Sunday, Sept.22, 2019 – Norstead

We arrived in in St. Anthony, Canada after a longish tender ride from the Viking Sea into the small protected harbor.

This morning is cold. This was not our original drop off point. That place is far too dangerous to use. By now little remains of our original voyage, but it is what it is. No matter, it is a pleasant day here and it is warming up. The clouds are being blown away high above us.

We used school buses to get to our destination of Norstead. The few hardy trees around us are stunted by the harsh environment. I feel like a giant standing among the pygmy pines.

Norstead was a supply station built by the Vikings. It wasn’t meant to be a settlement. It was simply a place to land for fresh water and other items needed on their voyages. There were no women here.

There were three long houses built here. Each can hold twenty-five to thirty men. The buildings were made of sod and well insulated against the wind and the cold by that material. Beautiful flowers and grasses still grow on the roofs of these reproductions.

It was Leif Erickson who discovered the new world and not Columbus. That does not lesson the courage that all of these explorers needed to go out into the unknown world in search of riches and fame.

The Chinese might disagree by the way. There is ample historic evidence that the Chinese came to the Americas before the Vikings. There may have been six or more voyages to the new world before Columbus.

It is interesting to note where the Spanish explorers came from in Spain and why they took the risks that they did.

Does it make it any easier to jump out of a plane because someone has already done it? Perhaps just a little, but it is still a difficult thing to do. Likewise with these explorers.

The Vikings had good reason to leave home as well. The eldest son received all of his fathers estate and so soon there was no land and no future for those younger men left without prospects. They had no access to women either due to their thin prospects at home. That is just one reason why they raided and pillaged as they traveled.

There are many interesting stories about the history of the Vikings and about the slaves that they took from their homelands. Some women that were taken had wealthy and powerful families, but they were powerless against the Vikings stealth and fierceness. The first man left on Iceland was a slave of the Vikings. He survived and flourished.

This way station for the Vikings is on the coast and exposed to the harsh weather. That alone speaks to their fearlessness and determination to survive.

The weather has improved. We came home safely after a fine outing and I thank the crew again for that. Their work is hard and dangerous.