Please select your home edition
Edition
Wildwind 2016 728x90

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

upffront 660x82Barz Optics - Kids rangeWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

First victory for Cardinal FenêtréA at Tour de France à la Voile
It was another hot day and light winds on the water in Marseille, but Act seven stadium racing saw a different winner. It was another hot day and light winds on the water today in Marseille, but Act seven stadium racing saw a different winner. A new winner. Cardinal FenêtréA, skippered by Erwan Le Roux and Mathieu Souben, snatched their first victory so far in the Tour.
Posted today at 7:22 pm
America’s Cup World Series – More final day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery has provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:37 am
America’s Cup World Series – Final race day images by Ingrid Abery
Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day Ingrid Abery provided this gallery of images from final day
Posted today at 11:21 am
LV America’s Cup World Series - Up and down for Groupama Team France
The new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races 2016 America’s Cup World Series - This weekend the overall ranking for the Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series has been turned on its head and with the Portsmouth act complete, the new leader is none other than the local team lead by Sir Ben Ainslie, who was rallied along throughout the six races by strong support from a home crowd.
Posted today at 6:45 am
LV America's Cup World Series - Land Rover BAR take two from two
While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today 2016 Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series - While Oracle Team USA did all but everything they could to take the win with a two, one, one scorecard today, it wasn't enough to topple the fast and furious tenacity of a Ben Ainslie led Land Rover BAR on the final day of racing at the Louis Vuitton America's Cup World Series in Portsmouth.
Posted today at 5:39 am
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - More images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony. 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted today at 4:46 am
2016 LV America’s Cup World Series - Day 2 images by Carlo Borlenghi
Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony 2016 America’s Cup World Series - Carlo Borlenghi provided this gallery of images from 2016 Louis Vuitton America’s Cup World Series - Race Day 2 and Prize-giving ceremony.
Posted today at 4:22 am
America's Cup - Southern Spars to build AC50 for Emirates Team NZ
Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran One of the world's leading composite engineering companies, Southern Spars has been appointed to build Emirates Team New Zealand’s AC50 wingsailed foiling catamaran for the 35th America’s Cup campaign. The move marks a shift away from Cookson Boats who have been Team New Zealand's boatbuilder since 2000. No reasons have been given for the decision to change the builder.
Posted on 24 Jul
America's Cup - Emirates Team New Zealand foiled in Portsmouth
Super Sunday saw more breeze in Portsmouth today, giving all the teams the opportunity for fast racing up on their foils Super Sunday saw more breeze in Portsmouth today, giving all the teams the opportunity for fast racing up on their foils. For Emirates Team New Zealand the regatta finished as realistically expected when lining up to race against an exceptionally strong fleet with with a almost entirely rejigged crew due to Blair Tuke and Peter Burling’s absence in their build up to the Rio Olympics in the 49e
Posted on 24 Jul
LV America’s Cup World Series – Big Ben takes a big win in Portsmouth
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were on hand to present the awards and it was a fitting end to an amazing weekend. It really was Super Sunday for Ben Ainslie and Land Rover BAR whose second place in the last of Sunday’s three races gave them the overall regatta win at the Portsmouth event.
Posted on 24 Jul