Download The Vikings: Conquering the Wind and Waves by Robert Wernick PDF
By Robert Wernick
A terror to the surface global, Viking longships have been a resource of serious and comprehensible satisfaction to Norsemen. At a time while nearly all of women and men within the West lived and died inside jogging distance in their birthplaces, and commute was once sluggish and hazardous, Vikings looked as if it would skitter over the globe like water birds over a pond, showing after they have been least anticipated, disappearing after they selected. not like the opposite peoples of Europe within the early heart a while, they understood and mastered the facility of the ocean. right here, during this short-form publication, the tale of the way the Norsemen discovered to construct and sail their longships.
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Additional resources for The Vikings: Conquering the Wind and Waves
When the ship was sailing across the wind or into it - and Viking longships, by all accounts, sailed well into the wind - only one of these whisker poles would be used. The sails themselves were woven of coarse wool and in two layers to add strength. Their color was predominantly red - sometimes solid, sometimes patterned in diamonds, squares, or stripes - the better to declare one’s existence to friends. Great power could be obtained from these sails. But when they were wet they became extremely heavy, and, in storms or in fluky winds, they could be difficult to maneuver and actually deadly: Even a burly Viking chieftain could be knocked from his feet.
At the time, the Norwegian king was cruising the southern Baltic in the Long Serpent with a fleet of eleven dragon ships and numerous smaller longships and supply vessels. He had gone to Rogaland in southern Norway to conclude the marriage of a sister to a local jarl. Following that, he was spending the summer renewing old acquaintances in Vinland on the south coast of the Baltic. When all was in readiness to carry out the ruse, Olaf’s enemies prepared to lure him into their ambush. They dispatched a Viking named Sigvald, the ruler of an island off Vinland, to lead the unsuspecting Olaf astray.
With a lightweight but durable shell, a Viking ship could flex in the ocean waves like a slim leaf. The keel could bend up and down by as much as an inch, and the gunwales could twist as much as six inches out of true without doing any damage to the ship. This would enable the hull to bend to the waves and slide through them with the least amount of resistance, making the ship faster and more stable. In the most favorable wind, a typical Viking ship could reach speeds of well over ten knots. And clearly, the Long Serpent could do even better.