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The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions

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 The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions

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Date Posted:December 12th, 2012
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Description: Colonisation of the new worlds! In 1938 and ahead Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl proved by a series of sailing trips in rafts of ancient design that it was possible for Americans to reach Polynesia (The Kon Tiki expedition), that Africans/Europeans could reach the Caribian and further on to the Americas (The Ra expeditions) and that the world's earliest urban civilizations, like the Mesopotamia at the Persian Gulf to the, now Pakistan, ancient Indus Valley Civilization, further on to Egypt (The Tigris expedition). Although discussed among anthropologists whether this happened, Heyerdahl basically proved it was possible to travel the vast distances in boats designed as they were build in these ages.

The Kon-Tiki expedition. Balsa tree raft. On a 101 days, 4300 nautical mile (4948 miles, 7964 km) journey from Callao, Peru, starts on April 28, 1947. Sailing west across the Pacific Ocean carried along on the Humboldt current at a speed of average 1.5 knots. First sight of land is Puka-Puka atoll on July 30. On August 7 Kon-Tiki hits into the reef at Raroia in the Tuamotu Islands. The crew survives the dramatic landing on the uninhabited Raroia island and are rescued by locals after a few days.

The Ra I and Ra II expeditions. Papyrus reed rafts. Both expeditions starts from Safi, Morocco and travels west across the Atlantic Ocean towards Barbados in the Caribbean. Ra I sets off May 25th 1969. After 54 days and 2662 nautical miles, on July 18th 1969, about 700 nautical miles from Barbados, parts of the Ra I raft starts to fall apart, and the expedition has to abandon ship, as the raft is sinking. Ra II sets of on May 17th 1970 and reaches Barbados on July 12th 1970 after 3270 nautical miles in 57 days.

The Tigris expedition. Berdi reed raft. The Expedition starts out on the Tigris River in december 1977 and lasts for 5 months and more than 3400 nautical miles. In protest of having being surrounded by wars on every side in the Red Sea and Horn of Africa, the expedition decides in april 1978 outside Djibouti to set fire to the raft, and in an open letter make an appeal to UN to do an effort to stop the arms deliveries to developing counties in the region. The purpose of the expedition still proved it possible to sail and navigate from ancient Mesopotamia to the 'new' world around red sea ancient Egypt.

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