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* Sri Lankan joins the historic voyage on Jewel of Muscat
Mon, Apr 12, 2010, 08:43 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Apr 12, Colombo: A Sri Lankan has joined the second leg of the Jewel of Muscat, a replica of a 9th century Arab trading vessel on an historic voyage sailing from Oman to Singapore using the 9th century navigation techniques.

Tuanie Ismail, a native of Kandy has joined the voyage form India's port of Cochin along with a Brit, Geoffrey Dobbs, who currently lives in Galle.

The 18-metre-long vessel left the Kerala port on Saturday and it is expected to reach Galle within approximately 10 days of sailing on April 18th, depending on the wind.

Ismail, a builder of traditional wooden boats in Sri Lanka will be the only Sri Lankan represented on this trip. The journey retraces part of the historic maritime trade route between Arabia and the Far East.

"I have dreamed of participating on a journey such as this since I was a child," Ismail said.

More recently Ismail has built a replica of the Dutch VOC vessel The Avondster which is displayed in the National Maritime Museum in Galle Fort, opened by the President Mahinda Rajapaksa last month.

The ship set sail on February 16th from the Omani port of Sultan Qaboos and reached port of Cochin in India on March 15th after covering 1300 miles in 28 days. It has begun the second part of its voyage from Oman to Singapore, sailing from Cochin in India to Galle in Sri Lanka.

From Galle in Sri Lanka the ship will sail across the Bay of Bengal through the Straits of Malacca to Singapore where it will be displayed in a museum. It is expected to reach Singapore in June 2010.

The Jewel of Muscat is based on the wreckage of an Arab vessel which was found in Indonesian waters and which contained over 60,000 pieces of Chinese blue and white porcelain, these artifacts will be displayed alongside the ship in Singapore.

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