vi_hcarter.htmlTEXTMOS!*Es Beyond Lands' End: Viking Voyage 1000

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Viking Ship
Viking Voyage Home
The Dream
Before the Launch
  Cast and Crew
  · Lisa Lattes
  · Barclay Jackson
  · Hodding Carter
  · Terry Moore, Captain
  · Robert Stevens, Master Boatbuilder
  · John Abbott
  · Doug Cabot
  · Homer Williams
  · Dean Plager
  · John Gardner
  - Allison Hepler
Getting Ready
  · The Food
  · The Gear
Reports from Greenland
  The Game
On the Voyage

Cast and Crew

W.Hodding Carter

In 1997, writer and adventurer Hodding Carter was beginning to realize a dream - to sail a wooden ship called a knarr from the west coast of Greenland to the only confirmed settlement of the ancient Vikings in North America: L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland. Hodding and eleven others in the crew planned to travel some 1,900 coastal miles in retracing the route of that intrepid Norseman, Leif Eriksson.

"When I was in fifth grade," Hodding says, "I began to take a serious interest in history. I had a teacher who introduced our class to all these books on historical adventures. People like Lewis and Clark, Genghis Khan, the Vikings. Not just adventurers, but people like the builders of the transcontinental railroad."

"When I first began imagining this voyage, all I had to go on were faint memories of one of those books from fifth grade, The Vikings, by Elizabeth Janeway. But even in fifth grade, from those books I got the sense of people being able to do things they didn't think they could do."

"I have no Viking heritage in me at all," Hodding confesses. My family were probably Viking slaves. My family on my mother's side is mostly German, English and some Irish. On my father's side, it's the same thing - German and Irish." The Viking warriors were known to enslave the peoples they captured. Those of us with Irish heritage believe it may be an Irish slave who helped the Norsemen get to North America several centuries before that gentleman out of Italy.

"I probably shouldn't tell anyone this," Hodding says conspiratorially, "but the truth of the reason I'm making this voyage is just to prove that the Vikings couldn't do it. That way, I could show that they weren't worthy of all this praise, since they enslaved my people."

"As far as being in a square-rigged open-decked boat in the ocean, I haven't been in one ever. So it's a constant, fearful undertaking for me, and that's why the crew I've selected is completely competent and have been sailing in open-deck boats or making transatlantic crossings. They know what to expect and how to handle it."

"The competence level of my crew has been a great weight off my shoulders," Hodding says. "I've been carrying around how I was going to handle this for the last couple of years." "It's a really varied crew. People from Norway, Greenland, the East Coast of the U.S., the Middle West. There are a few who are not so much sailors but just willing and able and capable."