Started Sailing

The St. Brendan legend.

by Han
(Brittany, France)

 St Brendan and the whale from a 15th century manuscript

St Brendan and the whale from a 15th century manuscript

St. Brendan was an Irish monk, surnamed The Traveller, who allegedly sailed (as the first European, some 500 years before the Vikings and 900 years before Columbus) across the North Atlantic to what we now know as North America.

This has been recorded in early medieval Latin, Spanish and German manuscripts. To test the probability of this feat, Timothy Severin researched possible types of boats, and came up with the Irish currach; a framework of laths, covered nowadays, (for they're still built and used) with tarred canvas, but in Brendan's time with greased leather. To give you an impression of it's shape: a floating black banana.

Tim Severin first built his own (small) currach with the help of the, then aged, last builder of these boats, and then built a 33 feet long version to do his test with.

In 1976 he, with four other brave and able men, set off for the journey which took two summer seasons to complete; in june 1977 they reached their goal, Newfoundland.

Since, new carrachs and younger builders are to be found in Ireland as well as in America; you only have to google on currach and you'll find lots of sites.

For more information and pictures, I gladly refer to:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Brendan
and:
http://www.gresham.ac.uk/event.asp?PageId=108&EventId=406

See you next time, a bit later in history,

Han.

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Nov 23, 2009
Thank you David...
by: Han

For your nice comment. It makes me know I'm not the only one loving history.
As my wise father often remarked: more is forgotten of old techniques and skills than will ever be developed in future. That may be a bit exaggerated, but it says in another way what your point is: knowing history paves the way to our future.
Hope to hear of you again,
Regards,

Han.

Nov 23, 2009
Tim Severin
by: David Bailey

Hi Han
I am not a sailor but was a RYA level 5 windsurfer many moons ago I have taken a interest in sailing as I have got older and hopefully one day will make a start! the article that I found very interesting was the St Brendan Legend and the reconsttruction voyage by Tim Severin. I have looked on the web and it would appear that Tim Severin has wrote a book on this voyage so I have put it o my Xmas list!
Please keep up the good work history is aways fasinating its paves the way for the future.
One last comment, the web site is very good with lots of info on every topic to due with sailing and is especially good for the likes of me a total beginner. all the best David Bailey

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