Please select your home edition
Edition
Predictwind - Iridium

Phoenicia Expedition - Six months waiting for wind

by BW Media on 31 Jan 2009
Phoenicia back in the water in Port Sudan Abdul Aziz
'Just like the Phoenicians, we will have to secure the ship and wait for the prevailing winds which will turn in August 2009.'

These are the words of Philip Beale, leader of the Phoenicia Expedition which is recreating the first circumnavigation of Africa, believed to have taken place some 2500 years ago.


However, Beale and his multi national crew are still on course to beat the original Phoenicians - Greek Historian Herodotus recorded that the original voyage took nearly three years to complete with mariners planting crops enroute and waiting for the harvests.

The organisers of the Phoenicia Expedition have announced they will put a six month break in the voyage in order to meet the crucial 'weather windows' for rounding The Cape of Good Hope as well as getting out of the Gulf of Aden.

In a 70 ft replica of a 600 BC wooden ship which was built in Syria, the crew have sailed to Yemen which is where the boat will stay for the next few months.

Expedition leader Philip Beale said: 'Given the delays during the first stage of the voyage we cannot now sail out of the Gulf of Aden.'

Most of the delay was caused when they made changes to the boat in Port Sudan. They had planned to stay for just 15 days, but it took two long months to make the changes to the ship that they thought necessary to continue the voyage.

First, they wanted to rebuild the aft end to insert a new and much larger thwart (a transverse support spreading the gunwales) to take the rudders. They also wanted to look at putting a small engine that would enable them to be less reliant on tows in and out of harbours. Compared to the ancients, the crew is quite small, and they lack the numbers to adequately row the vessel.

The crew overcame many challenges and frustrations during their time in Sudan but finally the new rudder housing was securely in place and a marinised 180 HP engine was installed into the ship to serve as an emergency/security back up and also help the crew to manoeuvre in and out of ports.

They left Port Sudan and sailed south through the Red Sea successfully to Yemen. However, as sailing is ruled by the seasons, they realised that time had run out for the onward leg.

Beale is philosophical about the delay, 'The whole point of the exercise is to discover how Phoenician mariners could have achieved this circumnavigation and it is only through a process of experiencing the problems and challenges of such a vessel that we can begin to realise this.

'However one thing is becoming clear and that is that the Phoenician’s voyage some 2500 years ago must rank as one of mankind’s greatest voyages of exploration, such are the complexities and difficulties involved.'

For further information on this expedition go to the website

PredictWind.com 2014Southern Spars - 100Wildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Red Bull Youth America´s Cup – Wrap-up
No one could have scripted a more exciting ending, as New Zealand was toppled from certain triumph in the last seconds No one could have scripted a more exciting ending, as New Zealand was toppled from almost certain triumph in the last seconds of the last race by a determined British team, and Bermuda emerged as the new darlings of sailing.
Posted today at 5:26 pm
Red Bull Youth America's Cup – More action shots by Studio Borlenghi
Britain grabs the title in the last-minute upset. Studio Borlenghi provided a gallery of images Britain grabs the title in the last-minute upset. Studio Borlenghi provided a gallery of images
Posted today at 10:09 am
Red Bull Youth America's Cup – Images by Studio Borlenghi
Britain grabs Red Bull Youth America's Cup title in the last-minute upset. Studio Borlenghi provided a gallery of images Britain grabs Red Bull Youth America's Cup title in the last-minute upset. Studio Borlenghi provided a gallery of images
Posted today at 9:58 am
America's Cup - Teams keep low profile ahead of Match restart + Video
The Defender and Challenger for the 35th America's Cup have kept a low profile in the five day hiatus The Defender and Challenger for the 35th America's Cup have kept a low profile in the five day hiatus before the regatta recommences on Saturday, local time. Bermuda has been experiencing the weather typical for this time of the year - light winds, in marked contrast to the fresh conditions which dominated the Challenger Semi-Finals and Finals, and the Qualifier series.
Posted today at 7:27 am
America's Cup - Oracle Team USA gets a look aboard Kiwi AC50
There is a fair chance both teams will be looking at the latest content from a new America's Cup 3D Video application With Challenger and Defender intently going over their America's Cup campaigns and trying to evaluate the other's performances, there is a fair chance that they'll be looking at the latest content from a new 3D Video application which takes them aboard their rival's AC50 - sitting in the 'shotgun seat'.
Posted today at 3:07 am
Great Britain grabs Red Bull Youth AC title in last-minute upset
Great Britain’s Land Rover BAR Academy have crowned Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions in most dramatic of fashions Great Britain’s Land Rover BAR Academy have been crowned Red Bull Youth America’s Cup Champions in the most dramatic of fashions, following a fantastic final day of racing on Bermuda’s Great Sound. New Zealand and Switzerland rounded out the podium.
Posted today at 1:20 am
Stunning podium finish for Team Tilt at Red Bull Youth America's Cup
Team Tilt did it! Sebastien Schneiter & his team finished second edition of Red Bull Youth America's Cup in third place Team Tilt did it! Sebastien Schneiter and his team finished the second edition of the Red Bull Youth America's Cup in third place overall, achieving their sought after and hard-fought podium position. Land Rover BAR Academy are crowned Red Bull Youth America’s Cup champions with defenders NZL Sailing team in second place.
Posted today at 1:15 am
Team AkzoNobel’s Volvo Ocean Race boat christened in The Hague
With the start of the race just four months away, skipper Simeon Tienpont and his crew arrived in the Netherlands A flotilla of nine young Optimist dinghy sailors from the nearby Yacht Club proudly escorted the 65-foot team AkzoNobel yacht into the dock.
Posted on 21 Jun
Lionheart wins America's Cup J-Class Regatta
Studio Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America's Cup J-Class Regatta. Studio Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America's Cup J-Class Regatta.
Posted on 21 Jun
Team Tilt in second place going into final day of Red Bull Youth AC
Switzerland’s Team Tilt ended the opening day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup finals in second place Switzerland’s Team Tilt, led by Sebastien Schneiter, ended the opening day of the Red Bull Youth America’s Cup finals (a youth version of the main event reserved for 18-24 year olds) in second place overall with one day left to go. The young team performed well in challenging conditions.
Posted on 21 Jun