. Facilities are much more available from Halifax NS on south, but early planning is advised in all major cities due to the large numbers of Millennium sailing and other events planned for this year. This year will be your opportunity to see the largest fleet of Viking ships ever to visit North America, and this may not happen again for many years, if ever, in your lifetime.


A new VOLVO PENTA Marine Diesel power unit will power NORSEMAN for the year 2000 sailing season and beyond, thanks to the generosity of Volvo Penta of the Americas, Inc. based in Chesapeake, VA. Installation is underway as we write, the engine having been delivered to the Kalmar Nyckel Shipyard in Wilmington, DE shortly before the holidays.

Donated by Volvo Penta of the Americas, this power unit will replace the present outboard motor mounted in a motor well within the hull of NORSEMAN. We extend our gratitude and thanks to Volvo Penta for this unit, and for their cooperation and engineering assistance in planning for and adapting the new engine to suit the configuration of NORSEMAN. Treasurer Nord Bjorke and Captain Marty Martinson were key to arranging for this donation, and our personal thanks go to them for their efforts. We also wish to thank Mr. Clint Moore, President, Mr. Häkan Carlsson, Manager, and Mr. Ed Monacchio, Vice President of Marketing, Volvo Penta of the Americas, for their generosity and interest in making this gift possible.

While our previous gasoline powered outboard has served well, the reliability, performance and safety offered by the new diesel engine is a giant step up. This is especially true in view of the open water sailing expected this summer. NORSEMAN will be taking part in VIKINGS SAIL2000! from L'Anse Aux Meadows, Newfoundland with the Viking fleet in August and September. Captain and retired Naval Architect Martinson, with the help of several other NORSEMAN crewmembers, has the engine installation nearly completed and we look forward to a test run early in this sailing season.

Volvo Penta is a well known Swedish Company which produced its first Penta Engine in l907. This company has grown over the years to become one of the world's leading manufacturer's of engines and sterndrives for marine and industrial applications. Major innovations by Volvo Penta include the first commercially available sterndrive in 1959, the first stern drive cone clutch in l963, the first twin propeller stern drive (Duoprop) in l983, the first clutch-controlled 4 stroke supercharged turbodiesel in l991, and the first sterndrive with integrated hydraulic steering (DPX) in l993. The reliability and economy of their products are well known, as is their reputation for service and technical support.

Volvo Penta of the Americas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Volvo Penta and is headquartered in Chesapeake, Virginia. Their presence in North America dates to l974. In l993 a joint venture with OMC Corp. was formed to manufacture and assemble products in the US and in that same year Volvo Penta Canada was formed. At present, VPNA not only markets diesel and gasoline powered products in North America, but also designs and engineers gas propulsion systems for the global market.

Our replica Viking Ship NORSEMAN was built to honor Leif Ericson, the Vikings as the first Europeans in North America, and the many Scandinavians who followed in later migrations to North America. It is indeed fitting that NORSEMAN will now be powered by an engine manufactured by a company with deep roots in Sweden, one of the historic Nordic homes of the sea traveling Vikings. We are proud to bear the logo of VOLVO PENTA as we sail North American waters to remind all Americans of this historic heritage.


NORSEMAN and crew were kept busy in the fall with a number of appearances, including four days at an International Ethnic Festival in Fort Washington, PA. Crewmembers took turns talking to thousands of area middle and high school students and their teachers about vikings and Leif Ericson. On October 9, NORSEMAN took part in the annual Leif Ericson day ceremony in Philadelphia, where Mayor Ed Rendell of Philadelphia was a featured passenger on the ship. Arriving by Viking ship, the Mayor, wearing a tunic and horned helmet, addressed the audience at the Viking Statue.

Also honored on October 9 and passenger in NORSEMAN was Mr. Tony Auth, nationally known political cartoonist. He was recognized for his interest in Vikings and several well-drawn humorous cartoons about Vikings on the Schuylkill. NORSEMAN appeared later in the day in front of the Union League in Philadelphia, where the Millennium Leif Ericson Banquet was held. About six costumed Vikings stood by the ship as guests arrived for the black tie event.

On Saturday, October 23, NORSEMAN traveled to Annapolis for a sailing visit. Crew members Steve Clarke, Drew Bjorke, Erik Hinrichsen, Dave Segermark, and Eric Shallcross, led by Captain for the day Nord Bjorke brought the ship to Annapolis where they launched and sailed into the harbor, docking at the Annapolis Yacht Club. After lunch at the nearby Marriott, the ship paraded down "ego alley" in the heart of Annapolis, then returned to the launch ramp for the return home. After some misadventures with a burned out wheel bearing on the trailer, all returned home safely and NORSEMAN was returned to the shipyard on Monday.

By Wednesday, NORSEMAN was traveling again, this time to West Chester PA, where the ship and vikings appeared in a Halloween parade sponsored by West Chester East High School, home of the West Chester Vikings! After a nearby layover overnight, NORSEMAN joined the Vikings again for their Homecoming football game and the selection of Homecoming King and Queen. Coordinated by Steve Clarke, others along to help were Nord Bjorke, Harold Graden, Dave Sutton, and Eric Shallcross. After these events, NORSEMAN returned to the shipyard where preparations were soon to begin for the installation of the new Volvo Penta engine.


Several new items have been added to our order form, including handsome Viking coffee mugs, a table runner, glass Viking figures, a Viking ship pendant in pewter, and other items. These new items will be pictured on our web site soon, and are now available at the prices listed.

We have a few "2003" Leif Landed First T-shirts left in limited sizes. These have been marked down to half price, or only eight dollars each, while they last!. Available sizes are Small, Medium, and XXLarge only. Just mark your order form "1003 T-shirts", sizes desired, and send with your check including postage. (Current T-shirts all say "1000 A.D." but are otherwise the same, as pictured on our web site).


Many sailing and Leif Ericson Millennium Events are being planned for the year 2000. NORSEMAN will be having a very busy year, with VIKINGS SAIL2000! lasting from mid-July until early September. If you are interested in having NORSEMAN appear for your event this season, please contact us at once to get on our calendar. Contact Operations Chairman Dave Segermark at for information about bookings and appearance fees, or write to us at the address on page one of this newsletter.

Vol. 8, No. 1


RUNES IN SWEDEN by Sven B. F. Jansson, Sweden 1987 Published with the support of the Swedish Central Board of National Antiquities, this book is by Sweden's leading Runologist. The text is accompanied by over one hundred photographs of Runestones and other Runic inscriptions by photographer Bengt A. Lundberg, and is translated into English by Mr. Peter Foote. Many of the most well-known stones in Sweden are pictured, such as the famous Rok stone in Ostergotland and the stones of the Jarlabanke's Bridge in Taby, Uppland, now part of Stockholm. ( A replica of the Rok stone is found in the American Swedish Historical Museum in Philadelphia).

While runic inscriptions have been found throughout northern Europe and the Baltic region, the overwhelming majority of surviving Runestones are to be found in Sweden. The most intense concentrations occur in the Malar region of eastern Sweden, a major center of Viking power and culture. Lesser concentrations occur in several other regions in Ostergotland, Vastergotland, on the Islands of Gotland and Öland, and in Skane.

The author provides translations of many of the more important stones, with an analysis of their meaning related to Viking expeditions, the purposes of the stones, and on their contributions to knowledge about Viking culture as related in these inscriptions. There is a description of the evolution of earlier and later runic alphabets, known as the futhark, ( from the first seven letters). This book is a comprehensive survey of Swedish runic material, in words and pictures. An extensive bibliography will lead serious scholars on to further academic literature, but the book is also fascinating to those interested less deeply but more broadly in their Viking heritage.

Now an integral part of the Swedish landscape, these runestones have become part of the Swedish national treasures, and still speak to us of our forebears of a thousand years ago and more. We are seeking a source of more copies of this book and hope to add it to our sales inventory of Viking books. Watch our order form for availability.

-Dennis L. Johnson, Editor

Our designation as a non-profit 501(c)3 Corporation in l998 has resulted in major successes in receiving grants and gifts in l999. In August we were awarded a grant of $2500.00 from a Swedish-American Foundation, and in December a grant of $2500.00 from the MBNA America Bank of Wilmington, DE on recommendation of their Community Services award recipient (and NORSEMAN member) Jim Thornton, of Wilmington. Our thanks and appreciation goes to both organizations, and our special congratulations to Jim Thornton, Executive Director of the Meals on Wheels program in Wilmington, for his well deserved honor and for his assistance in including NORSEMAN as one of the grantees of funds which his award enabled him to designate.

In October we learned of the very generous decision of Volvo Penta of the Americas, Inc. to donate entirely an all new Diesel power unit (see accompanying article). We have also received a number of other cash donations from members and friends in support of our educational mission and/or dedicated to our plans to take part in VIKINGS SAIL2000! We thank all those who were able to donate to these purposes, and we continue to seek additional donations, large and small. Other grant applications are being pursued vigorously, including the donation or lease of a new tow vehicle needed to move NORSEMAN on its trailer to Newfoundland and to other events in coming years. With a weight of over 7000 pounds, we badly need a powerful heavy hauler, such as a heavy duty pickup truck with a crew cab, to replace our loyal but badly overworked Van, now over ten years old.

Some financial assistance is expected from VTTA in Newfoundland, Sponsor of the Newfoundland events, and from LEMC, sponsors of VIKINGS SAIL2000! This will by no means cover all our expenses, however, and members and friends can help by cash donations, purchases of mail order items from us, and referrals to possible other sources of grants such as Foundations and Corporations. All donations are tax deductible to the extent permitted by law, and letters of acknowledgment will be provided for this purpose for all donations in excess of $100.00. Major donors or corporate sponsors will be acknowledged in all our publicity and, if desired, a banner bearing their logo will be flown during Millennium events.





S (6-8) ________M(10-12)________L(14-16)________ @ 13.00 = _______


S __________ M __________ L ________ XL _______ @ 16.00 = _______

XXL _______ @ 18.00 = _______


S __________ M __________ L ________ XL _______ @ 28.00 = _______

XXL _______ @ 30.00 = _______

APRONS: ONE SIZE FITS ALL _______ @ 14.00 = _______

TOTE BAGS: _______ @ 12.00 = _______

BUTTONS: 3" DIAMETER ___ BLUE/GOLD ___ RED/BLUE ___ RED/WHITE @ 3.00 = _______

"LEIF LANDED FIRST" POSTERS. 11" X 17" _______ @ 2.00 = _______

VIKING AGE COINS _______ @ 15.00 = _______

"Norseman" CAP One size fits all _______ @ 15.00 = _______


Pen/ink drawing, suitable to frame _______ @ 5.00 = _______

Norseman postcards 5/$1.00 _______ @ 1.00 = _______

Viking "Raven" flags, 4" x 6" _______ @ 5.00 = _______

BOOKS: (children’s)

How would you survive as a viking? _______ @ 7.95 = _______

Step into … THE VIKING WORLD _______ @ 12.95 = _______

VIKING longboat _______ @ 9.95 = _______

VIKING RAIDERS _______ @ 6.95 = _______

VIKING TREASURE CHEST _______ @ 20.00 = _______

THE VIKING WORLD _______ @ 11.95 = _______

VIKINGS (Insights) _______ @ 12.95 = _______

WHO WERE THE VIKINGS _______ @ 4.95 = _______


Harald the ruthless _______ @ 15.00 = _______

HISTORICAL ATLAS OF THE VIKINGS _______ @ 16.95 = _______

If you were there – viking times _______ @ 16.95 = _______

King of vinland’s saga (Fiction, SW Mirsky) _______ @ 15.00 = _______

NORSE GODS AND HEROES _______ @ 12.00 = _______

Norse mythology _______ @ 12.00 = _______

Runestone (Fiction, dan Coldsmith) _______ @ 5.99 = _______

THE VIKINGS, LORDS OF THE SEAS _______ @ 10.00 = _______

VIKING DISCOVERY L’Anse Aux Meadows _______ @ 9.00 = _______


CD: VIKING TONES: I Dreamt Me a Dream _______ @ 12.00 = _______

COFFEE MUGS: VIKING SHIP ______ VIKING CHIEF _______ @ 8.00 = _______

VIKING TABLE RUNNER, 12" X 24" _______ @ 8.00 = _______

GLASS VIKING STATUE, 4" TALL _______ @ 15.00 = _______

GLASS VIKING SHIP SCULPTURE, 5" TALL _______ @ 30.00 = _______

VIKING SHIP PENDANT w/o CHAIN, PEWTER _______ @ 12.00 = _______

SUBTOTAL = _______


POSTAGE (1.00 per item, $3.50 minimum) = _______

MEMBERSHIP/DONATION TOTAL (from below) = _______


Remember to buy your other books from by linking from the NORSEMAN website.

Make checks payable to: LEIF ERICSON VIKING SHIP, INC.

15 West Highland Avenue

Philadelphia, PA 19118

Yes, I would like to support the Leif Ericson Viking Ship NORSEMAN




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Fall '99 Newsletter