The Viking spirit still exists in Scandinavia. Some months ago Kirk Douglas, the well-known film?
The Viking spirit still exists in Scandinavia. Some months ago Kirk Douglas, the well-known film star, asserted that the spirit no longer exists. He was taken up on this - by two young man Rolf Schonbeyder and Lareen. They set out to prove Kirk Douglas wrong. They sent the film star a telegram asking if he would take on a bet that they would sail a Viking ship across the Atlantic to America.
Mr Douglas replied with a "Go ahead," and said he would pay them 5,000 dollars if they sailed a ship from Bergen to New York - with a proviso that they should arrive not later than 12 o'clock noon June 25th. At that time the ship must have checked past the Ambrose Light, New York.
If the Norwegians pulled the gamble off, the 5,000 dollars would be used to provide a fitting memorial (what it would be has not so far been decided) to Norwegians killed during the last war. Kirk Douglas will also pay the cost of the expedition.
Since then the Norwegians have been busily preparing an old Viking ship -- one used by Kirk Douglas himself in a film in Norway last year.
Apart from getting the ship itself ready and shipshape, there have been a host of other details to attend to. Things like getting a certificate of seaworthiness for the ship; permission to undertake the trip from the appropriate authority. Rolf Schonbeyder, who hails from Gjovik in Norway, has grey hairs from worrying over all the detailed preparation necessary before the voyage can begin. But his shoulders are broad - as one would expect from a onetime member of the Norwegian underground movement during the Nazi occupation. He is also an athlete - champion 200 and 400 metres.
"Ormen Hin lange" will be the name of the ship when she sets out on the Atlantic odyssey. Her crew will include some specially selected Norwegian boys keen for adventure and travel. The Lange has been insured for 300,000 dollars and each man on board for 25,000 dollars.
The date of departure has not yet been finally fixed.