Draken Harald Harfagre

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Jörgen Ask

This ship – whose name translates to “Dragon Herald Fair-hair” is a careful replica of a Viking ship, built by hand with what knowledge could be gleaned from archaeological artifacts and literary sources. It was built in Oslo, Norway, and sailed across the Atlantic. This year, it is traveling the Great Lakes. Yesterday, it stopped in Beaver Island’s harbor, Paradise Bay.

“Did you see that boat?” customers would ask, as they came in the door, “That’s really something!”

I hadn’t seen it. I was busy, in the back of the store, putting away freight. I had gotten myself in that “too much to do” mindset where I didn’t even feel that I could stop to take a look outside. We’ve had beautiful ships in our harbor before. I don’t usually get a chance to investigate. This was no different: something wonderful was going on; I was working.

Then, my boss, Jeff Powers, introduced me to one of the crew members when he came into the store. He told him that I was the editor of the island’s news magazine. He told me I should talk to him. As soon as I finished helping the customer I was working with, I did just that. We had a nice chat, and I took down enough information to do a story. I gave Christian a copy of my magazine, and thanked him very much for the interview…and I went back to work.

Then (amazing day!), Jeff asked if I wanted to ride out to see the ship close up! He took me out in his small motor boat, where I was able to talk to another member of the crew, and see, close up, the fine workmanship in this lovely vessel. Not to mention being out – however briefly – on the water in the middle of a workday, on one of the hottest days of the year. It was wonderful, and changed the tempo of the entire day for me!

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