visit to Cape Town
The Borobudur Ship safely moored in the V and A Waterfront Cape Town
It is not often that we get to write about visitors to Cape Town.
This week however we have a very strange visitor in the form of an ancient
ship called the Borobudur.
Although ancient in design the ship itself is not very old.
It was built in the Kangean Islands about 60 miles north of Bali
and took about 5 months to construct
The design of the ship was taken from a stone relief found on
the walls of the Borobudur temple.
A view of the ship showing the outriggers
The ship is built of wood and has outriggers to keep it
stable in rough weather.
Its main method of propulsion is by sail although it
does have a motor as well.
The aim of the expedition is to recreate the ancient trading voyages
between Africa and Indonesia and to prove that this type of ship was
most likely the ship used in the ancient voyages.
The ship Borobudur left the naval harbour in Jakarta at 23.00 hrs
gmt on the 16th of August 2003.
It sailed from Jakarta to the Seychelles and then south around
Madagascar to Durban, Port Elizabeth and Mossel Bay
where it stayed for Christmas.
After leaving Mossel Bay the ship ran into some heavy seas and
gale force winds which forced the crew to take down the mainsail
and utilise the stormsail along the Cape coastline.
Eventually on the 5th of January 2006 they rounded Cape Point and
started to sail up the west coast of the Peninsula.
Another view of the ship in Cape Town
Unfortunately for them the wind changed during the night and
as the ship had a broken propeller they were unable to make
headway necessitating them to call in the National Sea Rescue Institute
to tow them into Cape Town harbour.
The ship will stay in Cape Town for about a week before setting sail
for Ghana, a journey of 3200 miles up the west coast of Africa.
The plan is to leave Cape Town around the 11th January 2007 and
have their arrival in Ghana for between 15th to 22nd February if
all goes according to plan.
For those of you who would like to find out more about this very
interesting ship here is their website address.
I am happy to report that this ship sailed from Cape Town and reached its final destination in Ghana.
The owners of the ship are going to ship the ship back to Jakarta where it will be placed in a museum.
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