Raise The Sails!


For what we seek,
the ocean speaks
Far from unknown,
fear lurks below
Brave souls, steeled hearts
sailors depart
Uncertain fate
the new world waits

St. Brenden the Navigator Monument

St. Brenden the Navigator Monument, Ireland
Photo by: c.b.w. 2009

This monument commemorates one of Ireland’s Twelve Apostles, St. Brenden of Clonfert. He gained legendary status thanks to his purported journey to the Isle of the Blessed.  While explorers are a dime a dozen throughout history, St. Brenden stands out above the rest, as he might have ventured out into the Atlantic Ocean far earlier than the big names that dominate historical record. According to the Voyage of St Brendan the Navigator, (published around 900 A.D.), this early sailor took to the high seas with as many as 60 pilgrims in search of the Garden of Eden around 512 A.D. That’s a whopping 500 years before the Vikings and almost a thousand years before Columbus sailed the ocean blue in 1492!

Historians are still debating the authenticity of the story that makes St. Brenden famous and rightly so, considering how many times early exploration has been misinterpreted.  The Irish, however, hold true to their naval claim to fame.

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c.b.w. 2013