excerpt from "Circa 1492, Art: in the age of exploration"
"this maritime traffic had taken a major step forward at the end of the thirteenth century, when the ships plying the route had begun regulary to sail around the Iberian Peninsula and to unload their goods at the ports of Flanders, rather than ending their voyage in southern France and consigning their cargoes to overland trnsport to their final destination. ... it is clear that the new practice of sailing around the Iberian Peninsula to Flanders did not significantly change the art of navigation, which remained coastal".
I thought that with the ongoing discussion on the Argyll connection thread, I would bring up this report again. Tim, you had said it would be foolhardy to sail around the Iberian in 1307, and yet that is what is implied here. Is this report, in your understanding of sailing correct, or do you believe they are wrong? In other words would it have made sense for Jacques de Molay, with 10, 12, or maybe a few more vessels to have sailed around the Iberian when he had been summoned to Poitiers by Clement? Remember, according to historians he was carrying 150,000 gold florins, a great amount of silver and 60 knights, with horses squires and gear. IMHO, he had the 60 knights because he had a tremendous amount of treasure, and traveling between the moorish coast of spain and the equally moorish coast of South Africa.
I believe what I said was that the sea route would have been longer and more treacherous than going over land from Marseilles. I'll add here that I don't think 60 knights, their squires and their mounts would have been of much use on a sea voyage. A thinking person might be more apt to consider such equipment better suited for traversing on terra firma.