Please select your home edition
Edition
Zhik 2024 March - LEADERBOARD

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

C-Tech 2021 America's Cup 728x90 BOTTOMJ Composites J/99Selden 2020 - FOOTER

Related Articles

New Hamilton all weather jacket
Vaikobi share what's great about this all-weather legend With loads of fans loving how warm and dry they are in our Hamilton jacket, we thought we'd share what's great about this all-weather legend.
Posted today at 8:15 pm
Road To Gold Q&A with Konstantinos Trigonis
Multihull world champion and Olympic coach Technology and tools can be beneficial for learning and development, but ultimately it depends on how you use them. For Konstantinos Trigonis, it's crucial for sailors to be able to *feel* the boat and the conditions around them.
Posted today at 6:00 pm
Evening The Keel - Part One: Diversity or Clones
"We all want to sail the seas with our mates, but a team of clones will only get you so far." "We all want to sail the seas with our mates, but a team of clones will only get you so far." Leading organisational psychologist and team coach for 11th Hour Racing Team tells us why a diverse team equals success.
Posted today at 5:30 pm
2024 Salcombe Gin Morgan Cup Race preview
The RORC fleet will be racing to Dartmouth with Royal Dart YC opening its doors to all competitors This year's Morgan Cup Race will incorporate the final race of the IRC Two-Handed National Championship and is generously supported by The Salcombe Distillery Co.
Posted today at 5:24 pm
WingFoil Racing World Cup Turkiye day 3
The mental challenge of a plastic minefield Some riders complained about plastic in the water ruining their races on day three of the WingFoil Racing World Cup Turkiye. Others found a way of winning race after race despite the plastic obstacles lying in wait to catch them out.
Posted today at 5:05 pm
D-Zeros in the Harken One Design Regatta at Largs
17 boats converging from as far away as Emsworth and Aberdeen The weekend brought the Largs Harken One Design Regatta, with 17 D Zeros converging from as far away as Emsworth to Aberdeen to be the largest class in the regatta's 48 strong fleet.
Posted today at 3:56 pm
Comets at Shustoke
Some sailors arrived before the club even opened and rigged outside the compound! Shustoke Sailing club hosted its second Comet Open on Sunday 19th May in glorious sunshine and a pleasant north-easterly breeze blowing diagonally across the 100+ acre reservoir. It was going to be a good sailing day!
Posted today at 2:40 pm
Henri-Lloyd Explorer Shorts 2.0
Engineered from recycled materials, these shorts offer a 4-way stretch for maximum flexibility Engineered from recycled materials, these shorts offer a 4-way stretch for maximum flexibility, ensuring you stay agile during any outdoor activity.
Posted today at 1:37 pm
OceansLab targets The Ocean Race
With hydrogen-powered race boat The first hydrogen-powered racing boat skippered by British sailor Phil Sharp, inventor of the Hydrogen Power Module* (HPM), co-founder of Genevos and the clean technology accelerator OceansLab, is preparing to enter The Ocean Race.
Posted today at 12:55 pm
Women's World Match Racing Tour heads to Marstrand
Alongside the 30th edition of the long-running GKSS Match Cup Sweden Hosted by GKSS (Royal Gothenburg Yacht Club), the event joins the 2024 Women's World Match Racing Tour as an official stage and will take place alongside the 30th edition of the long-running GKSS Match Cup Sweden.
Posted today at 12:36 pm