The Jewel of Muscat arrived in Penang and over 70 members of Penang Heritage Trust felt very privileged to view the 9th century ancient authentic vessel which berthed in Tanjung City Mariner on June 3rd.
It was indeed a memorable day for us Penangites after having heard so much about it.When told we can view the vessel, most of us braved the dark skies and walked on the floating and rocky platoon.
"I will not missed a chance just to touch the Jewel of Muscat", says Rose my friend who went along to the site visit. Look at her standing with legs apart as if protecting the ancient vessel.
Chandra and I were so pleased with the site visit and felt it was an added bonus having an opportunity to be part of the first few people to witness the Jewel.
This authentic vessel, we were told was made from timber and is hand sewn with coconut fibers. Not a single nail can be found on the 18 m long sail ship.
With 18 crews plus a captain and a few livestock, it was as if they were reliving "Noah's Ark" but they did not come in pairs. Still our hats off to them, as they sail using old method navigation and wind to guide them here from Galle.
Here I collected some facts from their site for you. You can learn more at http://www.jewelofmuscat.tv/en/keyfacts.
- The Jewel is based on a range of historical sources, including the findings of the Belitung Wreck, which was discovered in 1998.
- The 18 meter ship has been built without nails. The planks were sewn together with coconut fiber, and had to fit perfectly so as to ensure that the ship is watertight.
- The wood is protected by a layer of goat fat mixed with lime.
- The planking on the ship is made from Afzelia Africana timber from Ghana.
- The Jewel of Muscat was built in a specially constructed ship yard at a beach in Qantab, Oman.
- The ship's voyage begins in Oman, with stops in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia, before ending in Singapore. The journey retraces part of the historic maritime trade route between Arabia and the Far East.
- During its voyage, the team will use 9th-century navigation techniques.
- The voyage began in February 2010, with the Jewel of Muscat reaching Singapore by June 2010.
- The project is being funded and supported by the governments of Oman and Singapore.
- The project involves the reconstruction of a 9th-century sailing ship in Oman.
The Captain of the Jewel, Saleh Al Jabri gives his view on the ship's arrival in Malaysia. http://www.jewelofmuscat.tv/en/logs.
For those wanting to see it sail in watch this video. Even the CM is as excited as all of us are to welcome the 9th century old sail ship.
The video is slow to upload, please be patient. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IsYtOPtBDvU But if the video is too slow, watch the photos form here : http://thestar.com.my/metro/story.asp?file=/2010/6/3/north/6391951&sec=north.
Watch out for the documentary by National Geography once it landed in Singapore.
After maintenance works and minor repairs are performed on the vessel, the Jewel of Muscat will be open for public viewing. The vessel will berth for a week and be open for public viewing from June 8 to 10. And the best news is it is free of charge.
It will then sail for Port Klang — the final stop before reaching its destination of Singapore — on June 25.