The San Diego Union Tribune, to my great surprise, contacted me and asked for an interview! Of course I said yes! A captive audience, who could resist? Pam Kragen and Charlie Neuman came and listened to Ivar and me, and took lots of photos. This is what they wrote: https://enewspaper.sandiegouniontribune.com/infinity/article_share.aspx?guid=a2f862b9-75f5-407b-bb59-d6a1fa8d5b17.
WE LAUNCHED SLEIPNIR!
On Sunday, March 12, we launched Sleipnir with a crowd of about 80 people attending, some dressed in full Viking attire! KPBS, CBS-8 and the San Diego Union Tribune Newspaper were there to report on the event. It was a complete success, with a speech by Britta Armstrong, Consul Emeritus of Sweden, and a “Sleipnir” story by James Nelson-Lucas.
After launching we did short rowing tours of Mission Bay with 8-10 people aboard, and we learned that she indeed floats, was very stable, and easily moves through the water. The rudder is quite responsive, which is something I was concerned about.
We did not sail, as the rig is not tuned up nor tested, and besides we need to practice before we take people out sailing! Nevertheless the mast was up, as were the pennants of Sweden and Norway, which were raised to much enthusiasm from the crowd.
We found we need to make some alterations to the trailer to make it easier to handle the ship, and once we do that we’ll be going for sails in San Diego harbor.
And after that we’ll plan on taking people out for sailing adventures! I will post when we are ready, so if you are interested in going sailing please start planning: we can take groups of up to 6 at a time.
I have had requests for T-shirts, and they are available in sizes from children’s to 2XL: if you would like one, please send me an email with your phone number so I can call you and get your information. They are $20 each plus $6 shipping per package.
Here is the link to the KPBS story:
Here are some pictures by Glenn Keith (thank you Glen!) which I really like! If you were at the event and have pictures that you would like to share, please send them to me firstname.lastname@example.org so I can post them here.
I’m going to set up a public “gallery” where both I and you can post pictures of Sleipnir events for all to see… I think that will be great fun! Again, thanks to Glen for the suggestion!
I am completely blown away by the enthusiasm people have shown about my ship! Never in a million years did I imagine there would be so much interest, and that so many would find the ship so significant personally and culturally! It makes my work so much more meaningful and rewarding. Thank you!
Sleipnir has been launched!
We had a great day yesterday at Mission Bay in San Diego, with about 80 people in attendance, plus the San Diego Union Tribune (article attached below) and KPBS and CBS TV with reporters filming the event!
We were able to take about 20 people out for brief rowing tours, but were not ready to sail, which we will do soon.
For me it has been quite a change from “I’m building a Viking Ship” to “I’ve built a Viking Ship” and now making her ready to go out and explore the local waters! It hasn’t all sunk in yet, but at least we know she floats and people enjoyed seeing her and going out rowing!
I hope to get the videos from the TV stations soon, and will post them here.
There have been a number of new subscribers! Welcome to you all, and please let your friends know about it, as now we’ll be preparing to take groups out for sailing and rowing excursions on San Diego Bay. I’ll put up a post about that soon, after we have had her out a few times to check out how she sails and make any adjustments to her rig. I have every confidence that she will be an excellent sailor and great fun to go out on!
Thanks again to all of you how follow this adventure! It is amazing to me that so many are not only interested but enthusiastic about what I have done… wow! Never in a million years would I have expected that level of interest!
Tom (I guess I can really call myself Captain Tom?)))))
It’s official! We’re launching Sleipnir March 12!
Yes! In two weeks we’ll have Sleipnir meet her element, finally, after 3 years of toil and struggle, and also a lot of fun and satisfaction.
The event will be at 11am (Daylight Savings Time, remember!) at the De Anza Cove Launching Ramp in Mission Bay.
If you are coming on the i5, take the Claremont Drive exit West, then turn right on Mission Bay Drive. The launching ramp is a short distance from there.
We hope for a nice, clear, calm sunny morning for the event, and hope the Gods will favor us with a safe and happy launch!
We will take small groups (max 8) aboard for short rowing excursions, weather and all else permitting.
Thank you for your interest and support for our ship! I look forward to seeing you there!
Hej och skål!
Hoist up the Sleip-nir sails… see how the mainsail sets… call the Vikings ashore and let’s go and sail!….
Wish apologies to The Beach Boys….
We had a great day at the shipyard, finally putting up the sail! There was a tiny breeze, enough to make it look like she was breathing…
I keep saying it, but there are only a few things left so I’m confident we’ll be in the water soon, raiding and pillaging!
Some of you have asked, and the launching place will be Mission Bay’s launch ramp, which is just off the 5 by Clairemont Drive. Going on the 5, take the Clairemont Drive exit West, then take a right on Mission Bay Road, a short distance to the launch ramp which has a large parking lot adjacent to it. The date is March 12, Sunday, at 11am.
I will post a confirmation of this in a couple of weeks, when we can be absolutely certain we’re a go for launch….
Also, in case you are interested, I will be offering sailing/rowing day adventures, out of Shelter Island, and I will also post dates for your consideration. We are limited to 6 passengers at a time (insurance….). If you want to plan on an outing with a group or as individuals, please let me know the dates you have in mind so I can work out a schedule. I will be away for about 4-5 weeks from the middle of June, FYI…
Thank you for following our adventure, and for your support!
Fully-rigged mast is up!
Today we put up the mast with all the rigging on it, and I’m very happy with how she looks fully-dressed! We’re going to put hoist the sail on Thursday and “see how the mainsail sets” as the song goes… It’s so tempting to think we’re close to finishing!
There’s still some stuff to do but we’ve tentatively set the launching date for March 12, Sunday, at Mission Bay launching ramp in San Diego, at 11am! You who are interested in being there please mark your calendars but please wait for the confirmation, which will be in a couple of weeks…!
Thanks again for following our project!
Well, as Robbie Burns said “the best laid plans of mice and men go oft a-glay!”
Which is to say we are again delayed, and we can’t get Sleipnir finished before Christmas, and since my wife is going over to France to visit her son, so we’ll wait till after she comes back in late January, by which time we’ll have all the bits done and we can have a proper launch in Mission Bay, complete with mast, sail, oars, the whole thing!
It is now 3 years since I started building her, thinking it would take, what, a year, 18 months???? I did get derailed for a few months to build my sweet little Chaconne 15′ sailing dinghy. Covid didn’t really impinge much, as I kept working all through that (are we done with it yet? Seems we’re not…) as I was working on my own until Ivar joined in, so we didn’t have concerns about germs.
I hope all of you who follow my project are well and have a lovely Christmas, and we look forward to starting the next phase soon!
Take care, and as we say in Sweden, Hej Då (See ya later!)
The mast is UP!!!
We finally got the rigging set up for the mast and up it came! In the pictures you can see the post attached to the bottom of the mast with a hinge so it can be removed: its purpose is to provide leverage for the line from the top of the mast (the forestay actually) which goes to the top of the post and attaches to the block-and-tackle which I got online (it’s rock-climbing gear, very well-made and robust), which in turn attaches to the eye on the foredeck, just behind the stem. Then we rigged stabilizers (black rope) from the middle of the post out to the outriggers, to which the first shrouds (stays) also go. This made for a very stable (no wobbles sideways, which would be deadly!) and strong system to raise the mast. The block-and-tackle is 4-part, and Ivar figured that the force needed to pull the mast up (it weighs about 100 pounds) would be something like 150 pounds because of the angle it’s being pulled up at, so the effort needed to pull is 1/4, or about 35 pounds, more with friction )))). The great thing is that one person can rig it all up, once the mast is in place on the cradle at the stern and in its step (the “shoe” that in the middle of the ship). So launching, which is when we’d need to raise the mast, every time))), won’t require a team of 10 football players! As you look at the pictures, notice the mast first resting on its cradle, then lift slightly, then it’s UP! At the same time the support post goes from vertical to almost horizontal… it’s rather magical, no?
Next we have to finish the rigging, adjusting the lengths of all the lines, and we’ll be able to test raising the spar (boom) with the sail on it! We’ll do that at the shipyard when there’s no wind…….
Launching postponed… ((((
With regret, we have to delay our big day to after the holidays, sometime in January.
Basically, we’re just not ready! We’re still working on the rigging and also need to fix the trailer so it will reliably carry her around.
I’ll post again when we know for sure what the date is. It will be at Mission Bay launch ramp.
Thanks again for following Sleipnir!
Launch date set for Sleipnir!
After 3 years’ work we’re finally ready to join Sleipnir with her element! We’ll be at the Mission Bay Launch Ramp, on December 4th (yes 2022!) at 11 am. That’s off the 5 at Clairemont Boulevard.
I look forward to seeing you there! Media will be in attendance, so there will be lots of pictures and video to share, which I will do!
This is the end of one chapter and the beginning of a whole new set of chapters, with adventures and experiences that I have been looking forward to for so long, and hope to share with many of you.
Thanks again for your support: I literally could not have done it without you!
Captain Tomas (I think I can start calling myself that….)))))
Making oars for Sleipnir!
We’re getting close to finishing! This video shows the hull after we cleaned the planks with acid (!!) and neutralized with ammonia… That treatment got rid of the blotchy weathering that built up over time, and needed to be cleaned before we could varnish. We chose chemical treatment over sanding because it’s very difficult to sand the planks with all the rivets: we would have had to go carefully round each rivet which is impossible, and the finish wouldn’t have been good. So, she’s now ready for varnishing!
The main subject of the video is to show how we made oars. We started with 2×6 boards, cut them into square 1 3/4″ lengths, and ran those through a big round-over router bit to take the corners off and so we ended up with round shafts for the oars. To those we glued blocks which we then carved into the shape of the blades. Each oar takes 2-3 hours to make, and they weigh only about 4-5 pounds, so they’ll be easy to handle.
We’re getting quite close to finishing her, next is the varnishing and after that all that remains is completing the rig: we have to shape the mast and make the stays that hold the mast up, as well as place the cleats to which we’ll tie the various lines that control the sail.
Stay tune for more, soon!
Thanks for following us!