Crew fixes reed boat in mid-Atlantic after storm

31st August 2007, Comments 0 comments

31 August 2007, Chemnitz, Germany (dpa) - The crew of a reed boat have repaired the ancient-style vessel, the Abora III, in mid-Atlantic after storm damage, and called in an escort boat, a spokesman said Friday in the German city of Chemnitz.

31 August 2007

Chemnitz, Germany (dpa) - The crew of a reed boat have repaired the ancient-style vessel, the Abora III, in mid-Atlantic after storm damage, and called in an escort boat, a spokesman said Friday in the German city of Chemnitz.

The boat's German captain, Dominique Goerlitz, 41, had earlier shrugged off criticism that the expedition was too dangerous to proceed without an escort or lifeboats.

A cyclone lasting over three days ripped off the whole stern end, a quarter of the Abora III, a week ago.

Spokesman Michael Gruenert said the crew had lashed the vessel together again, but it was now significantly shorter, lacking both its toilet and its rear deck, and had been renamed the "Abora III B."

Goerlitz had ordered another vessel to accompany them, but insisted the boat was not going to sink. The crew was eating amply in the expectation that the escort boat would bring fresh supplies.

He and his 10 helpers left New York on July 11 and were soon behind schedule when they were becalmed.

Goerlitz, a botanist, practises experimental archaeology. He aims to see if his theories about long-distance navigation as far back as 14,000 years ago are practicable.

The Abora III B was once again able to sail beam-on to the wind and the flying repairs showed that prehistoric Atlantic sailors could even survive storm damage, the spokesman said.

In a statement, Goerlitz said, "With a bit of luck and with good weather, we ought to be able to reach the Azores." He added that his estimated date of arrival was in mid-September.

The design of the Abora III, constructed out of 17 tons of reeds, is based on ancient rock drawings. He took his cue from Norwegian adventurer Thor Heyerdahl whose vessel Ra sailed westward over the ocean.

Goerlitz aims to prove that ancient cultures could have made the trip from the Americas back to the Old World.

dpa

Subject: German news

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