Jewel of Muscat

Jewel of Muscat is a reconstructed ship from the 9th-century that used to sail between Oman and Singapore, its design is based on the archaeological findings of the Belitung Wreck in Indonesia in 1998.

The 18 metre ship was built without nails. The planks sewn together with coconut fibre and fit perfectly to make the ship watertight. The wood is protected by a layer of goat fat mixed with lime, the planking on the ship is made from Afzelia africana timber from Ghana and the square sails are made from palm leaves.

This project is an historical and cultural initiative launched by the governments of Oman and Singapore. With Saleh Said Al Jabri as the Captain and using 9th century navigation techniques, the ship set sail from Oman in February this year. It retraced parts of the historic maritime trade route between Arabia and the Far East, making stops in India, Sri Lanka and Malaysia before arriving in Singapore today.

This is a great revival of the region's maritime history and takes us back to the days of slow (and sometimes dangerous) travel. The Jewel of Muscat website has updates of the entire journey including photos and video, and the National Geographic channel will be airing a documentary about the Jewel of Muscat soon.