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Edwin Messenger reflects on being part of the Phoenicians Before Columbus Expedition


Edwin took part in the Phoenicians Before Columbus Expedition in September - October 2019, sailing from Tunisia to Gibraltar.  

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Dorset man, Edwin Messenger on board Phoenicia, October 2019

What triggered your involvement in the Expedition?

Just by chance I met Philip in the local hostelry.  In the course of the conversation he mentioned that he was in the process of mounting a new expedition to prove that the Phoenicians sailed to the Americas before Christopher Columbus.  There and then his enthusiasm fired my imagination to go with them.  I was privileged to do one of the legs of the expedition from Carthage to Gibraltar.

What was your personal highlight as part of the crew?

Lots of them - hard to say which was tops.

  • On the helm using the stars to navigate.

  • Making the first meal for 11 crew of different nationalities - no pressure.

  • The welcome from people of Tunis and Carthage.

  • Using the loo! (not sure if this was high or low point)! Sailing along with the dolphins.

  • When we reached 5 knots with the wind filling the sail.

  • Creeping into my sleeping bag after a long four hour watch.

  • Eating Yuri’s food?

  • The camaraderie of being part of a great crew all brought together with one aim.

How challenging was it to sail Phoenicia?  Were there any low points?

It was challenging at times, but you worked as a team in each watch, so there was a lot of camaraderie.  I think we all knew it was going to be fairly exciting at times.  The only real low point was when the dreaded sea sickness struck.

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