A greeting from Søren Thirslund

Published 06th Jul 2007

As a mariner who has always been interested in history it was with excitement that I learned that many wrecks had been discovered in the fairwater barrage in Roskilde Fiord. 

This was while I was still an active sailor and ever since then I have followed this exciting project of excavating, conserving and recreating these archaeological treasures. 

Once I had retired from service at sea, I had time to follow the project more closely, and when as a pensioner I became associated with the Danish Maritime Museum at Kronborg, I acquired closer links with the Viking Ship Museum and its many members of staff. I became fascinated by their methods of work, in which all theories were tried out in practice. 

It was therefore Max Vinner who was the first to test my reconstruction of the sun compass from Uunartoq in Southern Greenland on board the reconstruction of Skuldelev 1, Saga Siglar. This took place in realistic conditions in the North Atlantic.

As a member of the Friends of the Viking Sip Museum I have followed closely all the reconstructions of different types of ship but I was nevertheless surprised to be invited to the presentation of the project for building the fantastic longship. This project enticed me even more frequently to Roskilde, where I could admire the well-thought-out methods of work employed by the shipbuilders. 

It was a treat to see the launching of this ship and I admired the calculations that had gone into both the rigging and the size of the sail so I was greatly delighted that both the trial voyages and the successful expedition to Norway were so successful.

I admire the planning and preparatory work that have now made it possible to set out on the thrilling journey round the north of Scotland to Dublin. It is no wonder that this fantastic project has attracted so many nationalities to take part. I send my warmest wishes for a safe journey and interesting results.

Søren Thirslund

Created by Søren Thirslund, ret. master mariner, author of "Viking Navigation"