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The story of the last Pacific-crossing balsa raft

We turned on NPR‘s Morning Edition this morning just in time to catch the tail end of a story referencing a balsa raft in Australia tied to a historic voyage.Mental note made to look up the piece made, we went on with the day. The story was “Australia Celebrates A World-Record Ocean Crossing.” It tells [...]

Thinking about a ocean voyage on a bamboo raft? Read “The China Voyage”

I actually had the crazed idea to read a book recently. Doesn’t happen much – I am lucky if I can clear my magazine rack in a given month. Long on my to do list, though, had been reading some of Tim Severin’s works. Severin is an Irishman (at least he lives there) with an fascinating joint interest in history, archeology, and epic voyages, mostly maritime ones. Sound intriguing? It gets better. Severin’s shtick has been to identify an unproven or poorly understood historical journey, build a traditional boat, if a maritime one, that represents the type of that era, and then recreate the journey to see if it could have happened as theorized. Oh yeah, I am IN! I have known about him for a while and only just got around to checking him out. I began with The China Voyage: Across The Pacific By Bamboo Raft. Apparently there are a group of archeologists who believe (or believed, as of the early 1990s) that there was contact between East Asian cultures and Central American cultures within the last couple millennia. [...]

The first boats – they may be older – a lot older – than we think

It has been an exciting few weeks for anyone interested in the origins of boats and boating, as we are here at Chine bLog. It turns out that humans may have discovered the ways of the maritime life long before science generally believed. First, I read a great article in the next to last issue [...]

Great posts on Brazilian Jangadas by Indigenous Boats

Jangadas from Wikipedia via Indigenous Boats

Many thanks to our friend Bob Holtzman over at Indigenous Boats for his nice posts on Brazilian Jangadas, traditional craft from Northeastern Brazil. I encourage you to read both: one and two. I am digging this blog – great substance here:

It is a sailing raft built of [...]