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Old 12-11-2008, 17:35   #1
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Princess Tai-Ping arrives in San Diego

The traditionally built, 54 foot Chinese ocean voyaging junk, PRINCESS TAI-PING, arrived in San Diego yesterday and is presently berthed at Southwestern Yacht Club in Point Loma. She will move tomorrow to a more publicly accessible spot at the San Diego Maritime Museum on the Embarcadero in the downtown area.

Details on the vessel are available at this site: Ming Dynasty replica junk sails across Pacific

The crew of six men and one woman crossed the Pacific in 69 days. Seeing the accomodations first hand, it was not what most would eagerly select as an ideal cruising vessel, but the spirit of adventure sometimes demands more of folks than mere comfort. The timbers are stout, the rudder is attached with heavy lines, the battens are bamboo, and the sails are cotton. It is solidly built, using only hand wrought iron nails and timber. It has a primitive ten horse diesel, of the "do-nothing" class known by afficionados of old motors, a lifting propeller and shaft, and freshwater cooling that needs to be filled hourly when in use, which was rarely.

The crew is looking for an additional member willing to work their way back to China via Hawaii.
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Old 29-04-2009, 15:43   #2
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Roy M, it saddens me to resurrect your thread only to report that Princess Tai Ping was T-boned and literally cut in half last Sunday off northeastern Taiwan. She had sailed within 30 miles of completing her epic voyage. Fortunately, there was no loss of life among the 11-member crew, but the freighter which ran her down neither rendered aid to the stricken crew nor radioed for assistance, preferring to resume course and steam away from the scene.

I'm sure the freighter, Champion Express, is insured, but can you even imagine the liability exposure they face? I would guess that her senior crew may well have ended their merchant marine careers. At least, one hopes that is the case.

The following is from today's 'Lectronic Latitude:

* * *

"Princess Tai Ping Rammed in Taiwan

"April 29, 2009 – Taiwan

"Princess Tai Ping, the 54-ft Chinese junk that visited the Bay Area last October, was run down by a freighter off Taiwan on Sunday. Thankfully, all 11 crew, including three Americans, survived with mostly minor injuries. The collision occurred less than a day from the completion of a 14,000-mile round trip to the Americas and back that ‘proved’ what has long been speculated: that 15th Century Chinese vessels had the capability to come here then sail back home."

* * *

For the entire report, go to:

Latitude 38 - The West's Premier Sailing & Marine Magazine

TaoJones
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Old 29-04-2009, 16:52   #3
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The idea that the Chinese discovered much of the New World before the European explorers has been explored in Gavin Menzies' book, 1421 The Year that China Discovered America. It's a controversial theory, but extremely interesting reading.

Amazon.com: 1421: The Year China Discovered America: Gavin Menzies: Books

1434 Gavin Menzies | 1421 | Chinese Voyages | Renaissance history |medieval history | maritime exploration |Chinese Exploration | Admiral Zheng He | Chinese Junks
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Old 29-04-2009, 17:03   #4
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What a beautiful looking boat! Looks like a maintenance nightmare, though :P
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