Dave is visiting relatives in Europe so naturally he searched out the nearest marine museum. He stumbled on a dandy – the Viking Maritime Museum in Denmark.
Here in the land of the Vikings a few of their vessels sank and were buried in mud for a thousand years. These boats – really ships – were discovered in the 1960’s and carefully exhumed, measured and recreated. The museum now exhibits the originals and new, fully functional vessels built with the exact methods and materials. The largest is over 100′ long and successfully sailed from Denmark to Ireland. Wow.
So now is the history lesson: why is the right side of the boat called Starboard and the left side Port? Take a look at the Viking longboat. Note the rudder on the right aft? Well, if you were coming alongside a dock in a rough sea with a heavily loaded vessel would you take a chance of damaging your rudder? Nope, you would protect the ‘Steerboard’ by bringing the boats other side – the ‘Port’ side – against the dock.