Across the North Atlantic in an Open Boat
Diary of Captain Gerhard Folgero
Building a Viking Ship
After searching the whole Norwegian
coast, from Bergen to Helgeland, for a place to have a boat built
at a price I could afford, I found the out-of-the-way settlement
of Korgen. Korgen men have a good reputation as boat-builders, and
Johan Petersen is one of the last boat-builders still using the
old methods called clinker built, with the edges of hull planks
over-lapping. Everyone else said they only used carvel
construction, with the plank seams butted flush together.
The village of Korgen is so remote,
that I had to go by horse; no cars, or boats could reach it. I
arrived at the farm of Johan Petersen to find him hewing timber
and he welcomed me warmly. I was hesitant to jump right in to
asking him for help on my plans, but eventually I asked if he
could build a clinker-type boat that was around 40 feet long. Yes,
said he, but wanted to know what it would be used for. Wanting to
keep my project under wraps, I asked him if we could talk more
privately indoors, and showed him the design drawings. When I
explained my plans to Petersen, he was incredulous and at first
seemed to think I was crazy. But his personal interest in history
drew him in, and Petersen agreed to undertake the construction of
the “Leif Erickson”. Parting, I asked him to reveal my plans to no
Johan Petersen began
work on the boat at once. A large shed was quickly built to hide
the construction as long as possible, and he gathered the
materials needed. All his small children were engaged in the
making of wooden pegs, which had to be dry when the planks were
put on the boat.
Petersen has five men
working with him on the boat construction, and the pressure is
intense. They are putting in long days of work, but there is still
much to be done.
While Petersen cuts
the ribs, shapes the keel and dries the planks, the people in the
settlement begin to suspect something is going on. People stand
around the shed trying to peek in at the door and see what they
are doing. It is the talk of the town.
It is no longer a
secret what is happening on Johan Petersen’s farm. The planking is
almost finished and the ribs ready to be installed. Everyone is
allowed inside the shed to see.
March 20, 1926
The hull is complete,
and I have pondered the problem of how to transport the boat to
open water day and night. The fjord is frozen and the road covered
with three feet of snow.
But old Johan Petersen did not waste any thought
on this question. He knew the conditions and was accustomed to
the different obstructions to transport.
March 21, 1926
Petersen sent out word
to gather horses and men to transport the boat overland to the
sea. The ship was set upon timber supports, and people came
flocking to see the strange sight as a large procession moved down
the road. In the forest where the road was too narrow, trees were
cut to allow passage of the boat, fences were moved, and telephone
lines were lifted up. When horses sank to deep into the snow,
strong arms helped them up again. It all went with humor and a
precision we had to admire.
We arrived at open
water in the Elsfjord at 5:00 p.m., where the boat was hauled down
to the beach and set upon the water with loud hurrahs from the
people. It sat very nicely in the sea, and the boatbuilder looked
at it there with tear-filled eyes. I understood his feelings.
Everyone sat down in the snow for a well-deserved rest and a bite
The boat was towed to
Hemnesberget where Stenersen & Sons will install boom lifts, water
tanks, and provision tanks. The old sailmaker, Jens Henriksen, has
nearly finished sewing the sails. The rigging and mast are ready,
and just need to be set up.
April 20 1926
The “Leif Erikson” was
launched before a large group of people gathered to watch the
ceremony. Speeches were given and a toast was drunk in the old
fashion. Then the “Leif Erikson” slid into the water with hurrahs
and shouts of joy from the spectators.
Meanwhile, my crew
have arrived in Hemnesberget and were busy preparing the boat to
sail. The crew consisted of; Johan Johnsen from Molde, Kristian
Andersen from Sandnessjoen, Thomas Stavenes from Bergen, and
May 1 1926
As we left
Hemnesberget through the Ranfjord we didn’t have much wind, but as
we got farther out onto the fjord, the wind picked up to a
fresh breeze and we went quite fast. As we approached Nesna, the
wind become quite strong from the south, now we would see how
“Leif” would handle. We had to pull down two reefs in the sail
and yet it was almost more than the sails could bear. The wind
picked up even more, and by Ulvangen the wind picked up to a
strong gale. We soon found out the boat was quite a sailor.
May 2 1926
We arrived in
Sandnessjoen at 5:00 in the morning, and tied up for a nap before
the town awoke. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to sleep for very
long before the boat was full of people wanting to greet us and
see the boat. At noon we left Sandnessjoen after a memorable
Six o’clock in the
evening we passed Alstahaug, and people gathered to catch a
glimpse of the boat that was going to America. Across Folda
we encountered some poor weather, but the boat handled
excellently. It was a good seaboat when one learned how to
May 3-Mid May 1926
We arrived in
Aasenleia at 4:00 in the morning. There was a group of boats out
fishing, and at first they were all so busy that no one noticed
us. When they caught sight of us they were so surprised at the
strange sight, they rowed for their lives toward shore. Some of
the older fishermen couldn’t get their lines in fast enough and
were left behind full of fright.
We had to tack through
the Trondheimsfjord and stopped at Kristiansund for a few days and
were guests at a yacht club which held a big party for us. Across
Hustadvika we encountered poor weather, but we made it to Molde.
From Molde we continued to Aalesund, where we stopped a couple of
days and had an enjoyable stay. From Aalesund we encountered
gales when we crossed the Stadhav, and had to sail with three
reefs down, but made remarkable time. We stopped on Maaloey for
only a couple of hours.
Last stop at Bergen
We received a lavish
reception in Bergen, and tied up by Sukkerhusbryggen where the
boat was viewed each day by the thousands. This was our last stop
before setting out across the North Atlantic, and we made the
final preparations for the trip--all provisions, freshwater,
medicines were loaded.
There were constantly
people from the city and surrounding area on board, along with
press and photographers from all over the country. Despite the
busy days we met everyone with a smile. We did not want to show
these people we had more than enough to think about, though they
asked us questions about everything between heaven and earth. The
merchants were very understanding, and gave us provisions and
necessary equipment. This is a great relief on our budget for
this self-financed journey.
Beginning the Ocean Crossing
May 22 1926
We were alone as we
sailed toward the Marstein lighthouse, all the boats that had been
following us had turned back. It was late evening, so we dropped
anchor in a small bay to rest before we set out over the North
We hadn’t been at
anchor long before many boats surrounded us, and we were bombarded
with questions. We worked late into the night securing things,
coiling up excess rope, and preparing our sea anchor in case we
should need it in a hurry.
Over the North Sea
Arrival in the Faroe Islands
May 23 1926
We got up at 7:00 in
the morning, but now a thick fog lay over the fjord, so thick we
could hardly see a boat length. We remained waiting for clear
weather, with quite a few boats gathered around us. We had a
lively discussion about our chances of making it across with our
lives in our little open boat, and one old fisherman predicted our
demise before the Shetland Islands. We only wanted one thing
now, to get away from all the people and be by ourselves.
The fog lifted in the
afternoon, and so we hauled in the anchor and raised the sail.
After passing Marstein lighthouse the wind diminished, and by 6:00
p.m. we were about 10 nautical miles out and it became completely
May 24 1926
We drifted until 6:00
in the morning, then the wind picked up from the southwest. We
set course for an old Viking stop in the Shetlands. The westerly
wind picked up and we close-hauled the sails to maintain our
May 25 1926
It went well for a
day, but then came the fog again, as thick as a wall, and a strong
headwind. Everyone has to be on watch, or man the bilge pumps, to
keep us from filling with water. We had to tack ahead against the
strong winds and choppy waves, but the men carried out their
duties with good spirits.
May 26 1926
The weather has kept up for two days
without changing. It is our fourth day out and we should have seen
the Shetlands, but the wind has switched to a strong wind from the
northeast with high seas.
May 28 1926
Sighted land at 6:00
this morning and sailed the Shetland Islands with four reefs down.
We dropped anchor in a sheltered bay and made coffee immediately
because we were wet and cold, and hadn’t had a warm drink for
Soon we were
surrounded by a group of boats and just like outside of Bergen, we
were bombarded with questions. Everyone was very friendly and
wanted to be helpful, but we were all very tired and wanted to be
left alone. As soon as we drank a large mug of coffee, and ate, we
went to bed. We were so tired that we didn’t care much that things
weren’t as dry as they had been before we left Norway. Johnsen
stayed up to stand watch.
May 29 1926
After breakfast this
morning, we went ashore to send a telegram to Norway, informing
that we had made it to the Shetlands, and another to custom
authorities in Lerwick informing them of our rest stop.
By 10:00 a.m. we
lifted anchor, raised the sail, and sailed out of Blumuoldsund on
a fresh southeast breeze with heavy swells. We took a bearing of
the land at 3:00 p.m., and set a course for Thorshavn in the Faroe
Islands. The weather was fine to the Faroes with calm seas, light
winds, and some fog. En route we met a whaling vessel out of
Leith, Scotland with a Norwegian crew. They shouted hurrahs and
followed all day, but steamed westward in the afternoon.
May 30 1926
Caught sight of land
early in the morning, though this leg of the trip was longer than
anticipated because of the light winds and unfavorable current. A
boat carrying a delegation from Thorshavn welcomed us to the
Faroes, and we let them tow us into town. It was 4:00 in the
morning, but the town was alive and we received a grand welcome
with speeches, singing, and tales of our ancestors the Vikings.
We had to ask for quiet since we were tired and worn out, and we
had to prepare the boat to take on guests.
The day we left
Thorshavn, the Danish destroyer “Niels Juel” arrived in port with
the Danish king and queen on board, and we were requested to join
in the reception for them. We pulled up alongside the ship and
King Christian and Queen Alexandrine came to the side and talked
to us for quite a while and wished us a good journey. We sailed
out the fjord and set a course for the Eidefjord.
The wind was
calm and the current against us. We had a difficult time working
to keep the boat away from the rocks. We finally arrived in the
Eidefjord and moored the boat by the whaling station, where
station personnel stood by ready to help. Some whale meat was
taken on board for reserve provisions and final preparations were
made for the Atlantic crossing.
June 10 1926
All the people from
the whaling station were on board to say a last, sad farewell. Two
other boats had been there en route to Vinland and disappeared
without a trace, and they were better equipped, with jib-headed
sails that were easier to handle in storms and around icebergs. By
comparison, our boat was flimsy, completely open and with only one
square sail. They didn’t believe we could possibly make it to
Iceland without being destroyed in the rough sea.
manager of the whaling station, offered to tow us out of the
sound. This was a great relief not having to row against the
strong currents in the sound. A small motorboat towed us out of
the sound and then released the towlines. They waved goodbye and
wished us a good journey.
A Violent Storm
June 10 1926
We set sail against a strong
headwind for Ingolfshoegdi, Iceland. The sea was very rough near
land and the boat rolled frightfully. We had to crawl back and
forth attached to lifelines to avoid being thrown overboard. In
the afternoon the weather seemed to be improving, so one man was
able to crawl into bed, but with clothes on in case we should need
him in a hurry.
At 9:00 p.m. the wind
turned to a fresh gale from the east with choppy seas, with waves
breaking over the side. A dark fog bank loomed menacingly
ahead across the horizon. Kristian had quite a task getting the
stove going, then keeping the kettle on the stove, but the thought
of a cup of coffee on this cold night made the work seem worth the
June 11 1926
Morning light relieved
Kristian from the lookout and he tried again to make coffee.
It was difficult to get the stove going with everything wet and
the rolling boat. But Kristian swore that there would be
coffee, even if the boat went down. At 9:30 a.m. he reported
that the coffee was ready. Most of the coffee was lying on
the deck, but there was a small cup for each of us. The few
drops were quite refreshing, and gave us new strength and courage.
June 19 1926
We struggled through
the cold, wet weather for five more days with no mishap. The
seventh day, according to our dead reckoning, we should catch
sight of Ingolfshoegdi (southeast Iceland). The fog was still
very thick, but by 2:30 p.m. it began to lift, and we could see
for several miles, and clumps of floating seaweed told us we were
not far from land. Thomas climbed up on the dragonhead to get a
better view, and he cried out, “Land ahead!” It was good news we
were very happy to hear.
It wasn’t long before
we all could see land, and when the wind died and the fog cleared,
we saw Ingolfshoegdi straight ahead. Although there was no wind,
the sea was so rough that the boat rolled frightfully for about
two hours. We became a little irritable.
The wind picked up a
bit from shore. We had to sail close-hauled in order to make the
Vestman Islands. The wind then turned to gale force from the
north and the sea became choppy, and we were unable to steer
close-hauled. The boat wouldn’t carry the sail, so we took it
June 20 1926
Sunday morning, 9:30
a.m.. The winds are diminishing and we are able to raise the sail
and set course for Rekjaneset, Iceland. The sea is calming, sky
clearing and sun to dry our clothes.
We made coffee and
sandwiches and soon felt better. Two men were allowed to go to
bed. The wind picked up a bit and we caught sight of land in the
afternoon. We experienced the truth in the expression: “For every
dark night there is a brighter day.”
We Arrive at Iceland
June 21 1926
At 11:00 p.m. we took a bearing off
the Rekjaneset lighthouse, and soon the land disappeared over the
horizon. Our course was now for Angmagsalik, across the Denmark
Strait in eastern Greenland. We drifted as the wind died down and
the air cooled, rowing to keep warm and visiting the coffee pot in
the aft cabin often.
In the Drift Ice
June 22 1926
We noticed a dark
fogbank in the north that looked like a black mountain. Everyone
shuddered at the thought of more fog, a sailor’s worst enemy. By
4:00 a.m. we were surrounded in a fog as thick as smoke, and the
wind picked up from the northeast, forcing us to reduce the sail
to two reefs. Its quite dreary out on the sea in such a small
boat, cold and raw, one feels quite alone.
The wind picked up
even more, so we pulled down two more reefs in the sail. The
sea began to get rough, and was continually crashing over us. Once
in awhile a bird would follow us, or a whale would pop up, and
divert our thoughts in the solitary surroundings.
June 25 1926
The fog continued for
four days. The cold spray burns our eyes, and we can’t see much
more than the bow of the boat. It is worst at night, cold and
June 26 1926
The fog has lifted
some, the sun peeking through the clouds once in awhile. If only
it would clear up for an hour during the day, then we could make
an observation and figure out our position.
June 28 1926
The air was bitter
cold like a winter day. Johnsen, on lookout, shouted, “We’re
in the drift ice! We’re surrounded by ice!” . We
quickly lowered the sail, and set out fenders to protect us from
the ice. It was a dangerous position to be in the middle of
an ice belt, we could be smashed to pieces in these high seas.
Struggling for our lives each time the sea threw us into the ice,
we thought the end was near. The boat was only a nutshell,
with no motor, and only a square sail for us to put our trust in.
Amazingly the boat took the stress.
June 30 1926
The fog has lifted and
we were able to make an observation, finding that we are about 40
nautical miles south Angmagsalik, Greenland. The polar current
had put us farther south than we had reckoned. We remain
surrounded by ice, but have found an open channel and raised sail,
sailing south with ice on both sides.
At 11:00 a.m. we
caught sight of land. It was a beautiful sight, those tall,
snow-capped mountains, and we hoped to make it through the ice to
land and find a bay to rest in. Unfortunately, the wind picked up
again and the seas grew rough, shrinking the channel we were
sailing in. Kristian, on lookout, shouted, “Iceberg ahead!” We
were surrounded by ice and saw no way out. Everyone kept a
lookout for an escape route. I was certain the boat would be
crushed if we didn’t soon find a way out. Everyone put on
lifejackets and a box of provisions was lying ready on the aft
deck should we have to go onto the ice. I’m sure many prayers
were said at that moment.
As we stood looking
anxiously at the icebergs around us, Thomas shouted, “There’s a
small opening ahead!” We set a course toward the opening and
sailed for our lives through an opening not much wider than the
boat. We made it through just in time. Just after we passed
through, a huge piece of ice came up from the sea, did a
somersault, and blocked the opening.
Relieved to be in the
open sea, we agreed to set a course toward land and sail along the
shore. Should something happen to the boat, we could crawl
ashore, though Greenland is a very barren land.
We spotted a huge
iceberg, towering high above the sea like an island. We set
out for it hoping to get in the lee of it, throw out the sea
anchor and lie and rest for a while. It was several
kilometers long and over 200 feet high, and there is usually not
much current behind icebergs. We found a small opening and
sailed in, dropping anchor to eat and rest. We are all very
thankful to be safe for the time being, after struggling for our
lives through the fog, ice, and storm.
July 1 1926
We set sail again
through the drift ice and icebergs along the coast. According to
our calculations we were near Cape Farewell on Greenland’s
southern tip. We could tell we were getting near the Cape by the
changing seas and wind and strong current. We caught sight of the
Cape about six miles from it, a rare and beautiful sighting since
it is usually covered in fog.
The wind picked up as
we neared the point, and the sea became rougher, causing the
glaciers to be constantly calving, releasing icebergs into the
sea. Around the point there was an impenetrable belt of drift
ice, so we made a long detour. As we sailed out the wind picked
up to gale force and the sea grew threateningly high. We had to
reduce the sail, and set out the wave dampening oil. We struggled
for two hours before making it around the drift ice.
Sea Ice for Drinking Water
July 4 1926
Four days of
struggling through ice and cold, and we figure are near Julianehaab, but the fog set in and we could only see about half
of a mile. Not a sound from land was to be heard. The only sound
is from the breakers hitting against the icebergs and the seagulls
flying around us. We begin to hate the seagulls and wanted them
as far from us as the sun is from the earth.
Sailing for the
northern tip of Labrador; a distance of about 1000 miles. If the
winds are favorable, it would take about eight days. The wind was
fresh from the northeast. We had to steer a northerly heading
because of the great magnetic variation (about 45 degrees west)
and a strong current. Kristian didn’t understand this and began
to protest strongly. He felt we had suffered enough in the cold
and did not want to sail to the North Pole.
July 5 1926
We are making good
time. The thick fog is lifting, and we are under full sail.
Sunbathing in the Arctic
July 6 1926
Three days out of
Greenland and the skies cleared, we are all very happy. Able to
take an observation, our dead reckoning was not too far off, only
two nautical miles off. We had a feast, and despite the unripe
potatoes and rotten vegetables, no one complained. The sun was our
guest here in the Davis Strait, and everyone rejoiced in the
sunshine. We took off our clothes and sunbathed, and though our
saltwater-soaked faces soon began to burn in the strong sun, it
was quite a strengthening for our systems. There had been no
water for bathing since leaving the Faroes, so we felt rather
uncomfortable. We set the ice we had brought on board on the aft
deck so it would run into a bucket as it melted.
July 8 1926
Drifting in the sun
for about 30 hours, it felt good to eat and rest. We had sailed
for 8 days and calculated our position to be about 140 miles from
Labrador. The air became colder and it began to rain, the wind
shifted to a fresh gale from the northeast, and we had to again
struggle for our lives down this dangerous coast with reefs far
from shore. We felt as though we were sailing toward death and
defeat. In these waters there are no lighthouses or foghorns to
warn of the dangers lying ahead.
July 9 1926
We didn’t feel very
well; our bodies were still stinging and burning from the sunbath
we had in the Davis Strait. But a new day arrived and lifted our
spirits. At 6:00 a.m. Kristian shouted that coffee was ready. By
7:00 a.m. we caught a glimpse of the sun, and it lifted our
spirits even more.
Birds were flocking
around us. Thomas heard talk of fish and brought out his fishing
line. We were all looking forward to fresh fish, regardless of
what kind it was. Even if it was a porbeagle shark, we would eat
it. Thomas hit bottom at 37 fathoms and as he brought the line
back up he shouted, “I’ve got a big one!” We stood excitedly
waiting to see what he would haul in. It was a large cod, about
At noon we made an
observation that we were about 32 nautical miles north of the
Belle Island Strait, which we set a course for. We didn’t have
any detailed charts over this area, so we had to navigate very
carefully. The night was again very cold and we consoled
ourselves by eating the fish.
Through the drift ice by
July 10 1926
Ice makes it impossible to sail
through the Belle Island Strait. We would have to sail the long
way around Newfoundland, a few hundred extra miles, so we set a
course for Cape St. Francis, Newfoundland.
After sailing several
days through rough seas and fog we calculated our position to be
near St. Johns. It is difficult to describe our happiness. We
were all looking forward to seeing people again and having a rest,
wash and a change of clothes. We heard the foghorn at St. Johns
at 4:00 a.m. We thought we were far enough south to be out of the
area of dangerous ice, but we soon learned otherwise. Kristian,
who was on lookout, thundered, “Iceberg ahead!” We got the boat
turned just in time. We sailed through the ice and finally
arrived in St. Johns in the afternoon. Several came out to meet
us, but they kept their distance when they got a closer look. We
Arrival in St. Johns,
July 20 1926
We sailed in toward town and arrived
in calm water. There was a tugboat inside the sound, though it
observed us at a distance. We raised our Norwegian flag, and the
tugboat came up alongside and greeted us with the whistle. A
voice shouted out to us in Norwegian and welcomed us to St.
Johns. We continued toward the harbor where we were told to tie
up by the dock in front of the Marine Agency.
Though the boat was steady and no
longer rolling, we could hardly walk a step. Our legs hadn’t
adjusted yet to the sudden change. We all looked terrible. No
one had washed or bathed since leaving the Faroe Islands. Our
clothes were worn, Kristian's oilskin coat no longer had arms, and
Thomas’s coat was in two pieces. There were soon hundreds of
people gathered near where we docked. We were embarrassed and shy
and just wanted to be alone for a while. There were people
everywhere. It was difficult to comprehend. Not long ago we were
in a desolate ice field. Now we were surrounded by thousands of
people. It was like a dream. It was like we had been asleep and
woke up in a new place.
July 21 1926
stayed in St. John’s for three days. The people were very
good to us and helped us any way they could. We were busy
taking on provisions and fresh water. Our economic position
was not so good and we had to live by our means. We were
able to get some salted fish cheaply, and we salted some fresh
fish ourselves. We hadn’t used much of the medicines so we
didn’t need to restock them.
July 14 1926
Ready to sail, and still 1000 miles
to go to reach Boston. We departed St. John’s at 9:00 this
morning after a ceremony. The dock was full of people wishing us
a good journey.
July 20 1926
Two days of hot scorching sun and
calm winds, set course for Cape Breton to bring us closer to
shore. Not making much distance, but we enjoyed some quiet,
peaceful time away from people. After a while we began to feel
lonely again, and longed to be back in civilization with people.
We weren’t ready for the sudden hot temperatures and have somewhat
of a desire to be back in the ice again.
July 21 1926
The wind picked up
from the northwest, and the current from the St. Lawrence was
strong. We raised full sail and steered closed-hauled. Things
went well, but a fogbank stood menacingly on the northern horizon,
and we were disappointed to be surrounded with fog by night. We
blew our foghorn all night, and had to navigate the busy waters
July 22 1926
Winds picked up to
gale force by 10:00 a.m., though the fog lifted some. According
to our dead reckoning, we were near the mouth of the St. Lawrence
River, or in Old Norse, Straumfjord. Here there are good fishing
July 23 1926
About 5:00 in the
morning we caught sight of a lighthouse near Cape Breton. Later,
a group of motorboats came up alongside and asked where we were
from and where we were going. They followed us for a while,
wondering how we could have sailed this boat from Norway. I asked
if they would report that we had passed Louisburg, which they
promised to do. The wind picked up and we made good speed. That
night was mild and comfortable.
July 24 1926
At dawn the wind began
to diminish and turned more westerly. Later in the morning
the wind died and the sky cleared. We laid still and began
to roll. Kristian swore that today the fish would be cooked.
He came out of the galley several times and cursed at how hot it
was. It was a difficult task to keep the fish and potatoes
on the stove with the boat rolling so, but it was a sumptuous
July 26 1926
We have drifted for
three days in the sun without making much distance. They are long
days. Someone always had to be on watch to be ready with the sail
should the wind pick up and watch for ships. So we rotate the
watch and keep the lantern lit at night.
Near Halifax, Nova Scotia
July 29 1926
Three more days of drifting, this
time in thick fog, until the wind picked up from the west. We
again had to tack our way ahead, a practice requiring a lot of
patience in light winds with a square sail. It looks like it is
going to be a long journey to the USA.
We were alone again,
but in a good mood. We set a course toward Shelburne, on the
southern tip of Nova Scotia where we will make a stop to rest and
get freshwater. Tradition has it that Leif Erikson landed here in
the year 1000, on the southern tip of Markland, and had his first
battle with Skraelings (Indians) and two of his men were killed.
Two stones, said to mark Viking graves, are now kept in a the
August 5 1926
We have been underway
from St. John’s for three weeks. In this time, only a couple of
days had been clear and we had to tack most of the time. Our
supply of drinking water was beginning to diminish and we had to
begin rationing. Kristian and Thomas had washed clothes and
hadn’t been careful about conserving water. We still had plenty
of food though, especially salted fish, some salted meat, and
August 9 1926
Skies cleared and we were
able to make an observation. Our spirits rose as the wind picked
up and we began to make better time. Kristian hung up his mildewy
clothes which had been soaking for nine days. We were about 42
nautical miles from the southern point of Nova Scotia. It
wouldn’t be long before we would see land, unless of course we got
10:00 p.m., and
surrounded by a thick fog. We continue to sail with a full sail
despite hearing boats in our area, testing our luck to try and
August 10 1926
We heard a whistling
buoy ahead and set a course toward it. After a while the
wind died, and we began to row. At 2:30 a.m. we reached the
buoy and tied up alongside it. It is not legal, but we were
so exhausted, and the constant sounding of the buoy meant we no
longer had to blow our foghorn. Two men got to sleep and two
kept watch. Sometimes we could hear the waves breaking on
the shore, telling us we weren’t too far out. Stavenes, who
was always thinking about fishing, threw out a line and the boat
was soon full of fine fish.
August 11 1926
After a noon meal we
rowed for shore, four hours of rowing with a strong, southerly
current got us out of the fogbank. The lighthouse by Shelburne
had seen us and they sent notice to town that a strange boat was
on its way in. A patrol boat with an English flag came out to
meet us, with four armed officers to inspect the “Leif Erikson”.
They asked us where we were from, where we were going, and looked
at our papers. At first they had thought we might be smugglers,
and didn’t believe that we had sailed from Norway. After a
thorough inspection that revealed only moldy provisions, they left
and wished us well.
At dock we encountered
more doubt, one man said, “I don’t think this little craft has
ever seen Norway.” We asked for freshwater and everyone was very
We had coffee and
lunch. Afterwards, we just sat and enjoyed the sight of land with
its magnificent flowers and trees. It was a beautiful landscape,
similar to Norway.
August 12 1926
Setting sail in the
morning, we set course for Cape Cod, south of Boston. The wind
was fresh out of the east. Then the wind died and fog formed. We
were in the Bay of Fundy, an area with much traffic, so everyone
had to maintain watch.
It was now three days since we left
Shelburne and according to our dead reckoning we were about 70
nautical miles from Boston. In the evening a U.S. Navy patrol
boat came up alongside and ordered us to stop. Several officers
boarded the ship and searched it, looking our papers over
carefully. They thought we were smugglers and decided to tow us
into Boston. We weren’t going to complain, we were exhausted.
August 13 1926
Thousands of people
came down to the dock to see us. Eleven o’clock the next day a
group of four Norwegians visited us. The group included a
representative of Sons of Norway and the vice consul’s secretary.
They invited us to lunch at a hotel. Afterwards we were to meet
with the mayor and governor. We didn’t have proper clothes for
these visits and the clothes we did have were all mildewy, but we
went anyway. After all the visits we returned to the boat. We
Our dock was not
located in a good position for spectators, so we were given
permission to move up the Charles River and tie up by the Warren
Bridge. We rowed up the river with thousands of people cheering us
on. Here by the bridge we had a fine place for the rest of our
From the Norwegians in
Boston we received a gift of three hundred dollars. We were
very thankful for the gift. Now we could buy clothes and
August 19 1926
We left Boston to be
towed to Newport, Rhode Island to be a guest of the city. In the
evening we were to be guests at the Viking Hotel, a new first
class hotel. We each got our own suite. That evening a
party was held for us at the hotel.
August 21 1926
We left Newport for
our next destination; Philadelphia. There we were to be guests at
the International Exposition for three months. The wind picked up
in the afternoon and the sea became rough and high. Two men had
to be at the pumps. It’s a long way from Newport, Rhode Island to
Philadelphia. It will take about 5 days if we were lucky. The
wind kept up and we made good time.
We passed Sandy Hook at 8:00 a.m.,
and the wind picked up to gale force with very rough seas. We had
to reduce the sails and made it about 11 miles per watch. It was
like a good spirit was trying to hurry us along to Philadelphia.
The wind picked up to
a strong gale right on our stern. We were able to keep up
with a tugboat which came out from New York and held the same
course as us. These boats can do about 11 or 12 knots when
not towing. Sometimes we even overtook them. That
night was very cold for this time of year. Everyone had to
man the pumps and be ready with the sail.
August 22 1926
Passed Few Fathoms
lightship by Delaware at 6:00 a.m., but the sea was so high we
could only see it when we were on the top of the waves. We
continued with full sail past the Delaware Breakwater. Sailing up
river we didn’t see the pilot boat that was to meet us, so we went
on further to the Quarantine Station where we were ordered to stop
and be checked by a doctor. When we finished there we continued,
dropping anchor at Wilmington for the night. We are in calm water
again, no more rolling. We hung up our clothes and bedding on the
rigging to dry.
August 23 - Late November 1926
We made record time
sailing from Newport, only two days. We had a good, peaceful
night. The next morning a small tugboat from the Navy Yard in
Philadelphia arrived with a committee of ladies and gentlemen, all
of Norwegian ancestry, to welcome us and tow us to Philadelphia.
The boat was lifted by
America’s largest crane and set on a trailer to be transported to
the exposition. We were towed through the American military
display, past modern canons, and other weapons. The Leif Erikson
was set on a small lake that had been made with trees planted
around it. It was a nice spot, and quite a change from Greenland
The Leif Erikson Loses a Crew
Here in Philadelphia
we lost one of our crewmembers. Thomas Stavenes decided he would
try his luck here in this country. He had heard one could find
dollars in the streets, darned if he was going to toil and suffer
on a Viking ship when things could be so much easier. We followed
him to the train station and wished him well as he boarded for
Kristian, who was
Thomas’ best friend, stood on the platform with tears in his
eyes. He thought of his friend picking dollars off the streets in
Chicago. Kristian on the other hand would have to struggle and
haul on the sail and oars if he was going to continue with the
“Leif Erikson” to Chicago.
The next day we hired
a replacement for Thomas. Not a sailor, but a plumber who sought
a change in life and wanted to join us on board the “Leif
Erikson.” His name was Osvald Gabrielsen and he was from
Trondheim. (Captain’s Note: Gabrielsen later showed himself to be
a good man in all respects, and became quite a sailor. Becoming a
captain and sailing the Great Lakes in the summer.)
We remained at the
exposition until the end of November. Ice began to form on
the small lake and the nights became quite cold. The boat
was not intended to be a winter house, and we burned coal and wood
in both cabins to stay warm. People were leaving the
exposition and activity began to die down.
November 28 1926
We are back on the
water, ready to sail on after thanking the committee for their
help and hospitality.
En Route to New York
November 30 1926
We have rigged the
mast and sail, took on provisions and water, and began the journey
down river. We started with a fresh breeze from our stern, and we
were able to keep up with the steamboats. Later the wind changed
direction and we had to tack through the cold, raw night.
Eventually, we took to the oars to keep warm.
We were on our way to
New York. We couldn't sail too close to the coast because of the
chance of fog setting in. We sailed between the sandbanks and
busy shipping lanes. We tacked ahead in the light wind from the
December 1 1926
In the morning several
fishing boats came alongside us and asked questions. Everyone
spoke Norwegian and they offered us cod and other fish. Of course
we accepted everything. We couldn't refuse food, we might need it
on our way to New York.
The wind picked up to
gale force by evening, and the sea quickly grew and began to break
over the side of the boat. A large fishing cutter, with many
people on board, came out to tell us that storm warnings had been
issued. They recommended that we seek a harbor, and showed us the
approach to the Cape May harbor.
December 3 1926
The morning wind has
diminished and turned southerly. We had to take advantage of the
conditions and sailed out of Cape May on a course for Sandy Hook.
In the afternoon the fog set in, so thick we couldn’t see
anything, so we adjusted our course away from shore.
December 4 1926
Arrived in Atlantic
City early and stopped over until the next day. In Atlantic City
we met many Norwegians. Some were fishermen, others lived here
for the winter. The city is one of America’s biggest beach
resorts with many luxurious hotels, dance halls, and theaters.
December 5 1926
Winds were favorable
out of Atlantic City all the way to Sandy Hook lightship, and as
we sailed past, its Norwegian crew shouted hurrahs to us.
We had arrived at the
great metropolis; New York, and dropped anchor by the Statue of
Liberty. We had completed our journey across the sea, but we
still had farther to go. Winter had arrived and ice covered the
rivers and lakes, so we would have to spend the winter here. But
where, that was the question.
I was familiar with
winters here, it can be terribly cold and the boat was not
intended for winter quarters. We couldn’t stay here on the river;
there was so much traffic and the boat rolled terribly.
December 25 1926
We were now in a quiet
location and looked forward to a peaceful Christmas, but that
wasn’t the case. Invitations came in from everywhere; private
families and churches all wanted us at their Christmas
celebrations. We were guests at the following: the Norwegian
Seaman’s Church, a Methodist Church, a Baptist Church, and the
Salvation Army, and many others. Christmas Eve we spent with a
family from Arendal and had such a nice evening with good food and
a Christmas tree. It was just like being home in Norway.
In January there was a
period of bitter cold weather, one night dropping down to 38
degrees below zero. We kept fires going in the stoves, but at
night they weren’t enough. Next morning when Johan Johnsen awoke,
his blanket was frozen to the wall. He shouted over to me and
asked if I was still alive or if I had frozen to death. My
blanket was also frozen to the wall and my limbs were stiff.
Kristian and Gabrielsen weren’t in any better shape in the forward
cabin. Everyone got up and we made coffee and sat around the fire
to unthaw our limbs and bedding.
March 1 - March 16 1927
One day we had the
honor of having Roald Amundsen and Lincoln Ellsworth on board the
“Leif Erikson” for a visit. They talked with us for a long time,
and Amundsen inquired about the ice conditions along the Greenland
Up the Hudson River
March 17 1927
Water, provisions, and
work on the boat are done, and if the weather is good, we sail in
the morning. We have said goodbye to our friends and
acquaintances, but many doubt we can make it up the Hudson River
and through the Erie Canal without an engine. And to row the
boat with so few men against the current would be impossible.
March 18 1927
Sailed from Brooklyn at 8:00 a.m.
with a fresh wind from the east. There was again constant tooting
from the boats we met wishing us a good trip. As we passed
Battery Park, thousands of people gathered and waved and shouted
to us. The wind was favorable and we made good time. We passed
under the world’s largest bridge, an impressive structure spanning
from New York to New Jersey. We set a course for Yonkers, we tied
up at the city dock.
March 19 1927
We got up early,
hauled in the anchor and began to tack our way up the river. We
sailed over toward the other shore and set a course for Sing
Sing. Here is located one of the world’s most known prisons, and
I had given a presentation to the prisoners there. Many people,
Americans and other nationalities, have had their lives ended in
the electric chair there.
We continued up the
river where the scenery was beautiful on both sides. Everyone we
met greeted us and shouted hurrahs. A Norwegian who was piloting
a small tugboat came alongside us and offered to tow us free to
West Point. We thankfully accepted the offer. Some canoes came
up alongside after we put up the sail and wanted to race. At
first they kept ahead, but as the wind picked up we took the
We arrived in Albany,
the capital of New York in the evening and tied up. Soon the
boat was surrounded by curious people, but it was late and we
couldn’t let anybody on board, so we promised to stay one day.
March 20 1927
People began to flock
to the boat, and we handed out several thousand brochures about
the boat and the journey to young and old. The newspapers came
out with long articles about the journey of Leif the Lucky. We
were visited by the political official Franklin Roosevelt.
We went on through
several locks where we were lifted about 60 feet. It was almost
impossible to sail here, the mast had to be set down for bridges,
telephone lines, and electrical lines, and we had to row a long
and tiresome way. In some places the current was so strong we had
to go ashore and pull the boat up the canal. It was hard and slow
work as the banks of the canal were uneven and overgrown with
thorn bushes and trees. We tore our clothes and scratched arms
We had to go through
about 40 locks on our way to Buffalo, passing many fine farms,
nice houses, and gardens. Many people of different
nationalities lived along the canal, but the majority were German
and Italian. We could buy vegetables everywhere, and they
were cheap. For 50 cents we got as much as we could carry.
March 25 1927
After hauling the boat
for many days, we grew tired of the work. Kristian cursed America
and the banks of the canal that were overgrown with thorns and
thistles which tore his skin and clothes. He didn’t want to live
in such a land even if the dollars flew in the air. Couldn’t the
Americans make roads alongside the canal so people didn’t have to
tear themselves up. No, they made fine boulevards for cars, but
didn’t think about the people who struggled along using
traditional methods. Kristian was furious and gave a speech on
modern culture, which, according to him, only benefited the better
March 27 1927
to stop for two days. An old man came and visited us. He told us
of his childhood days, when those who traveled the canal used
mules to pull their barges, one on each bank. The canal had since
been widened to allow for tugboats and larger barges.
We came up to a fairly
large lake and decided to rig the mast and sail. The lake was
about six miles long and seemed to be clear of obstructions, so we
sailed without much worry. After sailing only a few minutes we
suddenly felt the boat slow down. Our mast had caught a telephone
wire. It stretched a bit, then finally it snapped. We were sure
the police would be waiting for us at the next lock. Kristian was
After struggling for
about 4 weeks, we finally made it to Buffalo. We were met by a
committee from Sons of Norway which assisted us during our stay
and found a place for the boat. Our countryman, Sverre Munthe
Kielland, helped us get the necessary permission to sail on the
Great Lakes. I gave several presentations here, but we had to
hurry on. We still had a long way to go. We took on water and
provisions and were ready to sail across Lake Erie. Lake Erie is
about 100 miles long and 30 miles wide and quite shallow.
Sailing on the Great Lakes
End of May 1927
We left Buffalo at 8:00 in the
morning, with a fresh wind from the northeast of our stern. We set
a course for Cleveland Ohio, meeting only on steamboat on the
way. It was 5:00 p.m. when we made Cleveland, and we tied up at
the yacht club.
June 1 1927
We leave Cleveland with a light
breeze blowing. Our course is for the Detroit Canal, and at 10:00
a.m. we caught sight of the light buoys marking the canal. We
continued sailing all the way to Detroit, and anchored by Belle
Island. Finished with one of the Lakes, but I suspect the worst
is still to come.
June 2 1927
After a good night’s rest we were up
early, accepting an invitation to one of the largest yacht clubs
in the world. The president was Norman Soederlund, born in
Trondheim. He left Norway when he was two years old, but still
spoke Norwegian perfectly.
We were towed to Detroit, and docked
next to Henry Ford’s yacht. At dinner I gave a presentation, and
showed the film to several hundred, including Henry Ford’s son,
Edsel Ford. Edsel was a very nice man and invited us to tour his
father’s factory the next day.
June 3 1927
Today we were guests of Henry Ford,
quite an amiable gentleman, who guided us through his factory
himself. It is impossible to describe this factory; it is so
impressive and beyond my understanding. I received an autographed
book from Ford which he had written about his company.
June 5 1927
We said goodbye to our friends and
sailed out through the St. Clair Canal to the St. Clair Lake. It
is a pretty place, with beautiful summer houses, trees, and
flowers on shore, but quite flat.
We sailed up a narrow channel with a
strong current, and despite the favorable wind and full sail we
didn’t make much headway. We were striking out onto Lake Huron,
one of the worst of the Great Lakes to sail on. Arrived in Port
Huron at 9:00 in the evening. It was dark, so we didn’t think
anyone had seen us, but we were wrong. They had received a
telegram from Detroit notifying them of our departure, and we were
soon surrounded by people. The president of the yacht club
invited us to a meal, and though tired, we had to go. We dined at
midnight and had a very good time with the 200 or so
participants. We were in the land of prohibition, but of course
Canada was only a few hundred feet across the channel. We left
the party feeling happy, strong, and rich.
June 7 1927
Left Port Huron with little wind and
a strong current against us in the channel. We had to row, but
still at times went backwards, struggling for a couple of hours
until we finally reached Lake Huron. About five miles out we all
agreed that we deserved a cup of coffee, and since the weather was
nice, only some dark clouds in the south, three of us went into
Ten minutes later the boat rolled
frightfully to one side, casting things overboard, and the boat
began to fill with water. A strong wind had suddenly come up. I
had difficulty lowering the sail, and thought we were going to
sink. The men took to the pumps and began to pump for their
lives. The storm left us as quickly as it had arrived, but we had
taken in quite a bit of water and lost our anchors.
June 10 1927
For three days we struggled with
rough seas and the headwind, though many steamboats passed us by,
something we drew comfort from as a source of assistance in case
something happened. We keep near the Canadian shore, and the many
islands where we could seek shelter if necessary. It is cold at
night, and we froze and shivered when spray hit our faces.
June 11 1927
A storm began to develop around 5:00
and we decided to seek shelter on the lee side of an island.
Kristian had made an anchor with some ballast stones, but it
didn’t hold and we drifted back out. Instead, we sailed the boat
right into shallow water, and Osvald waded ashore with a line and
fastened it to a tree. It can be dangerous sailing here, but we
are safe for now.
June 12 1927
Early this morning the wind was calm
and we noticed a motorboat anchored near. Thinking it strange in
this out of the way place, we imagined it might be a smuggler, but
rowed over and called out. Getting no answer, we went on board
and found an old man inside the cabin. He was quite startled, but
invited us in for coffee. He was a Canadian fisherman for over 50
years, and had also sought shelter from the storm.
He agreed to tow us to the mainland,
but first wanted help pulling in his nets. After working for five
hours we had a total of 30 trout and 26 whitefish, we were
rewarded with two fish. At 20 cents a pound the old man would not
earn much, but he was satisfied. He towed us all the way to the
channel leading to Sault Ste. Marie. We are anchored by Drummond
Island, a busy spot with all the boats going to or coming from
Lake Superior passing by.
June 13 1927
Arrived Sault Ste. Marie with people
lining the shore to see us. We tied up at a park where thousands
of cars were parked, people coming from far away to see us. Later
in the day we moved to another park on the other side of the
June 17 1927
Wind from the east and clear skies
to begin our journey of 505 miles across Lake Superior to Duluth,
Minnesota. We met many large ships loaded with ore, and at 3:00
p.m. reached Whitefish Bay. We set a course for Isle Royale; the
landscape is quite desolate, only a few houses or fish houses
along the shore. Most people who live here are of Scandinavian
ancestry and fish on Lake Superior. Farming isn’t very good, the
summers are raw and cold, and the winters are very hard.
Open sea ahead of us is very rough,
with rollers just a big as those on the North Sea. Many large
ships have been lost on this lake. The wind died down, but the
rollers go on so we can’t make coffee. The only life we see is an
June 18 1927
The wind died completely in the
night and we drifted and rolled. It was as cold as in
Greenland, and the water is ice cold both summer and winter.
Tradition has it that a man overboard is dead right away, going to
the bottom and never coming up again. Later the wind picked up
from the east, and we made observations and navigated just like we
did on the ocean. There is no land to be seen, only smoke from
steamships passing on the horizon
We caught sight of Isle Royale, and
were met by many fishermen. Everyone spoke Norwegian, Swedish, or
Danish. It was the height of the herring season, and it were
given some. It was freshwater herring, dry and large, not as good
as ocean herring. We also got a large trout from a man from
Egersund, Norway, which we cooked at once and it was delicious.
The island was beautiful, with many fishermen living there, along
with summer homes for Duluthians and Canadians.
June 21 1927
We sailed on and encountered a
powerful storm, followed by a thick fog. It was difficult to
navigate because of all the magnetism in the hills, the compass
was almost useless. We arrived in Two Harbors this Tuesday night
where we were met by many Norwegians who arranged a dinner for
us. We prepared the boat for our arrival in Duluth.
June 23 1927
The president of the committee, Mr.
Borgen, a Norwegian, came to Two Harbors, along with some other
committee members, and with some Daughters of Norway, to sail with
us to Duluth. The distance from Two Harbors to Duluth is only 28
miles, and wouldn’t take more than eight hours if the wind was
We were told the boat was a proud
sight as it sailed out of Two Harbors, decorated with flags from
stem to stern. We kept near the shore all the way to Duluth, with
a fresh wind from the east and the lake smooth. People waved
American and Norwegian flags from shore, and many Norwegian
fisherman came out and followed us a while. The coast here is
similar to Norway, high hills and small bays where fish houses
stood, the houses even looked Norwegian.
Five miles out of Duluth we were met
by the warship “Paducha”, with an orchestra on board playing the
Norwegian anthem. Closer in, more boats came out to meet us, and
thousands of peopled line the canal piers to welcome us. We
sailed into the harbor and tied up. We had made it to our
destination. It was an event for us, our country, and Duluth.
People were everywhere, even on
rooftops. A choir sang “When the Fjords Turn Blue”, a song dear
to every Norwegian. We took our places under the Sons of Norway
banner and the Norwegian anthem was played, then we went in parade
to the courthouse where the American national anthem was played.
Mayor Snively and Congressman William Chars gave speeches. Chars
said, “Nobody will say today that the history of the Vikings is
not true. There is no doubt that Vikings were in America long
before Columbus was born.”
Afterward we banqueted at the Hotel
Spalding, with guests Mr. Heitmann, a lawyer; Mr. Fuhr, an editor;
Mr. Borgen and Professor Ole Roelvaag. It was quite a festivity
with good food and many speeches.
June 24 - July 15 1927
We received many invitations
everyday, and were thankful for all the kindness the city had
shown us. Most especially we must thank the Norlandslag of
America with contributed much to the success of the festivities.
Visitors were constant, all the way
from the West Coast even. The newspapers wrote much about us, and
the people wanted the boat to stay in Duluth. Mr. Enger purchased
the boat, and offered to give the boat to the city in exchange for
renaming the park. The boat was to be placed as a monument to
Norwegian history in America at Leif Erikson Park.
July 16 1927
We still had some missions to carry
out with the boat and I asked Mr. Enger if we could borrow the it
during the summer, which he agreed to. We sailed to Superior
where we had been invited by the mayor. A new bridge was opened
between Duluth and Superior, and we were the first to pass under
it on the opening day. It was a big event and an air show was
held, and we stayed several days in a park and many people
Late July 1927
Now the men were ready to go home.
They had been on board for over one and a half years and were
tired. Kristian and Johnsen took the Norwegian Line back to
Norway, but Osvald remained on board with me.
Early August 1927
We were visited by the Norwegian
National League, who wanted the boat to go to Chicago to help
celebrate Leif Erikson Day the 10th of September. They negotiated
with the city to borrow the boat and I agreed to sail it to
Chicago, and we went to work at once preparing the boat. It had
to be painted and oiled in little time.
August 22 1927
With two new crewmembers, brothers
Johan and Fritjof Roering, provisions and supplies, we are ready
to sail. By noon we were back on Lake Superior. We have 1,300
miles to sail before we reach Chicago, and we have to hurry to
make it before the September 10th Celebration. The journey
started with cold, thick fog, and headwinds.
August 27 1927
We encountered a storm and wait off
the Michigan shore. The new men turned out to be good sailors and
August 30 1927
Arrived Sault Ste. Marie where we
were told that we had been reported lost in the storm. No one
thought we could survive the storm we encountered on Lake
Superior. We will stay one day and rest and dry our clothes.
August 31 1927
Sailed down the river and on to
Mackinac Island before continuing to Lake Michigan.
September 9 1927
Late in the evening we arrived
exhausted in Evanston, near Chicago. When I called to Chicago to
notify them of our arrival, they were very happy we had made it in
time. We were told to be outside the harbor tomorrow at noon
where we would be met by the committee.
September 10 1927
Out on Lake Michigan again, the
weather was fine, and we arrived outside Chicago at 11:00 a.m.
Hundreds of motorboats and yachts came out, and three warships
fired off cannon salutes. Six boats equipped like Viking ships,
with twelve men each, dressed as Vikings came out and greeted us
with sword and shield.
After docking, we marched to the
stadium where fifty thousand people gathered for demonstrations of
Norwegian folk dancing and Viking marches. Later we went to a
banquet at the Hotel Stevens.
The end of summer was drawing near
and we had to think of the return voyage, despite many invitations
to churches and organizations. Fritjof Roering took sick and had
to leave us, so we will only be three men on the return to Duluth.
September 21 1927
Ready to sail, and we said goodbye
to all our friends. There was a cold wind from the east, and it
was stormy on Lake Michigan. We had to tack our way ahead, and
stopped at Milwaukee to rest.
Encountered a powerful storm in
which we used up all our oil and our sail was damaged. We spent
one day in Racine, Wisconsin to make repairs.
We sailed close to shore into Green
Bay, then kept going night and day against the headwind. Another
storm forced us to seek shelter in the lee of Washington Island,
where we waited for two days. Setting sail again, we reached
Sault Ste. Marie after six days. There the weather was stormy and
we waited it out for four days.
The first day on Lake Superior went
well and we made it to Whitefish Point. Twenty-three miles from
the Point, a snowstorm hit, and we had to take down the sail.
After struggling for thirteen days in the strong winds and rough
seas, we arrived in the Apostle Islands and rested for two days.
October 9 1927
In the afternoon we arrived back in Duluth, and
surprised the city which had given up hope of seeing us again. The
harbor has begun to freeze and traffic is finished for the year.
Time to prepare the boat for storage. The city has rented a shed
to store the boat in for the winter, and next summer is to be
placed in Leif Erikson Park as a monument to future generations of
the past struggles, toil, courage and determination of us and our
ancestors. I paid the men and they moved on, saying goodbye after
a little party. Soon I will be on my way back to New York to
catch the Norwegian America Line’s ship back to Norway.