Crew member of Draken discusses challenges aboard ship - WNEM TV 5

Crew member of Draken discusses challenges aboard ship

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Draken Harald Hafagre, Tall Ships (Courtesy: Tall Ships Celebration) Draken Harald Hafagre, Tall Ships (Courtesy: Tall Ships Celebration)
BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

The Draken is the only viking vessel at the Tall Ship Celebration in Bay City.

The ship arrived to the festival late because it answered a distress call on the Great Lakes.

"It's an adventure for me, one thing to be on a viking ship. Who can say they've been on a viking ship sailing the Great Lakes," said Einar Gudmundsson, crew member of the Draken.

The Draken is a replica of an authentic viking longship. It sailed from Norway to Bay City for the Tall Ship Celebration.

The ship is 115 feet long and 78 feet high. Its design predates the other ships at the festival by about 1,000 years.

"It's unique because it's as authentic as we possible could put together in a viking ship," Gudmundsson said.

He said sailing a ship designed 1,000 years ago comes with challenges. Mainly in the lack of resources. There is no lower deck, only the one level for the crew of 34 people to live on while they sail.

"There's no cover. We have a small tent to sleep in, but it's open deck. There's nothing underneath, nowhere to go. We're in the weather all the time. With a crew of 34 people you have to really like who you're sailing with," Gudmundsson said.

Also, hoisting a sail on a ship like the Draken takes some muscle power.

"The yard and the sail itself is about a ton and a half. We use manual process the way they did back in the days of viking times and it takes about 10 to 12 people just to hoist it," Gudmundsson said.

He said it's worth it to see so many people enjoy the ship at the festival.

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