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Vikings' succeed in epic crossing

Jan 1, 2003

The crew of modern-day Vikings who were attempting to recreate Leif Ericson's historic expedition from Greenland to mainland Canada this past summer successfully crossed the Davis and Hudson straits, effectively proving that the trip could have been accomplished in such a boat.

Before the first big crossing, the crew of the open 54-foot wooden knarr Snorri had been holed up in a fjord, awaiting fine weather, before a weather-routing specialist spotted a break.

"The weather windows are pretty darn short in this area of the world, so when I saw this scenario coming up I said, go, go, go!" explained Michael Carr, president of Weather Strategies on Peaks Island, Maine, who provided weather routing information. "I saw on the satellite image a ridge of high pressure that looked like it was going to be there for three days and that the next set of lows were going to be to the south of them. That meant that the winds would be blowing from the east and northeast for a couple of days. They couldn't have had it better."

Hodding Carter and his nine adventurers reached the shores of Baffin Island less than three days later but were foiled again by long periods of calms and adverse winds. The Vikings then sailed down the east coast of Labrador, across the Strait of Belle Isle and waded ashore at L'Anse aux Meadows, Newfoundland (the site of a short-lived Viking settlement in the 11th century), on September 22.


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