Kon-Tiki: Across the Pacific in a Raft

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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hands everywhere, and knot after knot had to be loosened in turn. “I’ll swear this correspondence weighs twenty pounds,” said Knut one day despairingly as he bent over his typewriter. “Twenty-six,” said Torstein drily. “I’ve weighed it.” My mother must have had a clear idea of the conditions in these days of dramatic preparation when she wrote: “And I only wish I knew you were all six safe on board the raft!” Then one day an express telegram came from Lima. Herman had been caught in the

thrust the harpoon with all his giant strength down between his legs and deep into the whale shark’s gristly head. It was a second or two before the giant understood properly what was happening. Then in a flash the placid half-wit was transformed into a mountain of steel muscles. We heard a swishing noise as the harpoon line rushed over the edge of the raft and saw a cascade of water as the giant stood on its head and plunged down into the depths. The three men who were standing nearest were

that the ration was consumed. Even if our predecessors had started from land with inadequate supplies, they would have managed well enough as long as they drifted across the sea with the current, in which fish abounded. There was not a day on our whole voyage on which fish were not swimming round the raft and could not easily be caught. Scarcely a day passed without flying fish, at any rate, coming on board of their own accord. It even happened that large bonitos, delicious eating, swam on board

while the trade wind vacillated from east to southeast. On this little sailing trip up to the spurious reef we had learned quite a lot about the effectiveness of the centerboards as a keel, and when, later in the voyage, Herman and Knut dived under the raft together and salved the fifth centerboard, we learned still more about these curious pieces of board, something which no one has understood since the Indians themselves gave up this forgotten sport. That the board did the work of a keel and

looked as if I had interrupted him in a game of solitaire. “No!” he said. “Never!” I imagine that Santa Claus would have looked as he did then if someone had dared to affirm that next year Christmas would be on Midsummer Day. “You’re wrong, absolutely wrong,” he said and shook his head indignantly to drive out the idea. “But you haven’t read my arguments yet,” I urged, nodding hopefully toward the manuscript which lay on the table. “Arguments!” he repeated. “You can’t treat ethnographic

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