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Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific by Raft Paperback – March 1, 2010
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Thor Heyerdahl believed the Polynesian islands were inhabited by sea faring travellers from Peru. But his thesis on this topic was ridiculed because no one would believe that the pacific ocean could be crossed by a flimsy raft made of balsa wood and bamboo. So Heyerdahl decides to prove IT IS possible by building a raft using exactly the same materials the ancient Peruvians used and sailing off the coast of Peru hoping to eventually reach Polynesia.
Nearly every step off his journey was filled with nay sayers who said he was crazy and "experts" who variably told him he was going to die, the raft was going to break apart, or the balsa wood would absorb the sea water and sink. He ignored them all. When they told him balsa trees of the size he needed no longer existed along the coast, he took a jeep deep into the jungles through flooded roads and GOT his trees. Which then they floated down to the ocean in a river.
Heyerdahl is keenly aware of his surroundings and describes his voyage vividly and in simple prose. I could smell the sea breeze and feel the spray of the ocean. It was like taking a mini vacation every time I sat down with this book. You'll swim with whale sharks and get caught in ferocious storms.Read more ›
A true scientist, Heyerdahl isn't satisfied with deciding "yes" - he must test the theory! In the hands of a lesser man this would have produced a musty old thesis collecting dust on the back shelf of an anthropology library. Instead, Heyerdahl marshals five friends of heroic spirit, acquires 9 giant balsa wood logs and some other supplies, and within a few months he sets sail from Peru to cross the Pacific. Drinking fresh water stored in hollowed-out bamboo shafts and eating fish that leap aboard the raft, they make their way across the ocean, well knowing that despite the advanced radio technology of 1936, their chance of rescue in the event of mishap is nil.
The only sea book I can think of to rival this for sheer interest and adventure is Verne's "20,000 Leagues under the Sea," - a fantasy. Heyerdahl's work is true, and his heroic heart shines through in every word. His love and reverence for the ocean and the primitive culture he sought to imitate, combined with his scientific clarity of exposition, make it a joy to read and will instill the sea-lust into even the most devoted landlubber.
I think everyone ought to read this book, for sheer pleasure, and as an example of what can be done with stout heart, clear head, and good will. I recommend it to you without any reservation.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It's a very great real adventure about courage, friendship, sacrifice and confidence.Published 7 days ago by Jorge Barros Peña
Loved this book enough to reread it many times and recommend to friends.Published 28 days ago by Amazon Customer
good stuff - well written, factual account of the preparations for the voyage across the pacific, the voyage itself and the beliefs and thinking that inspired it. Recommended.Published 1 month ago by keith r rawes
FACINATING STORY. tried to read this book in grammar school many many years ago and never got through it. I am thoroughly enjoying it. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Joeybones
i can't believe I never read this when I was younger. it is a wonderful, easy to read adventure that should be on every 12 year old's book shelf. delightful.Published 3 months ago by Ann Griffen