Sunday, August 05, 2012

Another adventure for the Phoenicia?

THE GOOD SHIP PHOENICIA may go on a voyage to America: British adventurer's plan to sail replica of Phoenician sailing boat across Atlantic: A British adventurer plans to sail a replica of a Phoenician sailing boat across Atlantic, to prove that the New World could have been reached a thousand years before Columbus. (Paul Kendall, The Telegraph)
Now, if he can raise the further £100,000 he says would need in order to embark on the new voyage Mr Beale hopes to challenge another historical assumption – that America was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1592. He believes the Phoenicians could have crossed the Atlantic almost a thousand years earlier, starting from the Azores Islands, off the coast of modern-day Morocco.

The voyage would take two or three months, he said. "We'd take the ship to Carthage in Tunisia, and from there sail it out of the Med, probably to the Canaries, and then just let the sails go, heading towards America's east coast, and see where the winds take us," he said.

"To some degree, it would be a game of chance. We would probably land somewhere like Florida or the Caribbean, but could chug up the coast to be in New York in time for the opening of the exhibition in the autumn."
This sounds like an insanely dangerous idea to me. If he does it, I hope he adds a few modern concessions to the ship's inventory such as an emergency radio and a good stock of Vitamin C.

Background on the Phoenicia and her earlier circum-African voyage is here and links.