The best description I have ever read of sailing a long ship. I love it when people reconstitute old tech that still works — like the traditional Polynesian canoe that sailed from Tahiti to Hawaii and back in the 1970s, all without a compass, radio, or modern maps.
This is Danish writer Thilde Kold Holdt’s description of rejoining her “crew” for the first trip of the season aboard a traditional long ship, the Sea Stallion: “We’re 65 people on a ship no larger than a bus.”
Old habits must be remembered:
With the sail up, and not currently on duty, I’m no longer tied to my rowing seat, so I crash atop the oars, forgetting, as I do every year, not to lean against the thick shrouds, those enormous tarred ropes which hold up the mast. My long braid gets stuck to the tar and I have to wrench it off. I’m pretty sure this is why Vikings braided their beards.