My husband has become a shipbuilder. After 38 years of flying airplanes Bob is now pursuing all things nautical. He buys a box full of wood and miniscule parts along with pages of instructions and 300 to 400 hours later, Wa-la, a replica of an actual ship. The Viking ship (replica shown above) with a beautifully carved keel was discovered in Norway in 1903 and was probably built around 800 A.D. Known as the Oseberg, this ship was approximately 71 feet long and 16 feet wide with 15 pairs of oars and a nailed-down deck. It was not well suited to the open ocean due to the nature of its construction and was more than likely used as a pleasure ship. This one was ultimately used as a burial ship and the blue clay in which it was buried helped preserve it, and some of the ornaments and possessions which belonged to the person buried in it (The person is thought to have been a female, possibly royalty).
Since retirement Bob has built seven larger ships, among them the Canadian Blue Nose II and the British HMS Winston Churchill and several smaller canoes or barges. He is now working on the Cutty Sark, a British ship that is permanently anchored in Greenwich England. I love the dramatic tallships with sails unfurled but the Oseberg with its one sail and dramatic curved bow and stern really speaks to me.