Preparing for a sea voyage

The Vikings prepared for their sea voyages very thoroughly. Because of the period's poor navigational aids they had many things to consider before setting sail. The chances of sailing off-course were large. There were many tales of ships that had disappeared. They got off-course and sailed out over the Atlantic until the crew either starved to death or the ship sank.

It was difficult to hit the destination exactly and the voyages could be longer than planned. The ships waited very often at the journey's start for favourable winds. In the Bandamanna saga the following is told: Odd Ofeigsson sailed from Iceland to Norway and back again in seven weeks. When he got back the Norwegian sailors were still at the harbour of departure because they weren't confident in the weather. in addition they had to have plenty of provisions like dried, salted or smoked fish and meat in case they should go off-course or make a detour before arriving at their destination.

- 14. august 2004 -