Tim Severin was born in 1940 and studied at Oxford University, England. Intrigued by early exploration, he attempted journeys in ships that followed the same design and were constructed from the same materials as ancient ships.
In 1976-1977, Severin demonstrated that St. Brendan could have crossed the Atlantic Ocean in a curragh by building one and sailing it from Europe to North America himself. Departing from Ireland, he sailed to Iceland, on to Greenland, and finally reached Newfoundland. He then returned to Ireland by the same route.
Severin also confirmed that the account later written about St. Brendan’s voyage was consistent with his own experience. To prove that the Chinese may have journeyed to North America thousands of years ago, Severin built a bamboo craft and tried to sail it across the Pacific Ocean in 1995. That voyage, however, was unsuccessful, and Severin was forced to turn back.