Red Brick Daily

Two interesting boat voyages were conducted in May of 2017 that may shed light on how ancient and so-so ancient people navigated the seas.


On May 21st, the traditional sailing boat you see in the photo above … just didn’t have what it took to get from Kinmen to Penghu … which was supposed to be just a stop-off on the way to Tainan — replicating the journey many Chinese immigrants once took to settle in Taiwan.

Considering the boat sank easily in mildly bad weather, we can assume many would-be migrants also ended in a watery grave during cross-Strait attempts.

The CNA reports: “A newly built sailboat patterned after a design dating back hundreds of years failed in its bid to cross the Taiwan Strait, sinking between Kinmen and Penghu on Sunday after departing from Xiamen because of bad weather. The Nan Tai No. 2, about six meters long and two meters wide, was scheduled to arrive in Tainan in southern Taiwan on a route that immigrants from China took between the 12th and 19th centuries.”

Our second tale is more inspiring and shows that even very primitive sailing vessels could make trips of several hundred kilometers or more.

The China Post reports: “[On May 29, 2017] A home-made bamboo raft returned to Hualien Fishing Port on Sunday, completing a round trip to Yonaguni Island in Japan in five days. Escorted by two yachts, 10 people in their 60s and 70s took turns paddling the raft on the 220-kilometer voyage, which started last Tuesday. The raft, made of five bamboo poles, was not tested before the trip and no one knew whether it would make it on the high seas.”