Tag Archives: Dragon Harald Fairhair

Calamitous day

A day of woe. A day of calamity.

First of all, it was announced that the Dragon Harald Fairhair, the largest Viking ship replica in the world, which sailed all the way from Norway, is ending its American tour at Green Bay. It will not be coming to the Tall Ships Festival in Duluth, where I had hoped to see it.

The problem was that someone failed to plan for the cost of pilot’s fees in the Great Lakes. Funds were raised, much of them through the Sons of Norway organization, to pay for pilotage. But they couldn’t raise enough to get them to Duluth.

Second, when I got home I found that my air conditioning had failed. This isn’t supposed to happen — I pay a company to come out and inspect it every spring. And the unit isn’t very old. But so it is, and I sit here with the windows open. The service company, of course, was closed by the time I got home and discovered this. But I do have a message on their answering machine. Along, no doubt, with about 800 from other, equally deserving, people.

And to top it off, the republic appears to be doomed.

And how was your day?

Unleash the Dragon!

Dragon Harald Fairhair
Photo credit: Jack_IOM from Douglas, Isle of Man.

I wrote the other day about the problem the replica Viking Ship, the Dragon Harald Fairhair, has gotten into in the great lakes. They’re stuck in Bay City, Michigan, having discovered they’re required to take on a pilot, something that will cost north of $400,000.

The Sons of Norway Foundation has started campaign to raise money for these fees. The donation site is here. You don’t have to be a Sons of Norway member.

Personally, I think it would be more prudent to burn a few buildings and demand Danegeld. But that’s just me.

Coast Guard stops Vikings: Irish take note

Dragon Harald Fairhair
Photo credit: Peder Jacobsson.

All summer I’ve been looking forward to the annual Tall Ships Festival in Duluth. Among the featured ships was to be the Dragon Harald Fairhair, largest Viking ship replica in the world. Built in Haugesund, old ancestral region of the Walkers. I had been talking to the festival people about having my Viking group participate.

At the moment the voyage is stalled. The U.S. Coast Guard has forbidden the dragon ship from proceeding without a professional pilot, something estimated to cost around $400,000. They had understood that their short length made them exempt, but that, apparently was Canadian rules. It seems to be another case of people misunderstanding government regulations, inexplicable in view of their simplicity and rationality (sarcasm off).

Anyway, there’s a petition to get the requirement waived at change.org. I don’t know if it will do any good or not.