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News: Re-enactors take to the waves as Vikings

A little blip closer to home than the UK, or Denmark! This made me laugh! Three sheep indeed.


Re-enactors take to the waves as Vikings
By MATT ZAPOTOSKY
The Washington Post

One of the hardest things about pretending to be a Viking, it seems, is that people tend to mistake you for a pirate.

Just ask the crew of the Sae Hrafn, or Sea Raven — a reproduction Viking ship based in southern Maryland. On a recent afternoon, passing boaters on the Potomac River cried out, “Avast ye, mateys!” and “Show me your swords!”

“Wrong fantasy,” muttered Viking enthusiast David Tristan.

Tristan, 55, and his shipmates were acting out the fantasy of their choosing, as they do on regular outings. As they sailed the 38-foot longship, its bow adorned with a carved dragon head, they verbally accosted other boaters.

“I give you three sheep for the woman!” captain Bruce Blackistone roared at a passing sailboat, its white-haired female passenger waving and smiling nervously.

Of course, the 60 members of what is formally known as the Longship Company are anything but pillagers and plunderers. More than a few are government employees. One is a logistics analyst. Tristan is a television reporter.

What unites members of the nonprofit educational group is an interest in all things Viking.

These days, in the world of reenactment, Vikings seem to be popular, Blackistone said. But don’t tell that to the other boaters on the Potomac River.

See a wooden ship powered by oars? Must be pirates.

“Yarr,” yelled one man passing on a motorboat.

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