Las Balsas

Las Balsa

As a young man, Spaniard Vital Alsar was captivated by Thor Heyerdahl’s epic voyage half way across the Pacific in the balsa raft Kon-Tiki.  Heyerdahl believed that South American Indians used these rafts to colonise remote Pacific islands.  Many thought a single, experimental voyage did not prove this theory, but not Alsar.  He believed, and wanted to sail a balsa raft of his own – not just to the Polynesian islands, but right across the Pacific.

Like the Kon-Tiki, Alsar’s raft followed the design of rafts seen cruising the South American coast by the first Spanish explorers in the Pacific.  The raft was 14m long and 5.5m wide, comprising seven large balsa logs lashed together by sisal rope and wooden pegs.  The logs were specially harvested when sap content was high to maximise their resistance to seepage and maintain buoyancy.  No modern materials, such as nails or screws, were used in construction.  More..

Author: kiwozikonnections

I am more fortunate than 500 million people in the world - I've never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture, or the pangs of starvation. I am richer than 75% of this world - I have food in my refrigerator, clothes on my back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep. I am among the top 8% of the world's wealthy - I have a little money in my wallet, and spare change in a dish someplace .

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