Leif Erikson Could NOT Have Visited Monomoy Island...

I was just reading the article on the probable locations of Vinland. I was especially interested in Horsford’s statement that Straumsey was actually Monomoy Island. I’m somewhat familiar with Monomoy Island, as my family and I have visited the place regularly for the last few years. I remember being told the history of the island, and I can say without a doubt that Monomoy Island could not have been the “Straumsey” mentioned in the Norse sagas… because Monomoy Island did not exist 1000 years ago!

Here’s the situation – Cape Cod and the surrounding islands are really nothing more than a group of sand bars… and as such are in a constant state of flux, being regularly reshaped by winds and tides. Over the last three centuries, the coastline of Cape Cod has changed significantly… and Monomoy Island is a clear example. Monomoy Island only became an island relatively recently; it used to be attached to Cape Cod, and was called Monomoy Point. The winds and tides had been elongating Monomoy Point for years, until a storm washed away the section that connected it to the rest of The Cape. Taking this into account, one realises that Monomoy Point must have been relatively tiny 1000 years ago… assuming it existed at all. Thus, there is no way that Monomoy Point/Island could have been the “Straumsey” mentioned in the Norse Sagas.

By extension, even if 1000 years ago there was another island near the location now occupied by Monomoy Island, the simple fact is that ancient island would have been washed away by time and tide long ago.

Welcome to the Straight Dope Message Board, Ellakite, an interesting first post! We’re glad to have you hear.

It’s helpful to others if you provide a link to the Staff Report you’re commenting on, helps keep us all on the same page… especially, a few weeks from now, when that Report is no longer on the Straight Dope Home Page.

Link is: Did Leif Erikson live in Massachusetts?

Thanks for the assist. As you say, this was my first post, so I didn’t know how to include links to the original message. I’ll get the hang of it as I go along, I’m sure.

IWell, since this seems to be a newbie-friendly thread I think I´ll post as well

In the report bibliophage talks about the name Vinland and whether it means “land of wine” or " land of rich pasture" He states that it is unlikely that it could mean the latter because the old Norse word vin which meant pasture was already obsolite by the time Vinland was discovered.

I just wanted to point out that in icelandic, my native tounge, the word vin is still used and is usually meant to mean oasis. So it´s not unlikely that the Vikings knew the word and used it over land that was rich and fertile.

On the other hand, Vinland is usually spelled Vínland in icelandic and the word Vín means wine. But spelling changes over the years as well as pronounciacion and Vinland is much easier to say than vinland (just trust me on this). And of course it sounds better, talking about wine instead of grass