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From Kythera to Crete on a Raft

“First Mariners” may not be the first navigators but they are a quite adventurous group determined to recreate man’s first sailing trips by raft.

They built a raft out of reeds and they will sail from the island of Kythera to Crete in order to recreate the first sailing journey in the area that led to the first inhabitation of Crete. The 12-meter long raft was built using stone tools similar to those used by people in the Palaeolithic era. The materials used for its construction were 5,000 reeds, 4 cypress trunks, goat leather and rope.

The head of the crew, 73-year-old British historian and author Bob Hobman, has worked intensively on the project. The crew is consisted of nine members including two Greeks, Yiannis Kalligeros and Alexandros Sougiannis from Kythera.

The necessary safety tests have already been carried out. The length of the journey will depend on weather conditions. However, according to initial estimates, the journey will last from two to five days.

The crew will be accompanied by three vessels that will ensure the safety of the participants providing them with assistance in case of emergency. The “First Mariners” will follow the diet of the Paleolithic period that included nuts, fruits, eggs and honey.

The reason for this project was an archaeological discovery in Greece in August 2010. Archaeologists found in Crete and Gavdos 125,000–year–old stone tools that confirm the theory that Paleolithic humans arrived in Crete 130,000 years ago in search of food.

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