Phoenicia took large detour to avoid pirates in Africa circumnavigation
A replica of a vessel from 600BC has reached Richards Bay, near Durban in South Africa, after the latest leg of its attempt to circumnavigate Africa.
A convoy of 21 yachts met Phoenicia as she approached the Zululand Yacht Club, where a party of journalists, television cameras, port officials and local supporters were ready to welcome the Phoenician Ship Expedition team to South Africa.
Their expedition is aiming to re-create the first circumnavigation of Africa, believed to have been achieved by Phoenician mariners around 600BCE, and is an approved voyage with the Royal Geographical Society.
The ship is now successfully past the pirate zone in East Africa, although they were forced to detour almost to the Chagos Archipelago to avoid the area. The leg from Beira, Mozambique took a total of 11 days at sea and covered over 700 nautical miles. The team will have a week long break in port before setting off again towards the Cape of Good Hope.
The expedition will sail to continue around the African coastline then head to the Azores, Gibraltar, Tunisia, Egypt, and Lebanon before returning to Syria, hopefully by July 2010 to complete the circumnavigation of Africa.
The vessel is a replica Phoenician ship which was built using traditional Phoenician construction methods and materials. The ships design specification has been created using evidence from relevant shipwrecks and archaeological finds of artefacts such as vases and coins, as well as advice from eminent scholars and shipwrights.
For further information or to inquire about joining the vessel for a leg, visit Phoenicia