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Old 10-01-2013
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Re: traditional navigators

Still off the location... in the Pacific in Tonga where these navigators were meant to be I saw absolutely bugger all evidence of them being able to do it now, or even ini the past.

There are no, none or very few fishing boats going outside their protecting reefs, few even use boats except for water taxi type boats. None were heading offshore.

If they had any great knowledge apart from the normal ability to keep direction by the sun and the stars they have lost the lot.
But I dont think they had any such miraculous powers of navigating. One in particular always bugged me as being stupid to believe is the wave patterns around individual islands showing them to the island. Any wave pattern your see you will see the island at the same time. The only chance is it its quite a huge low island and you are just out of sight of it. (As you might if you are west of the east Caribbean islands... but only by 100 miles or so, not 1,000 miles or so. And what use is it in the trades to have missed the island and only realize its there when you are miles past it? Sail back upwind?

Finally, they didnt keep records upwind of how many arrived downwind so we dont know the attrition rate. A raft leaving Hawaii is 50% chance of hitting something if it goes SW. I wonder if 50% survived the voyage?

As for the Caribbean islands I could navigate up and down here with no compass, no binoculars and one eye tied behind my back!

Mark
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Last edited by MarkofSeaLife; 10-01-2013 at 06:07 PM.
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