More Web adventurers

August 10, 1998|By Bob Suter | Bob Suter,NEWSDAY

* THE SITE: Beyond Lands End Adventure: Viking 1000


* THE REASON: Virtually, a Viking voyage

Ten men are braving brisk temperatures, turbulent, icy waters and gale-force winds to re-create the historic 1,800-mile voyage from Greenland to Newfoundland made 1,000 years ago by Leif Eriksson.

Their craft is an exact replica of a Viking ship, and thanks to the addition of a few items not commonly found on ships back then - computers, a satellite phone and a digital camera - you can accompany these hardy adventurers on their frigid odyssey.

The undertaking is called Viking 1000 and is underwritten by the Lands End catalog company.

The site previously featured scientist-astronaut Owen Garriott's geological expedition to the Antarctic. You can also visit with animals from aardvark to zebra with naturalist Jim Fowler, or hang out with teen-age brothers Matt and Ted Jess as they spend an Arctic summer tagging Beluga whales.

Like all the adventures on the site, Viking 1000 employs up-to-the-minute journal entries, digital photography and occasional bits of audio and video to keep you abreast of events.

Thanks to good e-mail, you can become directly involved by FTC posting questions to the far-flung adventurers.

All journal entries by the Viking 1000 crew are prefaced with navigational data so you can chart their whereabouts (or you can just cheat and click on the route map). These entries are often funny and occasionally candid. True to Viking machismo, these guys are apparently unfazed by the prospect of having a World Wide Web audience looking over their shoulders.

For author-adventurer Hodding Carter and the crew of the Viking ship Snorri, this is the second attempt at the trip, having been rescued by the Canadian Coast Guard midway through their first attempt last summer when their rudder failed.

This time, Carter has created an authentic Viking costume, which he has said he'll wear for a week. Now, that sounds like a real adventure.

Viking 1000, like much of the Adventure site, is another example of that unique-to-the-Web confluence of modern technology and old-fashioned pioneering spirit. This is perhaps best illustrated in a journal entry explaining the resolution of a problem with the satellite phone: "We had a spare sat phone part delivered to our anchorage by jet ski. It was both too much and too funny. These three guys zipping around, bundled up like they were riding snowmobiles and handing us this little, plastic-wrapped box that had just been flown in from Norway at who knows what expense. If nothing else, this trip has been a study in contrasts."

! Pub date: 8/10/98

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