Replica of Phoenician Ship Attempts Reenactment
A 70 foot long replica of a Phoenician ship is attempting to recreate the first circumnavigation of Africa, believed to have been accomplished by Phoenician mariners 2600 years ago.
The Phoenicia left Syria in August 2008. The plan was to travel through the Suez Canal, down the east coast of Africa, around the Cape of Good Hope, up the west coast of Africa and back to the Mediterranean, then make another voyage to the United Kingdom summer of 2009. In total the voyages project to 17,000 miles and 12 months at sea. Teams of 16 multinationals crew the Phoenicia through various legs of the journey.
But the latest update we can find is by checking in on the Phoenicia Blog. The most recent entry reads: "After 12 and a half days bobbing on the ocean, Phoenicia docked safely in Salalah, southern Oman late on Friday evening 11th." (That's September 11th, 2009.) It seems the boat made it through the Suez Canel, worked along the Yemini coast, spent some time in Port Sudan, and made it to Oman. Apparently they are moving up the coast of the Saudi Peninsula before attempting the circumnavigation. (See Google area map)
From around 1200 BC the Phoenicians thrived in the Mediterranean. Based originally on the coast of Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, they spread throughout the Mediterranean. The Phoenician civilization lasted nearly a thousand years.
The replica ship was built at Arwad Island, an ancient Phoenician city state off the Syrian coast, using traditional Phoenician construction materials and methods. The design specs were created using evidence from shipwrecks and archaeological finds, as well as advice from scholars and shipwrights. (We're are guessing the original Phoenician in 600 BC didn't have the diesel engine the replica is using, however.)
Some wonderful artwork, including photos and a series of sketches and painting by Danielle, an expedition artist, can be seen at www.danielleeubank.com/eubankblog.htm. We suggest you start at the bottom of the page.
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Water Returns to the San Joaquin
On October 1, water started to flow down two stretches of the San Joaquin River in California for the first time since Truman was President. This is part of an ambitious restoration program to return chinook to the once salmon-rich river. The sections of river have been dry, except for flooding in very wet years, since Friant Dam diverted most of the river into two giant irrigation canals.
The increased flow will continue for six weeks. It is the first of several years of test releases to study the effect of restoring year-round flows to a river that has been completely dry over a 60-mile stretch.
Pivoting Steel Levy Bridge, San Joaquin Delta
The Water Issue with Solar Power
Renewable energy production takes a lot of water. With droughts and shortages in many areas, the limited supply could crimp the ability of renewable energy providers to create green energy. To illlustrate, a water war is breaking out in the dry Southwest over the dozens of large-scale solar power plants planned for the region. Depending on the technology used, some solar farms can consume more than a billion gallons of water a year in regions that receive three or four inches of rain annually.
The drought in the Southeast US that lasted from 2005 to 2007 resulted from random weather events, not global warming, Columbia University researchers have concluded. They say the severe water shortages were a result of population growth.