Sunday, March 29, 2009

Princess TaiPing arrives on Saipan

Princess TaiPing (Peace in Chinese) a replica of a 54 foot, 35 ton 6 foot draft Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) Chinese junk warship arrived in the lagoon March 23, 2009. Research for documents to construct the junk took six years. Construction time was two years and completed in a traditional outdoor shipyard.

Nelson Liu (Lui Ning-Sheng) Taiwanese skipper and owner commissioned the junk to be built of tradition materials and wood. The junk was constructed by hand tools only in Xiamen, China in January, 2008. The ship was sailed from China to Japan, San Fransisco, San Diego, Honolulu to Saipan over a 10 month journey. The trip from Japan to San Fransisco was completed in 69 days. Nelson wanted to prove the ancient junks were capable of such long passages and possibly could have discovered the west coast America in the 1400's.

Lin on the bow. The red paint is a traditional coating in China and represents good luck.

A very square blunt bow probably made for slow sailing across the Pacific Ocean.

Bright traditional symbols, paintings, and the ships name on the stern.
News from MSN: On April 25, 2009 at 2:00 am the Princess TaiPing was hit and cut in half by a Liberian registered freighter named Champion Express. Luckily no one was seriously injured, but all crew members were forced into the water and the TaiPing disappeared below the waves. A helicopter from the Taiwan Coast Guard conducted the rescue. Sadly, they were just 30 miles off the harbor of Su Ao on Taiwan and had almost completed their voyage from Okinawa when the collision occurred. The junk was sailed 14,000 miles during the past 10 months.

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