Event Detail

20
Oct
2009

The Sinbad Voyage TBC

Tim Severin
Tuesday, 20 Oct 2009
Hong Kong Fooll Club
Like a story from the 1001 Nights. Tim Severin builds a great Arab ship and sails from Oman to China to investigate the legendary adventures of the most famous mariner of all time. His sponsor is a modern day Arab prince the Sultan of Oman and his vessel is named Sohar after the Omani town said to be Sindbad’s birthplace. Not a single nail is used in the building of this remarkable vessel. Instead she is sewn together with 400 miles of coconut twine. With a crew of twenty, Arabs and Westerners, Sohar sets out to retrace the ancient route of the silk and spice trade across the Arabian Sea to India, and then on to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Malacca Straits then to China – the maritime “silk road" .

The Royal Geographical Society is honoured to welcome to Hong Kong probably the greatest maritime explorer of all time, Tim Severin. Some seven years since the invitation was first extended to Mr Severin, so full is his schedule not only as an explorer but an engaging and charming personality, who entertains audiences worldwide, that this is a special event for all Royal Geographical Society members. Mr. Severin has led numerous famous voyages, all of which are also best selling books, including The Sindbad Voyage, The Jason Voyage, In Search of Moby Dick, The Spice Islands Voyage, The China Voyage, Seeking Robinson Crusoe and In Search of Genghis Khan.

Like a story from the 1001 Nights, in The Sindbad Voyage, Tim Severin builds a great Arab ship and sails from Oman to China to investigate the legendary adventures of the most famous mariner of all time. His sponsor is a modern day Arab prince the Sultan of Oman and his vessel is named Sohar after the Omani town said to be Sindbad’s birthplace. Not a single nail is used in the building of this remarkable vessel. Instead she is sewn together with 400 miles of coconut twine. With a crew of twenty, Arabs and Westerners, Sohar sets out to retrace the ancient route of the silk and spice trade across the Arabian Sea to India, and then on to Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Malacca Straits then to China – the maritime “silk road" .

On the way, the crew learn to handle the immense sails of their ship, catch sharks for food, gather rainwater when becalmed in the Doldrums, and must repair spars snapped by strong winds. Heading north through the China Sea, they come to the rescue of desperate Boat people and endure the battering of vicious squalls swirling off the coast of Vietnam.

Finally, after seven and a half months at sea, they sail up the Pearl River to a tumultuous welcome from the Government of China.

Mr. Severin’s lecture includes fabulous film clips from his associated documentary, in addition to fine slides.

Tim Severin was educated at Tonbridge School and Keble College, Oxford, where he studied geography and history. While still a student, he embarked on the Marco Polo Expedition. This was the start of his career as an explorer and writer in which he has restaged numerous legendary voyages and journeys. These include sailing a leather boat across the Atlantic in the wake of St. Brendan the Navigator, steering a replica of a Bronze Age galley to seek the landfalls of Jason and the Argonauts and of Ulysses, riding the route of the first Crusader knights across Europe to Jerusalem, travelling on horse back with nomads of Mongolia in search of the heritage of Genghis Khan, and sailing the Pacific on a bamboo raft to test the theory that ancient Chinese mariners could have reached to the Americas. In 2005, he started writing historical fiction with similar themes, leading to a further series of best selling books.

He has won numerous awards for writing including the most prestigious Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. He has been a regular contributor to the National Geographic. He has also recorded his journeys in documentary films which have become classics of exploration and adventure, winning more than 10 awards, screening on Discovery Channel, Sky Television, and National Geographic. He has been conferred with the degrees of Doctor of Letters by Trinity College, Dublin and by University College, Cork. Mr. Severin holds innumerable awards, but only he and Sir David Attenborough hold both of the Gold Medals for Exploration awarded by the HM the Queen, the Gold Medal of the Royal Geographical Society and the Livingstone Medal of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society.

There is a charge for this event of HK$500 for Members and HK$550 for Guests, which includes a threecourse banquet dinner with wine and soft drinks. Prior to dinner, there is a cocktail reception. There is prebooked individual seating, or you may arrange a group at a table, or book a table of 10, 11 or 12 people.

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