The Voyage of the Brendan

First, an update on hardware.  With luck, our big drawing tablet will be returning to us next Wednesday.  Later than promised, but earlier than expected.  All that you really need to know is that we are back to digital comics.

Tim-SeverinNow, on to History!  The boat Cleo, Thomas, and Philip are taking to sea is modelled on the Brendan.  The Brendan was essentially a wicker basket covered in ox hide that Tim Severin used to cross the North Atlantic from Ireland to Newfoundland with four other crew members in the early nineteen-seventies.  Severin was recreating the voyage of St. Brendan who, legend has it, crossed the North Atlantic circa 524 C.E., nearly a millennium before Columbus.  The fact that my middle name is Brendan is no coincidence.

It’s all quite fascinating and I could go on for whole chapters on this topic—in fact, I did exactly that for my Master’s thesis.  If you want a really compelling summer read, check out Severin’s The Brendan Voyage.  If you’re into Medieval texts, like I am, you can also pick up the original Legend of St. Brendan.  If you’re really keen, send me an email and strike up an academic conversation about the whole thing and I’ll even talk about Norse voyages to North America for bonus content.

For the rest of you, enjoy the boat.