Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft

Thor Heyerdahl

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 0671726528

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Now a major motion picture, Kon-Tiki is the record of Thor Heyerdahl’s astonishing three-month voyage across the Pacific.

Kon-Tiki is the record of an astonishing adventure—a journey of 4,300 nautical miles across the Pacific Ocean by raft. Intrigued by Polynesian folklore, biologist Thor Heyerdahl suspected that the South Sea Islands had been settled by an ancient race from thousands of miles to the east, led by a mythical hero, Kon-Tiki. He decided to prove his theory by duplicating the legendary voyage.

On April 28, 1947, Heyerdahl and five other adventurers sailed from Peru on a balsa log raft. After three months on the open sea, encountering raging storms, whales, and sharks, they sighted land—the Polynesian island of Puka Puka.

Translated into sixty-five languages, Kon-Tiki is a classic, inspiring tale of daring and courage—a magnificent saga of men against the sea.

This edition includes a foreword by the author and a unique visual essay of the voyage.

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food, however, had never been their strong suit. Every few weeks we untied the lashings which held down the bamboo deck and took out fresh supplies, which we lashed fast forward of the bamboo cabin. The tough layer of asphalt outside the cardboard proved resistant, while the hermetically sealed tins lying loose beside it were penetrated and ruined by the sea water which continually washed round our provisions. Kon-Tiki, on his original voyage across the sea, had no asphalt or hermetically sealed

yesterday. Now they came at a high speed from the port side and disappeared astern like a big, brown, flat shadow in the sea. —18/6. Knut observed a snakelike creature, two to three feet long and thin, which stood straight up and down in the water below the surface and dived by wriggling downward like a snake. On several occasions we glided past a large dark mass, the size of the floor of a room, that lay motionless under the surface of the water like a hidden reef. It was presumably the giant

to being regarded as a cold-blooded appendage. At night the parrot crept into its cage under the roof of the bamboo cabin, but in the daytime it strutted about the deck or hung on to guy ropes and stays and did the most fascinating acrobatic exercises. At the start of the voyage we had turnbuckles on the stays of the mast but they wore the ropes, so we replaced them by ordinary running knots. When the stays stretched and grew slack from sun and wind, all hands had to turn to and brace up the

the storm rushed up over the horizon and gathered about us for the first time, strained anticipation and anxiety were discernible in our looks. But when it was upon us in earnest, and the Kon-Tiki took everything that came her way with ease and buoyancy, the storm became an exciting form of sport, and we all delighted in the fury round about us which the balsa raft mastered so adroitly, always seeing that she herself lay on the wave tops like a cork, while all the main weight of the raging water

collect what little there was. There was not one day on which we moved backward toward America, and our smallest distance in twenty-four hours was 9 sea miles, while our average run for the voyage as a whole was 421/2 sea miles in twenty-four hours. The trade wind, after all, had not the heart to fail us right in the last lap. It reported for duty again and pushed and shoved at the ramshackle craft which was preparing her entry into a new and strange part of the world. With each day that

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