Leif Ericson Viking Ship Norseman
Vol. 6 No. 1
Winter 1998
Leif Ericson Day became "Leif Ericson Week" for the NORSEMAN and crew with a busy schedule for the weekends preceding and following Leif Ericson Day, Thursday, October 9. On Saturday, NORSEMAN joined Scandinavian Heritage Day at the McLean, Va. Community Center where we drew crowds of new fans who had not seen NORSEMAN before.

 After an overnight stay in Baltimore, NORSEMAN launched nearby and proudly sailed on Sunday into Baltimoreís Inner Harbor for our first visit. After a circuit of the harbor on a beautiful fall day amid thousands of people, we tied up near the Science Center. We were warmly welcomed by a number of local Scandinavian-Americans representing several clubs in the area. After another tour of the Harbor, we sailed out among many other sailing and motor yachts to return to the launch site.

NORSEMAN then made itís usual annual sail on the Schuylkill in Philadelphia on Leif Ericson Day on October 9. After landing at the Viking Statue, the crew came ashore and took our positions as honor guard for the ceremony. Guest speakers included Philadelphia Mayor Ed Rendell, Iceland's Ambassador to the U.S. Einar Benediktsson, and Leif Ericson Millennium Committee Chairman Per Christensen. After readings of the Presidential and Mayor's Proclamations, Mayor Rendell was presented with a framed certificate designating him an "Honorary Viking", along with a Viking helmet (yes, with horns) to wear on suitable occasions. Mayor Rendell has been a stalwart supporter of Leif Ericson and has been present at nearly every Leif Ericson Day since taking office as Mayor.

Leif Ericson celebrations continued the following weekend, with NORSEMAN journeying to Budd Lake, NJ for the Leif Ericson Festival and Parade. The next day we journeyed to Brooklyn, NY, for the Bay Ridge Norsk Host Fest at Shore Road Park. Warmly received at all locations, we wish to thank our hosts and many well wishers who made all these events a great pleasure.

NORSEMAN made itís final appearance of the year in the New Yearís Eve parade in Wilmington, despite a very cold evening. Real Vikings never shiver, but the cold at midnight was a test for the hardy crew members who rode in the parade. Seldom was the New Year more welcome.

NORSEMAN invited to Stockholm in August!

NORSEMAN has just been invited and hopes to join a gathering of Viking ships in Stockholm, Sweden, in August, 1998. Over fifty Viking ship associations have been invited to gather, most of whom have replica vessels. Ships from Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Germany, Poland, and even Russia are expected. We are determined to try to represent the US at this event, billed as "The Viking Invasion".

Stockholm has been designated by the European Union as the Cultural Capital of Europe for all of 1998 and numerous cultural events are planned the entire year. One major part is a summer gathering of sailboats and sailing ships from all Europe. A central feature of this boating assembly will be the gathering of Viking ships, sponsored by the City of Stockholm, The National Museum of Antiquities, The Maritime Museum, and the Central Board of National Antiquities.

We are invited to sail with the other ships in Stockholm harbor, to take part in demonstrations of Viking Crafts and skills, to attend seminars on Viking navigation, ship construction, sailing, rowing, and other subjects. On August 3rd, the Viking ships will sail to Birka, the Viking age city on Lake Malaren. There will be a feast at Birka and a visit to the newly completed Viking Museum there, also numerous other activities in Stockholm.

We will need to raise at least an estimated $20,000 to finance this trip, including shipping the NORSEMAN and gear to Stockholm, (probably via container) and return. Other costs will be travel, lodgings, and other expenses for 8 to 10 crew members.

We are asking for your donations to carry the US flag and the spirit of Leif Ericson to Stockholm this summer. We seek one or more Corporate Sponsors to help underwrite our costs. If you can help in any way, please contact Dennis L. Johnson, President at JNSNSMTH@ with your ideas, donations, or suggestions for a potential sponsor (or use the mailing address on the first page of Newsletter).


NORSEMAN is a member of the American Sail Training Association (ASTA) which coordinates and conducts sail training activities in US waters. For more information, contact Skipper Dave Segermark, or ASTA at 401-846-1775.




Viking Ship crewmember Nord Bjorke has volunteered to serve as Membership Chairman for our group. He will be assisted by member Jerry Zinnes in building and maintaining our membership lists and mailing lists. Both men also demonstrated their carpentry skills by helping with the new Boat Shed project.

Shortly after the launching of the Kalmar Nyckel at the boat yard in Wilmington, work began in earnest on our Nordic boat shed. Thanks to the leadership of Dave Segermark and Marty Martinson, and the carpentry and other skills of many members, the shed has been erected and roof framing is well advanced. A temporary tarpaulin over the roof framing is already providing shelter for the NORSEMAN and work will resume as soon as weather conditions allow.

Remaining to be completed are the final cedar shingle roof, ornamental work, and various finishing items. To see progress, download the photographs on our website to view real Vikings at work.



Not reviewed previously, we have obtained a resupply of the popular hardcover volume, Norse Mythology, Arthur Cotterall, Auness, London, 1997. This large, handsome book was previously published as part of a compendium, The Encyclopedia of Mythology.

Replete with splendid illustrations from a variety of 19th and 20th century artists of Viking subjects, the drawing and painting reproductions alone are worth the price of the book. This book is primarily a glossary of Viking Gods and heroes from Aegir to Ymis, with descriptions and often artistís illustrations of each. Special attention is given to Odin, Thor and Frey, as well as nature spirits, the Valkyries, Sorcery and Spells, Tragic lovers, Rings of Power, and Ragnarok. Family trees chart the ancestry of Odin, the Aesir, Lokiís children, Sigurd, Thor and the Vanir.

This volume is a fine introduction to the Myths and Legends of the Nordic people prior to the introduction of Christianity, and will help you and your youngsters better understand the belief systems of the Vikings.


Due to a number of requests from readers, the NORSEMAN NEWS will, on a trial basis, accept advertising to help support the cost of the newsletter and enable us to increase circulation. For ad rates, deadlines, and circulation information, contact the editor at or write to us at the address on the banner. The next edition (Spring 1998) will go to press about April 1st.


Planning for a big celebration in 2000, the Leif Ericson Millennium Committee has been hard at work. The Committee has been expanded to include several new Honorary and active members, including author Arland O. Fiske of Minnesota (honorary), Nord Bjorke, who will head up fund-raising (and Viking Ship member), Örn Almarsson, Senior Chemist with Merck Research Laboratories and others. Contacts have been made with Millennium planners in Canada, Newfoundland, Greenland, Iceland and Norway and many major goals are agreed on.

An official logo design for the celebration has been adopted and copyrighted for use during the celebration by the Committee and affiliated organizations.

A new web site will be open in the next few weeks to provide information about the millennium ( Check it out soon, or reach it via a link from the NORSEMAN web site. Fund-raising has begun and several startup donations are in hand. Members and organizations interested in affiliation with the Committee are being sought in the U.S., Canada, and all Nordic countries. For more information contact, Dennis L. Johnson, LEMC Secretary, at


Our inventory of books about Vikings and Viking culture was virtually sold out in our string of October appearances and through strong mail order sales. We have now replenished our supply and added a number of new titles to our list. Of special interest are several new childrenís books and a Viking "Treasure Chest" containing a book, a game, runes, and other items of interest for youngsters.

All our books are screened for historic accuracy, relevance and general merit. They make excellent gifts for both adults and children, and your orders help us sustain our considerable annual operating expenses. See the order form on the rear of the newsletter for available books, and for our "Leif Landed First" shirts and other items.

Fall 1997 Newsletter