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Columbus, Magellan, Amerigo Vespucci—these are the great navigators whom we usually think of in connection with the discovery of the new world. But roughly five hundred years before Columbus sailed west from Portugal young Leif Ericson was sailing down the coast of North America and exploring the fringes of this strange new land.
As a boy Leif never looked forward with any eagerness to farming life for which his father was preparing him. Instead he looked westward from the shores of Iceland over the unknown seas and wished that he could sail them like his Viking ancestors.
When still in his teens he sailed with his father and all his family to the uninhabited new land called Greenland, but even this adventure did not satisfy him. Finally after years of waiting and planning he was able to start out on his dreamed-of voyage in his own dragon ship to the lands farther to the west. Find those lands he did, and his name lives to this day as the first of the navigators who had the courage to explore so far over the unknown ocean.
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