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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have long been fascinated about the ancient navigational methods of getting from one point to another.

The ancient Polynesia sailor could read waves giving them a roadmap of where they were but they also found that the best way of reading subtle changes in the sea was to use something very sensitive.

I would not suggest you try this on your next sail but they used to rest their testicles on the stern post as they could pick up slight variations in the sea easily.

Have you heard of any unusual navigational methods?
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Its always worked for me. Those Polynesians had it really easy, getting to use this method where it was warm. Up north (or down south) it can be like getting your tongue stuck on a post. You are on permanent watch until the weather warms up.
 

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Oh!!!!

You're supposed to rest them on the STERN POST? That explains it.

"Honey, you can get up now! I've been doing it wrong."
 

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bell ringer
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It isn't April Fools day till next Tuesday. Is there a link to an paper supporting this navigation method?
 

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Senior Smart Aleck
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Human beings have an amazing capacity for rationalization.

Perhaps you should come up with a better excuse for straddling the tiller while naked...
 

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When you don't have a sheep on a long voyage, a stern post may look rather appealing.
 

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…and, another jackwagon goes on my 'ignore list.'

I have friends associated with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and I'm sure they don't appreciate crap like Nostradamus' spurious posting. It's why they call guys like you 'haole.'
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
…and, another jackwagon goes on my 'ignore list.'

I have friends associated with the Polynesian Voyaging Society and I'm sure they don't appreciate crap like Nostradamus' spurious posting. It's why they call guys like you 'haole.'
Ah multihullgirl... I don't need to be abusive but please carry on and put me on your ignore list. You may also want to put the publishing house Penguin and the book the Penguin book of the ocean in there as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If you ask Mr Google you will find numerous references to it.
One that Multihullgirl may be interested in is on a forum called fighting ignorance!
 

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Master Mariner
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I believe that "We, the navigators" by David Henry Lewis and David. Lewis, is the definitive book on Polynesian navigation. A fascinating read.
Though certainly not as simplistic as the OP suggests, the Polynesians were sailing huge distances between island groups with tremendous accuracy and skill, long before European navigators were sailing much beyond their bathtubs.
As for the testicle thing, I wonder if it made any difference which stern post, or did it need to be both; they sailed catamarans. Do Polynesian dug out canoe catamarans even have stern posts? Hum....
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Don't know if they did, but stern posts were a fairly late invention in Europe (starboard was the side where the steering oar went). I think the Chinese were using the sternpost several centuries before the West.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I believe that "We, the navigators" by David Henry Lewis and David. Lewis, is the definitive book on Polynesian navigation. A fascinating read.
Though certainly not as simplistic as the OP suggests, the Polynesians were sailing huge distances between island groups with tremendous accuracy and skill, long before European navigators were sailing much beyond their bathtubs.
As for the testicle thing, I wonder if it made any difference which stern post, or did it need to be both; they sailed catamarans. Do Polynesian dug out canoe catamarans even have stern posts? Hum....
Capta,
You are right in what you say. There are different references and one includes sitting cross legged in the bow of the canoe with testicles touching the hull. This way slight differences in the sea could be detected. They are supposed to have navigated by these changes ie where the different current or swell from a distant islands lea is first noticed, where rivers ran into the sea, by birds and various natural elements. There is no doubt that they were excellent navigators given that it was probably about 800 years before the compass as we know it was developed. (then again the Chinese are supposed to have navigated by magnetic stones way before the compass was developed)
 

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Capta,
You are right in what you say. There are different references and one includes sitting cross legged in the bow of the canoe with testicles touching the hull.
And the older you get, the deeper the hull can be :D

Steve Thomas (from this Old House who was also a professional navigator) wrote a book on the subject called The Last Navigator. It's where we got our boat name from (Re Metau - The people of the sea).
 

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And the older you get, the deeper the hull can be :D

Steve Thomas (from this Old House who was also a professional navigator) wrote a book on the subject called The Last Navigator. It's where we got our boat name from (Re Metau - The people of the sea).
Thanks for the note about the Steve Thomas book, I must add that to my library. I watched TOH for many years, through several hosts. Enjoyed them all, but remember liking Steve a bit more than Bob. Norm, of course, was a constant.
 

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Had a friend in the PNW who said he could always tell which way was North because that was the "mossy" side of the boat.:laugher
 

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Whether or not this is factual, anecdotal, published in a book or not, it's merely another example of your pontification.

1. to speak or behave in a pompous or dogmatic manner. Also (less commonly): pontify
2. (Roman Catholic Church) to serve or officiate as a pontiff, esp in celebrating a Pontifical Mass

Since I doubt you are a member of the clergy, I'll put you down for #1.

Nobody asked you for a history lesson. You seem to have taken it upon yourself to post questions and (conveniently) offer an answer. We all get it, you're the smartest kid in class. You're here to educate us. Thanks so much!

I think I'll join Multihullgirl in banishing you. All you offer is static, that is cluttering up the useable signal here.
 

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Had a friend in the PNW who said he could always tell which way was North because that was the "mossy" side of the boat.:laugher
If the ancient Polynesians had lived in the PNW would they have become great navigators? I'm not sure resting your testicles on a mossy stern post would be as effective as resting them on a moss-less stern post.

Were there any female ancient Polynesian master navigators? What were their methods? I am afraid to Google it.
 
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