Azerbaijan International

Winter 2006 (14.4)

Pacific Voyage by Raft

All photos: Anders Berg/Tangaroa



31. View of the Tangaroa at sea and its crew from atop the mast. Olav Heyerdahl, grandson of Thor Heyerdahl, looks up from the cabin roof.

32. Torgeir Higraff holding a Snake Mackerel (Gempylus serpent). Sixty years earlier crewmembers on the Kon-Tiki had been startled from their sleep one morning to discover such a creature in one of their beds. The snake mackerel is found worldwide in temperate oceanic waters. It has an elongated, compressed body and grows to about three feet long. Its mouth is large with fang-like teeth. A solitary creature, it feeds on fishes, cephalopods and crustaceans.

33. Torgeir Higraff, sitting starboard of the cabin just before sunset, writing in his diary, which he kept for the duration of the three-month voyage. "Alone, at sea, surrounded by the voices of nature, the vast ocean became a familiar friend," he says, as the raft rolled over wave after wave.

36. Larvik is the hometown of Thor Heyerdahl where the raft has since been shipped back so that it will be a major show piece in a museum dedicated to Heyerdahl's legacy that is soon to be built. One more flag-that of the United Nations - also crossed the ocean atop the Tangaroa mast.

37. Islanders on Raiatea honor the Tangaroa crew with orchid leis and oars made by local experts. Here Øyvin Lauten (executive officer) on the Tangaroa honored after nearly three months at sea.

38. Welcome to Tahiti. Island residents wait for the crew to come onshore.

39. A jaunt to the local corner grocery shop at Raroia - first stop after 78 days at sea. The Tangaroa crew stayed on the island for a week, it necessitated some trips to the local grocery story. With clothes, shoes and groceries in hand-bread, butter, eggs and beer - Torgeir returns to the raft. July 10, 2006.

40-41. In the Polynesia islands, the Tangaroa was towed from the island of Raiatea back to Tahiti. From there, it was shipped to Bremerhaven, Germany (40,000 km) via the carrier Talisman (Wallenius Wilhelmsen).

The final leg of the journey from Bremerhaven to the southern Norwegian port of Larvik was completed on board the MV Bremer Roland, which belongs to Icelandic carrier Samskip. The Tangaroa arrived back in Norway on November 18, 2006. Plans are being made for the Tangaroa raft to be showcased in the new museum that is being planned for Larvik which is the town where Thor Heyerdahl grew up. The Museum is dedicated to the legacy of Heyerdahl.

43. Almost home. Tangaroa is lifted back on land at Larvik, Norway - seven months after it launched from the shores if Peru. The original raft that Thor Heyerdahl took to the Polynesian islands in 1947 can be seen in the Kon-Tiki Museum in Osla. Hopefully, it won't be too long before the Tangaroa which took the same route 60 years later will be on display in Larvik.


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