The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions

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The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions TomKjeldsen 12/12/12 11:56 AM


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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.
Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions washi 12/12/12 7:00 PM

Nice piece of work, Tom.  I'm especially impressed with your icons.  I'd make them even bigger, so that they show off in their full dramatic splendor.

Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions TomKjeldsen 12/13/12 9:03 AM
Hi washi, thanks. Agree on icon size. During the file research/finding, on and off, simply forgot that I, a while ago, created some 'more than basic' icons in size, image quality and transparency. And then also missed the obvious now almost 'old' abillity to resize icon display. Seems now hard finding a balance between 'nice' and 'realistic' display in GE version 5-6-7, have tried to do best from my current Google Earth view. Have taken your input as a good opportunity to adjust/experiment on icon size. Hope this was something of what was in your thoughts. Thank you :-)   
Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions Noisette 12/15/12 3:34 AM
Very interesting Tom :)  I like the way the photos float above earth when you open the file.  I don't know if that was intentional, but it's very impressive!

Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions TomKjeldsen 12/16/12 1:18 AM
Thanks Noisette :) - the 'floating/flying' of photos are deliberate and the intention was to display a sort of 'frontpage' for each of the 4 expeditions to separate a bit, one from each other without having to place a large photo on ground/sea that could easy shadow for the other elements like placemarks and path/tracks.
Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions Noisette 12/23/12 3:04 AM
Congratulations Tom, I'm happy to say your post was included in the top content section of the December 2012 edition of the Sightseer newsletter.   

Those wishing to subscribe to the Sightseer can do so here.  

Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions TomKjeldsen 4/4/13 10:15 AM
Thanks very much for previous nice words and the sightseer appreciation of my humble attempt to illustrate the Thor Heyerdahl sailing trips. When I started this idea of using google earth for Kon-Tiki and the other raft expeditions back in february 2012, I had no idea that a new movie of the Kon-Tiki raft sailing expedition was being filmed to be released autum 2012. I see it has been an expensive and so hopefully great film, so I simply have to mention that I have paid 4 penalties :) to local library for late return of Thor Heyerdahl books, up to the release of this Thor Heyerdahl Google Earth tour. Assume that no refund of library penalties is possible (no one needed :)). Hope that someone have fun, stir someone's curiosity or even make use of this in some kind of way.

Have a good journey across the (google) earth
Tom :)


Re: The Thor Heyerdahl Sailing expeditions Jlueckenotte 6/3/13 4:17 AM
Happy to find this - after recently seeing the new "Kon-Tiki" dramatic film.

Maybe one day I can use the original diary to add events to the file.