Sad End to a Bold Adventure

We were sorry to read the news that the Princess Taiping, a replica Ming Dynasty Chinese junk, sank near Taiwan on Sunday. We visited the Princess Taiping when it was docked in San Francisco last fall and shared some gong fu tie guan yin on deck with the crew.

After sailing from China to North America and most of the way back with little in the way of modern technology outside of safety gear, the Taiping's quixotic, tea-fueled adventure was only 30 miles from completion in Taiwan when its destiny intersected with a threat unfamiliar to Ming-era predecessors: an enormous freighter. It's a relief to know that although the ship was lost, the Taiping's crew survived the collision without serious injuries.

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