A DORSET author who recreated an epic voyage has written a book inspired by the experience.

Christopher Columbus is accredited with the discovery of the Americas, but author Philip Beale, of Chaldon Herring, has launched a new book ‘Atlantic B.C.’, which tells the story of the Phoenicians who he believes could have discovered them around 2,000 years before.

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Dorset Echo: 'Ahoy there!' Philip Beale on board'Ahoy there!' Philip Beale on board

The ex-Royal Navy officer sailed in a wooden sailing ship called ‘Phoenicia,’ a reconstruction of a 6th century B.C. Phoenician ship with his crew from Carthage - modern-day Tunis - across the Atlantic to Florida in a journey that took them around six months, to try and prove his theory in an expedition that won the 2019 Spirit of Adventure Award.

The 61-year-old said: “It was a student ambition to do one of these voyages, eventually I got the chance.

“The Phoenicians were pretty much written out of history by the Romans.

“Romans are taught about in schools, but we don’t really talk about the Phoenicians.”

Dorset Echo: Volunteers working on the boatVolunteers working on the boat

Mr Beale was awarded the President of Indonesia’s award for Services to Indonesian Culture following the success of a previous Borobudur Ship expedition, which involved sailing an Indonesian double outrigger vessel from Java to Madagascar and around the Cape of Good Hope to Ghana in 2003-2004.

The writer has a Bachelor Degree in Politics and undertook his first international expedition at the age of 18.

He said: “It has always been in my blood to be an adventurer and an explorer.”

Dorset Echo: Phoenicia sailing in AtlanticPhoenicia sailing in Atlantic

He draws inspiration from his experiences as an adventurer, sailor, writer and motivational speaker and tells the story of the success of the Phoenicians Before Columbus Expedition which reinforces the idea that the Phoenicians had the capability and skill to sail to the Americas.

Atlantic B.C. is the author's second book. He wrote the first, ‘Sailing Close to the Wind,’ in partnership with Sarah Taylor. It is both a modern-day adventure and the story of an ancient forgotten civilisation with an fascinating maritime history, centred around Phoenician mariners.

Mr Beale has just returned from promoting his book in the USA, which included a talk and book signing at Bower’s Museum in California.

The book is currently longlisted at Dorchester Literary Festival here in Dorset and Mr Beale hopes to participate in the event

You can find out more about the book here: www.atlanticbc.net/

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