The crew and ship are one. After weeks at sea, manning the Draken and working as a team have become second nature for crewman Henrik Wallgren.
On May 21st, 2016 the Draken Harald arrives in Quaqortoq, Greenland. The crew and captain are greeted by locals and honoured by traditional chanting. During their stay, the crew get acquainted with the local youth and partake in games of football.
Scandinavian settlers dwelled in Greenland until the early 15th century, after which time they departed the land and abandoned the colonies initially established by Erik the Red.
While in Greenland, something special happened.
The last recorded Norse wedding in the church of Hvalsey dates back to September of 1408.
On May 27th, 2016 the Draken leaves Greenland, navigating on the cold but stunning waters of the Labrador Sea made treacherous by drifting icebergs.
En route to Canada!
June 1st, 2016 marks the end of the great Northern Atlantic crossing, with the arrival of the Draken Harald in St. Anthony, Newfoundland (the Vinland of the recorded chronicles) near the renowned L’Anse-aux-Meadows. Leif Erikson’s crossing is a veritable feat of nautical prowess executed without maritime charts or knowledge of the local waters known to be hazardous.
In St. Anthony, the ship is greeted by locals who have been awaiting their arrival for over a month now.
Captain Björn Ahlander visits the ruins of the Vikings settlements, a millenium after the facts.
Leaving Newfoundland marks the end of the historical Viking journey in America, as documented in the sagas. There are no further proofs that Erikson sailed on passed Vinland, and nothing refutes that he did not further explore the Saint Lawrence or the Eastern coast of Canada and the US.
On June 9th, 2016, the Draken enters the harbour of Baie-Comeau, a remote coastal town on the Côte-Nord of Quebec.
The excitement is contagious as the locals embrace the arrival of the crew with open arms AND hockey jerseys. The provincial junior hockey league is know as the Baie-Comeau Drakkars. Björn Ahlander is now captain of both the longship and the hockey team!
On June 14th, 2016, the Draken Harald is moored in Quebec City for a few days before it sails down the Saint Lawrence and on to the Great Lakes for a series of regattas.