Yes, Leif the Lucky had a brother who wasn't quite as lucky. Like Leif he sailed to "Vineland" in search for a place to settle. But to his bad luck, he got struck by an arrow from the natives and died from his wounds. His body was buried on a peninsula according to the sagas and left there. My mission is to find that grave.
Why do I want to find an old grave?
I have a personal relation to these events as Gudridur Thorbjarnardottir, one of the first settlers in America and the first European to give birth in America was my ancestor. I can trace my family directly to her. I grew up listening to the Viking sagas, not only this one, but also local ones. In the recent years archeological excavations have been proofing those sagas to be very accurate in their descriptions with graves and battlegrounds being found where they were said to be.
This is of significant historical importance. It has been debated for a long time how far the Vikings actually did sail. The sagas tell us they sailed all the way to mainland America and in my mind there is no doubt. But physical evidence is lacking. A Viking camp believed to have belonged to Leif has been found in Newfoundland but that doesn't fit the descriptions of the settlement. So I'm going to try to find physical evidence of their arrival on the mainland.
What are my chances?
To increase the chance of finding the grave I will attempt to put myself into the mindset of the Vikings. To do that I will not only study the sagas from the old manuscripts, but also investigate Viking farms and graves that have been excavated in Iceland and Greenland and interview experts in the field. The descriptions of the Sagas will be followed as we sail a 60 foot ketch the same route the Vikings took from Iceland to Greenland and onwards to Canada.
Accompanying me will be the Canadian film-maker Evan Warner who worked on the award winning film People of a Feather. I have created a project on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter (http://kck.st/Lp28Km) where people can back the project by pre-purchasing the film, memorabilia or even become co-producers. You can also see examples of our earlier work.
The ketch has already left Ireland and set sail to Iceland where it will arrive June 15th. I only have 60 hours to raise the money needed so all support is very much appreciated, both financial and in spreading the word and getting media publicity. If all my readers chip in just a couple of dollars, we can make it :)