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Phoenicia makes landfall in Gibraltar

03 September 2010

After 27 days at sea since departing the Azores Phoenicia has arrived safely with a warm welcome from the local media, staff and public at Ocean Village Marina, Gibraltar. Phoenicia arrived on the afternoon of Sunday 29th August having already hit headlines in the local press.

Whilst in Gibraltar Phoenicia is being supported and hosted by Ocean Village Marina (http://www.gibraltarberths.com) which is providing a fantastic base for the expedition over the next 5 days.

Expedition Leader Philip Beale and the 10 international crew members will enjoy an eventful stay in port which will include re-stocking the ship with fresh supplies, welcoming new crew onboard and a days filming with the BBC before setting off to continue the expedition across the Mediterranean.

Over a thousand years ago they arrived, looked at the Rock and called it Calpe. Now they’re back - at Ocean Village.

The 21 metre vessel, a traditionally built replica of a 600BC Phoenician cargo ship, is currently recreating the epic first circumnavigation of Africa achieved some 2,600 years ago.

It may well be identical to vessels that traded silver in this region.

Captained by experienced mariner, Philip Beale, alongside a crew of ten, Phoenicia is nearing completion of the stage between the Azores and Gibraltar, a stage that has been at times stormy and tricky to manoevure between continuous shipping traffic.

This is just one part of a voyage that began in Syria in August 2008. Phoenicia then sailed through the Suez Canal before reaching the Republic of Yemen at the foot of the Red Sea in January 2009. Phase two began in August 2009 when she was launched once more to continue around the Horn of Africa, down the east coast, passing through the challenging Cape of Good Hope and back up the west coast en route to the Straits of Gibraltar.

After five days in Ocean Village marina (Phoenicia’s crew are already relishing the prospect of British pints and a good stocking-up in Morrison’s) Phoenicia will cross the Mediterranean before returning to Syria once more. And at the end of the circumnavigation Phoenicia will have clocked up 17,000 miles.

For more information on Phoenicia including a live satellite tracking device visit www.phoenicia.org.uk.