He named his ship the "Geirfalki" and his first voyage went from Trondheim, in Norway, to Horn, and then, Reykjavik, in Iceland. Along with his normal crew he had on board a newlywed couple and 5 sheep. This I liked to see because most people when they think of Viking sailors they never think of them having animals on - board, but they almost always carried some sort of animals on - board. Even the Viking warrior raiding parties would have had horses on the larger dragon ships.
Before leaving for Iceland Leif's mother insisted that he draw Runes of protection for his journey. From the bag she drew a Raido, a Wunjo, and a Jera. All of course are good signs for a traveler, and they were all happy with the results. On off they sailed with the Gods blessing.
During the voyage Leif used methods as diverse as getting his bearing using the star Polaris, (The North Star ), using a shadow pin on a horizon board, using a sunstone, ( which worked even in heavy fog to point his way to the sun) and steering by the direction of the swells. I can' t even pretend that I fully understand all these methods but they are very fascinating and give us an insight into how the ancient Viking mariners found their way on the open ocean.
The voyage was a complete success, of course, and a lot of fun to read about. I also discovered that to use the sunstone properly you have to put a black dot of pine tar on the side that faces the sun. Then you must place the stone up to the brightest part of the sky and look from underneath. You should notice a double dot. When you rotate the stone back and forth, one of the black spots will fade and the other becomes more pronounced. When the two spots are the same likeness, you note this position because it is the true bearing of the sun.
It is too cool, and I can't wait to try it out in my kayak this spring. If you get a chance to pick up a copy of this wonderful book, "Secrets of the Viking Navigators", by Leif K. Karlsen I highly recommend it ! Even if you are not into the technical aspects of navigation it is still a very interesting and fun read. The bad news is that it is out of print ! The good news is that Amazon . com still has some used copies for sale, which is how I got mine. I would once again like to thank Austin, from the Kenaz Kindred for his wonderful recommendation !
Go with Odin's wisdom, Freyja's love, and Thor's protection !