An expedition of three balsa wood rafts reached the coast of Australia on Monday (19th November), after drifting 8,600 miles (13,700 kilometres) across the Pacific Ocean.
GV Rafts seen from tug.
SV PAN Rafts. (2 shots)
SV PAN Tugs.
SV Men on raft waving
SV Tilt down
BV Tug PAN to raft.
SV Lines run out to raft from tug.
Initials APSM/2040 APSM/2131
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Background: An expedition of three balsa wood rafts reached the coast of Australia on Monday (19th November), after drifting 8,600 miles (13,700 kilometres) across the Pacific Ocean. An Australian landing craft took the rafts in tow on the New South Wales coast, near the town of Ballina.
The 12 men who's undertaken the six-month ordeal were reported well. The man, who came from seven countries, were trying to prove that the Huancavilcas - the pre-Columbian people of Ecuador - could have reached Polynesia by raft 500 years ago. The rafts were heavily waterlogged after the voyage. they had batted against a strong current which, Navy officers feared, could have torn them apart. The expedition was headed by Captain Vital Alsar, 38, a Spanish member of the French Foreign Legion.
The crew reported that they'd eaten raw fish for part of the journey because their provisions were low. They spoke of storms with winds up to 80 miles (128 kilometres) an hour. Tom Ward, an American crew member, told how they searched every day for worms, which were eating the ropes binding the balsa logs together. One night, three ropes holding the sail of a raft broke simultaneously as the crew slept.