Readers invited along for Viking voyage

Published on July 20, 2014

Guardian features reporter Mary MacKay leaves this weekend to report on sailor Geoff Ralling’s Viking voyage. She will be reporting on the sailing adventure beginning next week.

This weekend, Guardian reporter Mary MacKay will be making her way to L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland to join Charlottetown mariner Geoff Ralling on his sailing quest to retrace the seaward steps the Vikings took 1,000 years ago when they sailed from Greenland and discovered the New World.

Since departing Prince Edward Island on July 2, Ralling has been steadily making his way toward this Norse archeological site on the northern tip of Newfoundland.

Ralling and his wife, Jane Ralling, hoped to reach Flowers Cove on Friday, which would place them at the entrance of the Straits of Belle Isle.

They’re expected to arrive at L’Anse aux Meadows in a few days, where MacKay will join them and begin to regale the tales of all things Viking.

After spending a few days at the Parks Canada site and experiencing life as the Vikings would have at the turn of the last millennium, MacKay will hop aboard the Be Faithful 2, and with Ralling at the helm travel, sail the nautical route that was likely taken by Viking explorer Leif Erikson, aka Leif the Lucky, who during his exploratory voyage discovered Vinland, which means wine land. Many think P.E.I. is the legendary land.

The name of the series will be The Viking Voyage.

This Viking adventure is the latest in a long line of on-the-spot adventures that MacKay has shared with readers of The Guardian. She has travelled with a busload of Islanders to Guatemala in Central America delivering supplies to a street children’s program.

She has bunked down with 10,000 Scouts at a massive jamboree in Cabot Park on P.E.I.’s north shore; also with members of the P.E.I. Regiment during a week-long, in-the-woods training stint in Gagetown, N.B.; helped with a school build in Rabinal, Guatemala and covered a medical and vision clinic mission to Mikinduri, Kenya.