Pre-Columbian Contact with the New World

Jan 2015
2,860
MD, USA
#61
any half decent ship could cross the atlantic
Um, NO. Sorry. Talk to people who know about sailing small ships and boats, and conditions in the Atlantic, not to mention tiny details like carrying enough provisions for a voyage of completely unknown length. That's aside from the fact that since no one knew if anything was on the other side, it's like jumping out a window without looking, and hoping you will land safely in a random pile of money. Why would they even attempt it?

the Phoenicians , Polynesians , Basques and others certainly could have survived the crossing
coming back would have been somewhat hazardous , it would depend on an inordinate amount of luck and competent star navigation
those who would have done it , probably didn't know were they had been and it is very possible than their stories were forgotten
Please, you're just making up wild speculation that flies in the face of facts. Why spin even crazier fantasies? Why not just stick to the few tidbits that are at least conceivably worthy of examination?

Matthew
 
Jan 2017
4,090
Sydney
#62
The Polynesians making landfall in the Americas is a serious contender ,
in the 15th Century Basque fishermen were bringing a lot of Cod from somewhere North-West each year
the duration of their fishinf season led Christopher Columbus to be certain they had found land to draw water
the critical factor ( beside not being shipwrecked in a storm ) was drinking water ,
the crew would die of thirst well before they ran out of food

in 1952 , a doctor Alain bombard ,concerned about the survival of people in small boat , crossed the Atlantic without provision or water
Alain Bombard - Wikipedia
Captain bligh and 18 men sailed 6700 km in an overloaded open launch after having been set adrift by mutineers
Thor Heyerdahl and his crew crossed the pacific in a sail rigged primitive raft
a Carthaginian captain gave account of his trip down the African coast
Malays seamen travelled ( an raided) to Madagascar
Viking sailing in open boats crossed regularly the fierce Northern latitude of the Atlantic

the ability of human to perform feat of sailmanship without modern device is quite considerable
 
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Jan 2015
2,860
MD, USA
#63
The Polynesians making landfall in the Americas is a serious contender ,
What little I know of the Polynesians implies that they could be exceptional sailors! But their vessels were sophisticated, well-suited to their environment, and well-provisioned, plus they generally knew where they were going.

in the 15th Century Basque fishermen were bringing a lot of Cod from somewhere North-West each year
Sure, those areas were pretty well-known by that point.

in 1952 , a doctor Alain bombard ,concerned about the survival of people in small boat , crossed the Atlantic without provision or water
Nice stunt! VERY few regular sailors could have survived that way, especially if they didn't know where they were going. And as late as the 18th century, whole fleets of large, powerful, sea-going vessels could be lost in storms.

Captain bligh and 18 men sailed 6700 km in an overloaded open launch after having been set adrift by mutineers
Bligh was also an exceptional navigator, and knew where he was going. His voyage is also described as "miraculous", since most others in that situation would have died.

Thor Heyerdahl and his crew crossed the pacific in a sail rigged primitive raft
Again, with modern knowledge and proper provisioning, though I agree that he certainly proved the concept!

a Carthaginian captain gave account of his trip down the African coast
Malays seamen travelled ( an raided) to Madagascar
Right, short hops and coastal travel was perfectly normal since the Bronze Age.

Viking sailing in open boats crossed regularly the fierce Northern latitude of the Atlantic
Certainly Greenland and Markland were known to the Norse, though I think we should be careful about saying that such a crossing was normal or routine. We have no idea how many may have died in the attempt. Modern fishing boats still disappear up there. Plus there was much less open sea to cross, since "island-hopping" was possible, and in fact necessary for navigation.

the ability of human to perform feat of sailmanship without modern device is quite considerable
Absolutely! Believe me, I'm not one to sell the ancients short, by any means. But none of the wild exceptions you list come close to the concept of an ancient or medieval sailor simply heading into an unknown ocean with the hope of finding land, let alone establishing cross-Atlantic trade or colonies. Remember, before the discovery of the compass, just a day or two of cloudy weather meant that you might have no idea which direction you were facing.

"Could have" does not equal "did".

Matthew
 
May 2016
5,118
Portugal
#64
in the 15th Century Basque fishermen were bringing a lot of Cod from somewhere North-West each year
Before the 15th century the Basque, the Asturians, the Galicians and the Portuguese were finishing Cod in the North West waters. And yet we don’t know if they saw America. We have an absence of sources. It is a possibility, nothing more for now.
 

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