Category Archives: Travels

The poetry of medieval maritime travel

I have been reading Arab navigation manuals and travelogues, and there is such poetry in the navigation manuals in particular. It is the liminality of the navigation texts in particular – between art and science, familiar and wholly other.  I … Continue reading

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Medieval Arab Naviation

“More interesting is the testimony of Ibn al-Mujawir who reports that in 626 A.H./1228-9 A.D. a ship arrived in Aden from Qumr (Comoros or Madagascar); the art of navigation of the people of Qumr impressed him as superior to that … Continue reading

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Malta-Dubai; 13 August 2016 – Day 4, steaming towards Beirut

13 August 06.00 ship time (GMT+2); 07.00 GPS time (my phone) Steaming towards Beirut The ship left Damietta sometime after midnight, having spent only twelve hours there. The officers must be absolutely shattered, since we will be arriving in Beirut … Continue reading

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Malta-Dubai; 12 August 2016 – Day 3, Damietta

Friday 12 August 12.15 (GMT +2) Arriving in Damietta You can tell you are approaching port by a number of signs. First is the arrival of the land creatures: swifts, green flies, storks (or something else long-necked and ungainly). Next, … Continue reading

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Malta-Dubai; 11 August 2016 – Day 2, at sea in the Mediterranean

11 August 2016 10.35 (Ship time. My phone’s GPS says it is actually 11.35) The Mediterranean; steaming towards Damietta The Mediterranean is such a lonely sea. Its vastness is such that one doesn’t really see ships passing except in the … Continue reading

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Malta-Dubai again; 10 August 2016 – Day 1, Setting Off from Malta

In August 2016, I once again boarded a ship in Malta to travel to Jabal Ali.  I had recorded the previous occasion with giddy excitement, all things seeming new and unfamiliar.  Perhaps the familiarity of the trip, or the fact … Continue reading

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Comparing Experiences

Charmaine Chua and I both took containerships roughly at the same time.  She was much more involved: her trip took longer, on a different route, and she worked onboard.  We talk about our experiences over at the Disorder of Things … Continue reading

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