Vol. 3 No. 2 Fall 1995
The Norseman will make its annual appearance for Leif Ericson Day observance on Monday, October 9. The ceremony will be held at 12:30 p.m. at the Viking Statue on Kelly Drive, at the head of boathouse row, on the Schuylkill River in Philadelphia.
Sweden is the host country for the observance this year. Our speaker and honored guest will be Swedish Ambassador Henrik Liljegren. Also expected to be present are Mayor Edward G. Rendell and his Swedish-American wife, the Honorable Marjorie Rendell.
Beginning about noon on October 9, Scandinavians will assemble to honor Leif Ericson and his accomplishments as the first European to land on the shores of North America, in 1003 A.D. The Viking ship Norseman will sail down the river with its crew of Vikings, displaying the colors of Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Iceland. Proclamations from President Clinton and Mayor Rendell will be read, and a wreath will be placed on the statue of Viking explorer Thorfinn Karlsefni.
Be sure to attend to show your support for our heritage as Scandinavian-Americans. Wear your national colors or traditional costumes to take part in this important annual event.
Make your reservations now to attend the annual Leif Ericson Day Dinner on the evening of October 9th. Since the host country this year is Sweden, the dinner is being held at the American-Swedish Historical Museum on Pattison Avenue in Philadelphia, beginning at 6:00 p.m.
Expected guests include Ambassador and Mrs. Liljegren of Sweden, Mayor and Mrs. Rendell, and others. There will be musical entertainment and the Dinner is being prepared by Chef David Anderson. The evening should be an enjoyable one in recognition of the exploits of Leif Ericson and his Viking crew.
A major outing for the Norseman and crew this season was at the “America’s Sail” event which took place over the 4th of July weekend in New Haven, Connecticut. This event was a gathering of many tall ships from the Americas, held in association with the 1995 Special Olympics World games, as co-hosts.
A highlight of the trip was the use of the Norseman as the place for the presentation of a check for $50,000 from the Sons of Norway as a donation to the Special Olympics. A further account of the activities of the Norseman in New Haven follows, which is the verbatim report provided by Skipper and event coordinator, Dave Segermark after the weekend was over.
“My driving trip on Friday was somewhat uneventful, except for the “dipsy doodle” at the east end of the George Washington Bridge which the Norseman and I somehow survived. Ask “Odie” how it felt to fly! (Ed. Note: “Odie” is the nickname for our dragon head on the bow of the ship.)
“On Saturday, we met the organizers of the event, and our crew and were able to launch the boat easily. We motored over to our assigned berth at long wharf and tied up, only to find that no one was being allowed into the area or onto the wharf. We did what any good Vikings would do, took a sail in the harbor!
As security was lax at the wharf that evening, we moved the ship over to the New Haven Oil Terminals and docked for the evening. All of the crew then went to the New Haven Lawn Club to check out our accommodations and take a hot shower and get some dinner. We had a little glitch raise its head regarding the number of rooms and length of our stay, but it was quickly resolved. We went to an Irish pub, Kavanaugh’s, for cocktails on the sidewalk, then dinner inside once Mark and Kenda Lundgren found us, after an expected late arrival. After that, it was back to our rooms for a good night’s sleep.
The next morning started around 6:30 am. Some had a continental breakfast at the club, others needed a full breakfast. We all gathered at the oil terminal at 9:00 or so, consolidated our vehicles or got on the Norseman and proceeded back to Long Wharf for an anticipated busy day. Crowds started coming in about noon, and the Norseman left the dock for the parade of sail rendezvous in Long Island Sound at about 2:00 pm. We had the motor on for most of the time out, as the winds wouldn’t cooperate with the course we had to sail. We did sail in the Sound for an extended period of time as we waited for the start of the parade (which was delayed for some “dignitaries” to arrive).
We seemed to be very popular, but we all know that we are the best show around! We did have some rough seas, as the number of boats increased, and even were able to observe the other ships in the parade fairly close up. We also had a “close encounter” with a ferryboat “Viking?” which wanted to show its passengers a Viking ship up close and personal! We returned to our berth at Long Wharf to the cheers of the assembled crowds (who, unfortunately, weren’t buying T-shirts.) We were the hit of New Haven that day, and were shown on TV that evening and quoted in the New Haven Register the next day! We were the “small Tall Ship”.
We wound up our festivities around 9:30 that evening, leaving the Norseman at Long Wharf and riding back to get our cars and get some dinner before collapsing into bed around 12:30 am. We found a nice restaurant “at the “Fireside” not too far from the Oil Terminal, where we got together with some of the crew from the Coast Guard’s Barque, the Eagle. We all had a good time talking to each other and cheering the news reports of the day which featured only the Eagle and the Norseman! We retired happily that night.
The next morning we had some minor difficulties rendezvousing at the Oil Terminal, mainly due to the crowd control measures in effect, some intractable persons and one way roads. Once we solved those problems, things ran smoothly, and we got to Long Wharf on time to meet with a delegation from the Sons of Norway and the Special Olympics, so a presentation of a $50,000 donation to the Special Olympics could be made. After some delay, this was accomplished successfully, and we prepared to retrieve the Norseman and end our stay in New Haven.”
A few weeks later, on August 1st, we were presented with a handsome “Americas Sail” plaque for the Norseman’s appearance at Americas Sail. William F. Wendler, Executive Director of America’s Sail and two of his board members went out of their way to stop in Philadelphia to make this presentation while on a trip from New Haven to Washington, D.C.
Watch your local cable listings for appearances of the Viking Ship Norseman around Leif Ericson Day. Our latest information is that the Norseman will appear in two Viking films on the A & E channel, “Ancient Mysteries” series. One is about the Vikings, scheduled to be shown on Friday, October 6. A Leif Ericson biography is scheduled for Tuesday, October 10. The Norseman should be seen in both.
The Norseman and crew turned out early for a video shoot on the morning of July 15 on the Sassafras, near skipper Dave Segermark’s summer home. We had to be on the water before first light, so it was an early start for everyone. Rob Meyer, producer, and a camera man from Greystone Communications also arrived early and set up to begin shooting from a pontoon boat provided and operated by Dave’s neighbor, Bob Lignore.
Few who were there will forget this occasion, since it turned out to be the hottest day of the year, with the temperature peaking at about 105 degrees in mid-afternoon. The filming took about five hours, and a hot and thirsty crew returned to the boat landing about 11:00 a.m. After returning the Norseman to its trailer, the crew literally collapsed and returned to the Segermark’s to cool off with lunch and cold drinks.
We aren’t sure how much of the footage will be used, but our thanks go to Greystone Communications for their interest in our group and their courtesy in making the filming as successful as it could be. We are pleased at being able to help tell the story about Vikings and their exploits in North America. Watch also for other possible appearances of the Norseman in the media around October 9, including a likely appearance on “Don Polec’s World”, Channel 6, WPVI-TV.
A special exhibit on “The Vikings: Master Mariners, Traders, Colonists and Artisans” will open at the American Swedish Historical Museum on September 17, continuing through the end of December. Guests at the Leif Ericson Day dinner will have an opportunity to view this exhibit and learn more about Viking culture.
Several artifacts and exhibit items are on loan from Viking Ship member and Secretary, Hal Sundby. The exhibit is open nearly every day except Mondays. Call the Museum at 215-389-1776 for further information.
Added items include a new Raven flag with white and red stripes to decorate your car or table, and a new “Leif Landed First” poster for your wall. Your orders help keep the Norseman sailing.
Norseman is on the Internet! Thanks to member, Gil Jacobsen, you can now join, order merchandise, or talk to the Norseman on the Internet. To get in to our page, try http://LibertyNet.org/~viking.
If you are traveling to the Finger Lakes region of New York State, you can stay at the Viking Resort in Penn Yan, New York (315-536-7061) They also operate a cruise ship, the “Viking Spirit” on Lake Keuka. While in the area, you can stop at Swedish Hill Vineyard and Winery, where you can stock up on their “Viking Red” or a number of other wines under the Swedish Hill label.
Have you seen the Nova production on Public television of “Vikings in North America”? This show has been aired several times in the last year and is a good update on the status of research on the Viking voyages and settlements in the new world.
At press time, judging of the poetry contest announced in the last edition is not yet completed. Watch for the winner and the winning poem in the next edition.
To contact a live Viking click on the small Viking ship
Last updated 10/5/95