(Above) Crew members of the Draken Harald Hårfagre pull on ropes to tighten the Viking ships sail. In distance at upper left, another ship participating in the Tall Ships Parade of Sail event at Navy Pier last Wednesday. (Click on image to view larger version.)
31-Jul-16 As the crew of the worlds largest Viking ship waits in Chicago for news of how much farther they will be able to go, their fundraising partner in Minneapolis is reporting some progress.
Sons of Norway, a financial services and international cultural organization, says it has raised more than $86,000 so far, about 20 percent of its goal of $430,000. The money will be used to pay pilotage fees United States Coast Guard is charging the Draken Harald Hårfagre as it travels on the Great Lakes. By law, a pilot familiar with the Great Lakes must be on board any foreign ship to help with navigation. The hourly rate for a pilot ranges from $300 to $400 per hour and given the Drakens top speed of nine miles per hour, the fees are adding up.
On Friday, Sons of Norway announced that one of the contributors to the Draken fund is 78-year-old Norman Oyen of Arlington Heights, Illinois. He is a direct descendant of Harald Hårfagre, the first king of Norway and for whom the Draken is named.
||Ive had a love and fascination with Norway since I was 13, when I spent three months visiting there, says Oyen (left). When I heard that the Draken needed support to continue its Great Lakes tour, I thought to myself that my 33rd great-grandfather wouldnt be too pleased if I didnt contribute.
Sons of Norway did not disclose how much Oyen donated.