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Huntington Beach Union High School District

Marina High Viking ship "Valhalla" sets sail on maiden voyage

Under the supervision of wood shop teacher Bob Meade, for over two years students have devoted an immense amount of time and energy to the ship -- a true labor of love for all involved.

That afternoon, hundreds of students, faculty, district personnel, parents, and community members gathered at Sunset Aquatic Marina in Huntington Beach to witness Marina High School history being made.  

Before the Valhalla set sail, a special dedication ceremony was held in honor of the vessel.  Principal Jessie Marion addressed the crowd, all of which had small glasses filled with sparkling juice ready to toast to the “maiden voyage.”  Mr. Meade thanked everyone for being there and introduced the Valhalla’s inaugural crew.  Marina science teacher Gavin Ehlers then read an original dedication written by a fellow teacher to the crowd.

The dedication ended on this note: 

"Now, raise your mead-mansions,

Your ale-prows, and wine vessels

As we toast to the sea, 

To the sailors before us,

And to the mighty vessel Valhalla!"

As the crowd erupted in cheer, the ship was then officially christened by Principal Marion as she smashed a champagne bottle replica made of sugar on the front of the haul. 

Quickly following, the Valhalla was placed in the water and the crew climbed aboard, ready to row.  As hundreds of spectators cheered them on, the Vikings set sail towards open ocean.

After its initial voyage, the ship docked with another round of applause.  Then, Mr. Meade let captivated spectators board the Valhalla in order to get a closer look at the dedication and craftsmanship that went into creating the school’s iconic Viking model.
Los Angeles Times
Orange County Register
Orange County Department of Education
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