Crew wanted

After the year’s great success sailing from Roskilde to Dublin, the Sea Stallion needs new hands.  So you can now enrol for next year’s sea crossing when the ship is to sail home from Dublin to Roskilde.

At first, this may sound self-contradictory. The year’s trip to Dublin was in many ways a great success. Both ship and crew were tested out in optimal conditions with all the experiences that sailing in a Viking ship the size of Sea Stallion can offer – a lot of fantastic days at sea in some of Europe’s most challenging waters, rain and cold, several days in harbour, and enormous amounts of attention from the whole world.

But a project like the Sea Stallion is very demanding.

"Rather a lot of the crew who took part in the seven-week long crossing had been members since the launch in 2004 and that required up to 120 days of preparation and sailing – including 6 weeks’ training in the previous two years. It is clear that not everybody can take so much time free from other engagements without being forced to stop at some point", explains the captain, Carsten Hvid, and continues: "Most of the crew are volunteers and without their enormous efforts this project would never have got off the ground. But many have now reached their limit, so we need to bring the crew up to strength."

The project has just completed an evaluation among the crew, who fully back the project, and the Viking Ship Museum is now hard at work planning next year’s trip. The ship has to come home to Roskilde again and there really are a lot of things that need doing.

"One very big challenge in taking on new crew is that we don’t have a ship to train with. Up until now, we have always had the Sea Stallion just at hand, and the many training weekends have been based in the museum harbour in Roskilde. But our ship is currently being exhibited at the National Museum in Dublin, so we will have to tackle the very important process of selecting the right people in an untraditional way", says Carsten Hvid.

Sailing the world’s biggest reconstruction of a Viking ship puts great demands on both the social skills and the sailing skills of the crew. There is a long list of challenges faced by every member of the crew:

•    Physical demands, with rowing and hard sailing for many hours at a time
•    Cold days and nights
•    Loads of rain for days and days without shelter
•    Lack of sleep for many hours
•    Minimal privacy
•    Primitive sleeping conditions on board
•    Severe weather conditions
•    Many days in harbour
•    Etc., etc.

Despite all this, most of the current crew want to take another spell anyway. But perhaps there are others out there who would like to grab the chance of spending six days a week in pouring rain?

"We hope there are, of course. Over the summer, there were a lot of people who wanted to join us. And there are undoubtedly more people who would fit perfectly into the project", concludes Carsten Hvid.