Eight men, in a painstakingly-build reprice of a 3,000-year-old wooden Chinese junk, plan to sail 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) from Hong Kong across the Pacific Ocean to Mexico to prove that Chinese seafarers could have landed on the American continent as long ago as 1,000 B.
GV Junk in harbour.
SV TILT UP AND SV Crewmen pulling on rigging. (2 shots)
SV PAN INT. Showing woven superstructure. (2 shots)
SV TILT UP Natural-fiber rigging to crew member working on sail. (3 shots)
CU Wooden nails
SV AND CU Crew member hammering nails. (2 shots)
SV AND CU Wooden nails in hull. (2 shots)
SV INT. Crew member climbs down hold.
MV AND CU Carved idol on deck. (2 shots)
SV AND SV ZOOM OUT TO GV Crewmen pulling ropes, sail up and junk out to sea. (2 shots)
Initials VS 18.50 VS 19.05
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Background: Eight men, in a painstakingly-build reprice of a 3,000-year-old wooden Chinese junk, plan to sail 10,000 miles (16,000 kilometres) from Hong Kong across the Pacific Ocean to Mexico to prove that Chinese seafarers could have landed on the American continent as long ago as 1,000 B.C. -- nearly 2,500 years before Columbus.
The craft, called 'Tai Ki' is a replica of a clay model of a Chinese junk found near the city of Canton (in the southeast of the People's Republic of China) in a grave of the Han Dynasty, which lasted from 200 B.C. to 220 A.D.
It is made entirely of wood and held together by bamboo page....a perfect copy of junks built by ancient Chinese craftsmen some 2,000 years ago.
Skippered by 36-year-old Austrian Adventure, journalist and ethnology student, Kuno Knobl, the 'Tai Ki's' seven-man crew will even eat tonly traditional Chinese seamen's food of rive and fresh fish.
Knobl and fellow Austrian Arno Denning (33) have been planning the voyage for eight years.
The voyage, which is due to start at the end of this month, is expected to take six months. The 'Tai Ki' should pass within 500 miles (800 kilometers) of San Francisco in mid-September and make its first landfall at the Gulf of Tehuantepec in southern Mexico in late October.
A traditional Chinese compass will be used for navigation. The one concession to the 20th century is a radio -- to be used only in extreme emergencies.
Knobl de convinced that Chinese influence can be traced in the ancient cultures of Central and South America. Motifs on sculpture found in Peru match those on Chinese sculpture around 700 B.C., he says, and adds that the people of both Eastern Asia and the American continent used to carry sunshades as a symbol of rank or royalty. the success of his voyage would strengthen his theory.