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Old 16-04-2017, 00:43   #16
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Re: Kon-Tiki

Yeah, he was hardcore.
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O you who turn the wheel and look to windward,

Consider Phlebas, who was once handsome and tall as you.
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Old 16-04-2017, 11:21   #17
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Re: Kon-Tiki

Heyerdahl was a great self promoter, adventurer, writer and a nut. He was a champion of discredited theories of the of the human migration. His book Fatu Hiva, was published in the '70s and was about a year he spent on Fatu Hiva in the Marquesas in the late '30s with his then girl friend. It's been a long time since I read the book but think the adventure had something to do with his Masters Thesis.

To show how level headed and rational his research was here are a few tidbits of what Island life was like. The local population of the Marquesas at that time was almost entirely Catholic and to say that the locals took their religion seriously is an understatement. The Islands only contact with the outside world was the very occasional Copra Boat from Papeete. Don't think there were any other non natives living on the Island. The last documented case of cannibalism in the Marquesas was only 40 years in the past. Life was isolated and traditional in the extreme on Fatu Hiva. So what does Heyerdahl do but make friends with the only protestant heretic on the island and isolate himself from the majority of the population. It made him a very unwelcome Haole outsider and nearly got him lynched if you believe his account.

Having said the above, Kon Tiki made it almost a certainty that I'd go cruising and Fatu Hiva gave me the impetus to get to the Marquesas and Fatu Hiva soon after the book was published. He was a great writer and Don Quixote champion of lost causes. The value of his books is the tales of adventure, hardship and reward, not the theories he hoped to promote.

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'Ae'a Pearson 35
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Old 16-04-2017, 21:38   #18
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Re: Kon-Tiki

was probably 8 or 9 when i read this back in the 1970's. For me, this story opened a window to the possible.
“Though we travel the world over to find the beautiful, we must carry it with us, or we find it not.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Old 17-04-2017, 08:52   #19
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Re: Kon-Tiki

if I remember right, roverhi, he mainly wanted to show what was possible, not "prove" some (you say "quixotic") theories. & all his trips were backed by serious research, they were not just "adventuring into the wide blue younder"
(Aku Aku, the secret of Easter Island)
btw: in "Fatu Hiva" he disproved his own theories (that man could turn back time & live the simple life) & admitted it
& anybody visiting the Marquesas & having an eye for the weather should certainly wonder, how they were populated from the west, what with such a steady tradewind blowing the other way...(& the kumara question? still open, afaik...)
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Old 17-04-2017, 12:40   #20
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Re: Kon-Tiki

I always enjoyed his exploits in debunking the myth of "Blue Water Boats."
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Old 18-04-2017, 06:48   #21
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Re: Kon-Tiki

Originally Posted by minaret View Post
...taking an Egyptian papyrus reed boat across the Atlantic to prove South America was visited by early Africans.
Again, not to prove that it WAS, but to prove that it COULD have been. And he did prove that it COULD have been, but he did not prove that it WAS.

I know, that's kind of nit-picking, but when it comes to proving theories I think it is important to differentiate "was" and "could have been."

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