The 14th of August at 1.39 pm, the Sea Stallion was moored at River Liffey in Dublin after an almost 1100 hours voyage and 1200 nautical miles of sailing.
The weather was for once on the crews side. The sun was momentarily shinning and using a weak easterly breeze the Sea Stallion went for sail all the way from Dublin Bay and up Liffey.
The welcome was overwhelming. From the outer quay's, the longship was saluted by foghorns from the many coasters and cargo vessels in the harbour. And there were waving people everywhere - it is estimated that almost 100.000 had made their way to Liffey to welcome the ship and crew.
Many crew members had teary eyes when the bells on Christ Church Cathedral and other Dublin Churches mixed with the foghorns and the crowd cheering. It was in many ways a magic and euphoric moment. But the celebrations was just beginning.
Before the crew could return to Denmark on Saturday they had to take part in a long list of official events and unofficial celebrations. Tuesday evening the crew and there relatives meet at O'Donoghues - one of Dublin's many historic pubs. With live music and song, the city was conquered in manor.
The next morning, a bit more tired, the crew entered the busses heading for Glendalough in Wicklow. After a guidet roundtrip in the impressive nature, a little grove of oaktrees where made in remembrance of the visit. Afterwards the crew and relatives where invited to dinner at the local restaurant.
Wednesday evening there was a reception in the City Hall of Dublin. The Lord Mayor Paddy Burke was hosting and he and the Mayor of Roskilde held speeches of appreciation for the crew members. Finally Paddy Burke was presenting the crew with a pin in memory of the visit and the voyage.
The crew spend the entire Thursday making the Sea Stallion ready for its jouney through the streets of Dublin. The ship was emptied for equipment, cleaned and late Thursday night a big truck drove through Dublin with a magnificent cargo. Many crew members were in the streets to follow the ship on its last jouney through Dublin city. At Collins Barracks, a few kilometres up river, a major operation by crane began. The Sea Stallion was lifted into the park Croppies Acre, onwards over a electric railway and up to the parking area outside Collins Barracks. Early Friday morning the ship was lifted again, this time over the buildings and into the 700 square metre big square in the middle. One final and smaller lift and the Sea Stallion was at its place in the corner of the big square. During Friday the mast and yard was placed on to the ship aswell.
Throughout the entire operation there were crew members surrounding the ship and the twenty-four hours it lasted was magical. For six weeks the ship has been home for the crew and for most of them it was hard to understand that it was over.
A tribute to the crew
Friday evening was a big night for the crew. The Irish National Museum had arranged a welcome with the ship and crew as honnor guests. After a short introduction of the programme, the director of the National Museum of Ireland Pat Wallace, let the famous Irish poet and nobel price winner Seamus Heaney welcome the crew. The music was by another great son of Ireland Shaun Davey og was presented by the An Garda Síochána orchestre.
At the end of the show the crew was invited on to stage and for one last time on the journey the happy and proud crew members gave a proper Sea Stallion roar.
Saturday evening most of the crew members left Dublin heading for Denmark. The next phase of the project will now begin: In less than a year the course is set for Denmark and Roskilde. many of the experinces learned on this journey will in the time coming be evaluated to make the homecoming just as succesfull. And the scholars at the museum will look through and analyse all the data which the ship and crew have created during the sail and start working on testing the hypothesis of the project.
By: Preben Rather Sørensen