consisted of one hundred and sixty men and their live stock in three vessels, after sailing southwest from Greenland for a number of days and seeing two new countries, came to a certain cape. "They cruised along the land and the land lay on the starboard. . . . There were there an open, harborless coast and long strands and
sand banks. And they went in boats to the land and found there the keel of a ship, and they named it Keel Cape. And they gave a name to the strands and called them Wonder Strands, because they were long to sail by. Then the land became scored with bays, and they steered the ships to the bays." They remained here for some time, but they had not yet seen the Vinland which Leif Erikson had found a few years before.
Thorhall started to seek for it "northward round Wonderstrand and westward off Keel Cape." Therefore we must first look for a cape, the trend of whose shore is north and south, with open water west of it, and beyond that again land. This cape must have a long, sandy, harborless coast, with sand banks on the east, and it must be broken up into bays farther to the south, and one of these bays must be large enough and deep enough for three vessels, one of which could carry at least fifty men across the Atlantic. The icelandic word "örœfi" which is used in this text means "harborless," and is the descriptive local name of the convex, sandy, unsheltered coast of southern Iceland (Orœfa), the present Skaptafells district, from Stokksnes to Dyrhólaey, This gives a clear idea of what we ought to look for along the coast of North America.
The eastern coast of North America shows us that, south of rock-bound Labrador, the only places north of New York where
- The translations are from the Icelandic texts in The Finding of Wineland the Good by Arthur Middleton Reeves. Henry Frowde, London.
- Chart of North Atlantic, No. 98. Norie & Wilson, London.