11. Torgeir at the balsa plantation in Quevedo, Ecuador.
12. The Tangaroa crew ordered
the balsa trees in November 2004. The trees were selected and
marked in February 2005. The idea was to identify trees, which
would be the most buoyant. Since female trees are lighter than
male trees, native specialists would knock against the trunk
to detect by sound which were the more porous trees. Then in
January 2006, a cut was made around the circumference of the
trunk to prevent the sap from rising.
13. Organizing logs for transportation to Peru where the raft would be built. The raft was made of 11 balsa logs, the longest one in the middle of the vessel measured 17 meters (about 56 feet) long, while the others were 14 meters (46 feet). Despite the fact that balsa produces one of the lightest weight woods, the logs all together weighed more than 20 tons.
15. Eleven large balsa logs were used to construct the base of the Tangaroa raft. The diameters of the logs were between 80-100 cm (32-39 inches) and their length was 14-17 m (45 to 51 feet). Their combined weight was 20 tons.
16. The Tangaroa crew found a family of four expert Peruvian carpenters to prepare the 13m (nearly 43 ft.) mast from pine wood. The tools that had been shipped from Norway, however, got stuck in customs at Callao, resulting in serious delays as the carpenters had to use their own very simple tools to tackle this very big job.
17. Planks used for the nine
"guara" centerboards, which could be raised and lowered
to steer the raft. The guara centerboards were 4m x 50cm (13
ft x 20 inches) and made of mora fiña.
The Norwegian flag was affixed
to the top of the raft's mast along with flags from Peru, Ecuador,
Sweden, French Polynesia, the United Nations and the Larvik community
in Norway. Larvik is the hometown of Thor Heyerdahl where the
raft has been returned to become the main exhibition in a future
museum to Heyerdahl's legacy.
19. Mona Sæverud Higraff,
wife of Expedition Leader Torgeir, christening the Tangaroa in
Callao, Peru, on April 28, 2006, when it launched. The Norwegian
couple had spent their honeymoon in Ecuador looking for balsa
trees in 2003.
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