It was a filthy night as the wind howled like a thousand crying wolves and the waves crashed against the longboat throwing up white spume and froth onto the deck. The storm had raged like this for 6 days now and continued to carry the men in a direction they had never been before. No one could row in weather like they were experiencing, so they just huddled under the canvas sheet that provided them with some shelter in the atrocious conditions. Some prayed whilst others wondered why they ever agreed to go on this crazy journey. The master skipper, Leif Ericson had calculated that they must have travelled some hundreds of nautical miles since leaving the shelter and safety of Greenland. But where they were going, even he did not know.
He looked at the dark sea and thought about how brave his men were agreeing to this trip. A trip into the unknown, a trip to a new world and new beginnings. For many of them this was the first time they had travelled without seeing the coastline – any coastline. Was it true that the world was flat? Would they plummet off the edge of the world and enter Valhalla?
This journey took place over a thousand years ago, and pre-dated Christopher Columbus ‘discovery’ of the New World by 500 years. When Leif Ericson first set sight on a strange coastline, he was not to know that he was ‘discovering’ the New World. He named the land Vinland, and archaeological finds in Newfoundland and the Gulf of St Lawrence in the 20th century confirm the presence of Norsemen and their settlements.
Moral of the Story:
Dispelling myths and being courageous of heart in what you want to pursue, will reveal new worlds and new beginnings to all those that try. Erickson and his crew were quite literally, going into the unknown, but they had a strong belief in themselves as individuals and in their skipper. They refused to listen to the doubters and the critics but went onto achieve amazing journeys of which this one, was simply incredible! Trust and have faith in the team around you – especially when things look grim!