Tim Severin, A British adventurer who has accurately recreated the travels of real, mythical explorers such as St. Brendan the Navigator and Sinbad the Sailor for 40 years. Marco Polo, Died December 18 at his home in West Cork, Ireland. He was 80 years old.
Daughter Ida Ashley said the cause was cancer.
In May 1976 Mr. Severin left Ireland for his most courageous voyage: following St.-BrendanA sixth-century monk, along with other monks, is said to have sailed from Ireland across the Atlantic to the “Promised Land” in a leather-clad boat.
St. Brendan was a sailor who spread the gospel on voyages to Ireland, Scotland and Wales. If the story of his journey to America were true, he would have defeated Leif Erickson and Christopher Columbus for centuries.
After studying a description of the journey – in a medieval Latin text written years later “Navigasio Sancti Brendan Abbott” or “Journey of St. Brendan Abbott” – Mr. Severin summoned a team of designers and craftsmen who helped build a ship. The 36-foot oak-ash two-masted boat was covered with foot-thick bull skin.
A small group of boats, known as the Brendan, set out from Brandon Creek, On the Dingle Peninsula, On the west coast of Ireland. They traveled to the Hebrew Islands in the north and the Faroe Islands in the west to Iceland. Visited the whales, day after day, trapped near the boat; Mr. Severin thought they might have misunderstood the boat for another whale.
Arriving in Reykjavk in August 1976, they allowed Brendan State to scrutinize. After clearing the barns, they found leather. Because of the pack ice that made navigation impossible, the crew stored Brendan and returned home for better conditions.
When the crew returned to Brendan in the summer of 1977, they went to Greenland, where they had to cross the dangerous Danish Strait.
“We knew it would be a real test of the boat,” he said. Mr Severin said in a 2012 lecture at Gresham College in London. “It was inevitable that we would have terrible weather in the Gulf of Denmark. But we are committed not to go back.
Brendan survived the strait, but the ice prevented a landslide in Greenland, so Brendan surrounded it. But soon they found that the fog had covered the ice – no one responded to the boat’s emergency radio beacon – and then Labrador slowed down as the ice melted in the sea.
Finally, on June 26, 1977, Brendan reached the shores of Newfoundland.
“The purpose of this trip is to show that the technology of the Irish monks is capable of reaching North America,” he said. He added that he was not sure if St. Brendan and crew had sailed in North America and could have done so.
He financed his adventure with books and other resources. Severin wrote about this journey in The Brendan Voyage, published in 1978.
A review in The Guardian described the voyage as “the most remarkable voyage since the departure of Thor Hairdale to prove that the Bolsa Raft could cross the Pacific.”