Page last updated at 15:18 GMT, Wednesday, 9 July 2008 16:18 UK

Viking ship shelters from gales

Viking ship
The ship is due to leave for Portsmouth on Thursday

A replica Viking longship was forced to shelter in a Devon harbour after battling through stormy seas.

The 30m-long Sea Stallion anchored in Torquay after three days of sailing in heavy seas from Wicklow in the Republic of Ireland.

The skipper said half the 65-strong volunteer crew had been seasick and everyone was tired.

The ship is on a 1,000-mile round-trip from Denmark via Ireland to test the performance of a Viking ship.

Crewmember Jamie Wharran said: "The weather has been bad since we left Wicklow and we needed somewhere to put in.

"Everyone was tired and we needed a bit of a break."

The ship, which left Roskilde in Denmark in July 2007, is due to sail for Portsmouth on Thursday, returning to Denmark in August.

Most of the crew are from Denmark, with others from Ireland, Norway, the US and England.

Mr Wharran said: "It has been a very hard few days, half the crew were throwing up, but morale has been very good."

The Sea Stallion was built with traditional materials in Roskilde and is based on an original vessel which was unearthed there in the 1950s.

Skipper Carsten Hvid said: "It was quite rough, with most of the swell on the beam so we had to bail out about 18-20 tonnes of water.

"We decided to go in here because of the south-west gale.

"We were very down, but everyone is happy now."

Infographic, BBC

Sources: Viking Ship Museum, Denmark; National Maritime Museum, UK. Photos: Werner Karrasch and Erwan Crouan

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