Skip to comments.Norwegian Team Embarks on 'Kon-Tiki' Trip - Tangaroa
Posted on 04/28/2006 9:00:50 PM PDT by NormsRevenge
A Norwegian team that includes the Thor Heyerdahl's grandson paddled Friday into the Pacific Ocean to repeat the famed adventurer's journey aboard the balsa raft Kon-Tiki.
"My personal motivation is to have a great adventure," 28-year-old Olav Heyerdahl told The Associated Press before he and five shipmates embarked for the trip across the Pacific on the balsa raft Tangaroa _ named for the Polynesian god of the ocean.
In 1947, Thor Heyerdahl and his team sailed their primitive raft 5,000 miles from Peru to Polynesia in 101 days to support Heyerdahl's theory that the South Sea Islands were settled by ancient mariners from South America.
Heyerdahl, who died in 2002 at age 87, documented his voyage in the best-selling book "Kon-Tiki" and in an Oscar-winning documentary film.
The new 56-foot vessel, built on a dry-dock in Lima's port of Callao, is larger than the Kon-Tiki, with eight crossbeams lashed to 11 balsa logs from Ecuador and covered by a bamboo deck.
Atop a hardwood cabin, the crew fitted a thatched-reed roof made by Aymara Indians from Lake Titicaca.
The Kon-Tiki carried only the most basic equipment, even by 1947 standards. But the Tangaroa features abundant modern technology, including solar panels to generate electricity and satellite navigation and communications gear.
Olav Heyerdahl said during the journey they planned to constantly update the Web page for the expedition _ an $800,000 venture backed by the Norwegian Environment Ministry, private businesses and his grandfather's hometown of Larvik, Norway.
The expedition had been set for last year, but was postponed after key sponsors diverted funds to help victims of the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami.
The team's leader, Torgeir Saeverud Higraff, said Tangaroa's large square sail is based on recent research that suggests ancient Peruvian mariners had much more advanced sails than the elder Heyerdahl could have imagined.
Unlike the Kon-Tiki, the Tangaroa will be able to navigate against the wind and could land on the island of Raroia two weeks earlier than Heyerdahl _ whose raft foundered on a reef off the island, leaving him and his crew stranded for a week before their return to civilization.
"We have to admit that we are bringing a couple of life boats," Higraff added.
The crew _ made up of four Norwegians, a Swede and a Peruvian _ planned to fish for its food during the trip, but also carried U.S. Navy rations, just in case, he added.
On the Net:
Norwegian explorers wave to reporters as they leave Callao port in Peru on Friday, April 28, 2006. Nearly six decades after Thor Heyerdahl's epic Pacific Ocean crossing aboard the raft Kon-Tiki, members of a new team, including his grandson, are in Peru laying the groundwork for a modern repeat of the feat. (AP Photo/Martin Mejia)
Odd it doesn't mention that Heyerdahl was later proven to be completely wrong by DNA evidence.
Shows the danger of focusing on the "cool" explanation with the flashiest demonstration.
Members of the team on the Tangaroa expedition work on the construction of the wooden raft at the port of Callao in Lima April 26, 2006. The Tangaroa expedition aims to recreate Thor Heyerdahl's legendary Kon-Tiki voyage, from Peru to the Polynesia, across the Pacific Ocean in a balsa raft in 1947. The team, which includes Heyerdahl's grandson Olav, will launch the Tangaroa from Callao on April 28. REUTERS/Pilar Olivares
This is obviously just a stunt - folks having fun at someone else's expense.
However, it seems a bit unfair to suggest Heyerdahl just had the flashiest demonstration. Lots of things look clearer with 60 years of hindsight.
Heyerdahl was proven wrong, but he made an interesting case - in 1947.
I'd say a lot more people in the general public are aware of Heyerdahl and his theory than the actual correct theory which is the South Pacific Islands were populated by sea peoples originating in Southeast Asia.
Cool! I got to see Thor's boats in Oslo, a great epic of our time!
Best of luck.
I'd say most people in the general public couldn't locate Peru on a map, and many couldn't locate the Pacific!
But perhaps I'm cynical. You are correct, and they SHOULD have mentioned Heyerdahl was wrong - but my main objection is that this is pointless. Just some dudes having fun. The old Heyerdahl had a reason, which was part of what made it interesting.
I couldn't resist!
What the heck is that, a 50 gallon drum of Pork Adobo?
I remember reading 'KON-TIKI' as a kid and was fascinated with his journey. So much so that I talked my Pop into namimg our next boat, a 16' Lyman, with that name. I was a proud pup in doing that. Great book, great adventure.
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Kon-Tiki Replica To Sail, Study Pacific In 2005
ABC Science News | 9-6-2004 | Alister Doyle
Posted on 09/06/2004 7:20:33 PM EDT by blam
New "Kon-Tiki" expedition postponed (Norway)
Aftenposten | February 7, 2005 | reporter
Posted on 02/07/2005 9:01:51 AM EST by franksolich
Nice photos here!
Could you give a *brief* rundown of what you believe Heyerdahl was right about and why?
I read T.H.'s book on Easter Island with great interest -- clearly he put forth theories which he proved to be viable, and I wish more anthropologists/historians could write like that!
Heyerdahl excavated a statue that was of an earlier style but unfamiliar to the then-current ("Aku-Aku" era, so the 1950s) population of Easter Island. It had affinities with S.American sculpture, and was a bridge between that and the climax types, which are familiar to pretty much everyone.
That's part of the anthropological approach. Other parts include listening to the surviving folklore, and having the descendants of the last of the Long-Ears re-erect one of the statues and topknot. Heyerdahl also explored some of the family caves from the "Bird Man" era which followed the statue-building phase.
The current the Kon-Tiki group followed is (obviously) ancient, and while it is true that the Polynesians knew how to tack into the wind, it is easier (thus more likely) to follow the current, so arrival from the east was earlier.
Heyerdahl investigate the surviving accounts of the uprisings during the statue-building era; a peninsula on the island, which was the redoubt of the beset Long-Ears, has a natural cleft in it, and in the cleft Heyerdahl found the remains of at least two separate bonfires, which correspond to the folklore, and the dates of the fires are in the right ballpark.
His approach involved building traditional style craft and testing their seaworthiness, and proceeded from his view that humans have been using the seas for a long time. His view will over the coming years become the dominant one, while the isolationist lunkheads are discredited and/or die off (and good riddance).
Actually what they are doing is not difficult, it just takes a while. I don't understand the reason they are doing what they are doing.
Some men will do all sorts of things to have a nice deep sea fishing trip.
That will be about all they do, not much of a challenge the way they are doing it.
They are proving that primitive people could have made the trip with their neolithic SatNavs and MREs.
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