Reed Boat Crew Abandons Ship

Boat made of reeds Latter-day explorer ditches battered reed boat
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 8, 2007 5:00 AM CDT

(Newser) – An amateur historian attempting to sail the Atlantic in a boat made of reeds and grass has abandoned ship. Der Spiegel reports that the Abora III, a 41-foot ship modeled after those of Bolivian Indians, ran into two storms and was ditched after some 900 miles and 56 days. The mission sought to prove trans-Atlantic trade was possible 14,000 years ago.

Dominique Görlitz, a former Germany biology teacher, was inspired by Norwegian historian Thor Heyerdahl, who in 1947 famously sailed the South Pacific aboard the wood raft Kon Tiki. Görlitz's mission did succeed in proving that even a 12-ton behemoth like the Abora III could tack into the wind–deemed critical for European traders to return home.