Vinland is one of the three settlements in the Western Settlement of Old Greenland and the most famous one for the stories preserved in the old manuscripts. Finding Vinland again has been a challenge for many up to this day. The name can mean Vine-land and Vin-land. If Vine-land then the grapes to make vine must be around. If Vin-land a lot of water has to be around in furtle surroundings. In order to find back Vinland it is crucial to have the correct location of the starting point from the settlement farm of the family of Eirik the Red at Brattahlíð, on Eiriksey in the middle of Eiriksfjorden. The ships would definitely navigate by reference to land and landmarks due to fog and poor visibility and the pilot would surely erect a cairn to map the way into the unknown as not to run wild and to have a safe harbour and water, to shore the wooden ships. The early recorded missions to Vinland are:
1. Vinland voyage by Leif Eiriksson and Bjarni Herjólfsson in the second year of excil. The ship was piloted by Snorri Þorbrandsson, the same ship that took Bjarni Herjóflsson to his father at Herjólfsnes in the autum og 985. In this mission the base Leifsbúdir was built at Straumey(Island) the first year moving the base to Leifsbúdir in the lake Hópe. At Straumey in the summer of 987 and the winter over to 988 move the summer of 988 to Hópe and build the permanent basecamp on Cairn Island in the lake Hópe. Return to Brattahlíd at Eirkisey in the summer of 989.
2. Vinland voyage by Þorvaldur Eiriksson as pilot. Arrive to Leifsbúdir with 30 men, this has to be a two ship operation of whice one is the family ship of Eirik the Red, the other can be no other than the ship Leifur Eiriksson used in voyage number one. Snorri Þorbrandsson as a pilot. They used to have up to 15 men in a crew of one ship. Eirik the Red was using his ship all the four winters of excile, is over to Iceland in the summer of 990 and back to Old Greenland in 991, so the second Vinland voyage has to be in the summer of 992.
3. Vinland voyage by Þorsteinn Eiriksson as pilot on the family ship. Is sent to Leifsbudir in Vinland to fetch his brothers corps. Now we see in the manuscript that Þorsteinn Eiriksson died in the Western Settlement in Vinland and from the manuscript a name of a place, Arrived at Lýsufirði in the Western Settlement. Lýsufjord could come from the name of the small whale beluga, being white in colour. This could be the summer of 993.
4. Vinland voyage by Þorfinnur Karlsefni. The arrival of Karlsefni into the story is as follows and is from the manuscript Greenlands Annals. " One summer Karlsefni prepares his ship and intends to go to Greenland. Snorrri Þorbrandsson is asigned with him, he came from Álftafirdi(Skógarströnd) and where 11 men in the crew of this ship." Of interest to see is that this is the same Snorri Þorbrandsson pilot on the ship taking Bjarna Herjólfsson to his father in Greenland. With Karlsefni over to Greenland was another ship according to the annals.
" A man by the name of Bjarni Grímólfsson of a Breidafjord family, another was Þórhallur Gamlason, a man from the eastern Iceland, they too prepare there ship the same summer and intend to sail to Greenland. They where in all 11 men in the crew . They depart on these two ships when they where ready." This ship and crew is the same that escorted Eirik the Red out of Iceland together with Herjólfur Bárdarson. The year now could be the summer of 994. The manuscript story on Þorfinnur Karlsefni in Vinland gives a good description on what hapened in Vinland over a two to three year periode before Karlsefni departs Vinland and settles down in Iceland. He took with him two indian children to Iceland and from the female child, Iceland has 350 women alive in the year 2012 bearing her DNA, dating back to the year 1000.
5. Vinland voyage by Freydís Eiriksdóttir. This mission starts when Karlsefni was about to sail for Norway and later Iceland. A ship came from Norway owned by two Icelandic brothers from eastern Iceland by the name Helgi and Finnbogi. Asigned to this Vinland voyage by Freydís. The story indicates that two ships took part in this mission that ended in tragedy for the two brothers. This voyage ended just before the year 1000. From now on the manuscripts go quiet on the matters of Vinland but the story from Old Greenland was not over yet.