Sometime between A.D. 500 and 800, Christian monks from Ireland voyaged to Europe and possibly across the Atlantic Ocean to spread Christianity.
They sailed in curraghs, open wicker-frame boats covered with animal hides. In the 500s, a monk named Brendan sailed to the Hebrides Islands off the coast of Scotland, to the Scottish mainland, and possibly to Wales and Brittany, France.
According to an Irish epic called Navigatio Brendani (Voyage of Brendan), he also led an expedition into the Atlantic Ocean to the “Promised Land of the Saints.”
Historians have speculated that the land is Iceland or the Canary Islands off the northwest coast of Africa. He is remembered today as St. Brendan the Navigator.