Rough Waters for Cilicia

OPEN WATERS (AZG)–It has not been all smooth sailing for the Armenian "Cilicia" ship–as it encountered a severe storm–according to crewmember Zori Balayan.

In a letter addressed to Azg newspaper–Balayan wrote of how the temperature fell sharply as the cold wind became stronger–making huge ocean waves.

"We had the impression that several big waves merged in one ascending to the sky and falling down on the ship. This weather lasted from morning until noon. We had to turn to East. Soon we appeared in the Sinesh port–which we didn’t plan to do. It is hard to forget a scene that made us start from fear in the beginning and laugh a bit later. For the first time we were approaching the harbor during the highest ebb. We felt how small our ‘Cilicia’ is at that very moment," Balayan wrote.

Balayan noted the courage of Cilicia’s brave sailors Vahagn Matevosian–Mushegh Barseghian–and Hayk Sadoyan–who jumped into the water and managed to berth the ship.

The ship–named and modeled after the 13th century vessels used in and around the Armenian kingdom of Cilicia–has been in 9 seas and 10 islands carrying the flags of Armenia and Mountainous Karabagh Republic.

Cilicia’s Seven Seas Navigation expedition began in June 2004–as it sailed through the Marmara–Aegean–Mediterranean–and Adriatic seas to arrive in Venice in September of 2004–where it stayed for the winter.

The crew returned to Venice to start the second leg of the expedition–taking the ship from the historic Italian city to circle Europe and arrive in Amsterdam by September 2005.

The ship is constructed in accordance with medieval shipbuilding technologies. Carpenters and designers avoided using modern methods and conveniences. To complete the authenticity–the crew wears period uniforms–while even the ship’s menu corresponds to the times. Participants of the historical experiment are of different professions: musician–engineer–doctor–signaler–film director–and cameraman.

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