Saturday, May 31, 2008

ANOTHER PHOENICIAN BOAT RECONSTRUCTION is in the works, this one involving a circumnavigation of Africa:
An ancient adventure
By George Hamilton (Oxford Mail)

Grandfather Mike Wilcox is set to become an honorary Phoenician - by recreating one of the greatest ever voyages of discovery.

The property maintenance worker from Bicester Road, Launton, is one of seven people from across the world who have been picked as full-time crew on an exact replica of a Phoenician sailing boat.

He will spend a year on the wooden boat, including 10 months recreating the first-ever circumnavigation around Africa, a voyage first made by Phoenician mariners in 600BC.

The 52-year-old said: "I couldn't believe it when I was picked. It took a couple of days to sink in. It's a voyage of discovery. Nobody has sailed 17,000 miles in one of these boats since 600BC."

Mr Wilcox was a Petty Officer in the Royal Navy for 16 years and saw action during the Falklands conflict in 1982, when he was a member of the crew of the landing ship HMS Intrepid, delivering troops to the beachhead at San Carlos.

He was offered a place in the crew of the Phoenicia after hearing about the British Museum-sponsored expedition and emailing a good luck message to the organisers.

I noted a similar project, involving a trip from Tyre to Europe, in January.