Norwegian Explorer Thor Heyerdahl arrived yesterday (Tuesday) in Bridgetown, Barbados, aboard the motor-yacht "Shenandoah" after abandoning his papyrus boat "Ra" in the Atlantic.
GV "Shenandoah" approaches Bridgetown
BV & CU Mrs. Heyerdahl waves
SV & CU Heyerdahl's crew on deck of "Shenandoah"
SV Heyerdahl children and wife run along dock
SCU (heyerdahl's V.O. starts here and continues to end) Heyerdahl greets wife and children
SV Crew member Baker greets wife
SV Crowd on deck
SCU. PAN Heyerdahl signing autographs and walks away
SV ZOOM INTO CU Crew members lined up
LV & CU Heyerdahl surrounded by newsmen and crew
CU Mrs. Heyerdahl stroking Thor's mascot, a monkey
LV Heyerdahl surrounded by press and crowd
TRANSCRIPT HEYERDAHL: "We could hardly have found a more beautiful spot to put our feet ashore after two months in the ocean. Of course, we would have all been delighted if we could have arrived here together with our papyrus ship - but if we had done so we might have been six instead of seven. I decided that the scientific answers to what we set out to find out had been already given and that, by continuing as the circumstances were, we might have lost human life and that would not be worth it. The purpose of this expedition was to find if it would have been possible for ancient people, with papyrus ships from the Mediterranean area of the type used in pre-historic Egypt, to cross from Africa to America long before Columbus and bring some ideas of civilization to this part of the world. We were able to sail three thousand, er, two thousand seven hundred miles - 2,700 miles or roughly 5,000 kilometres. The shortest distance between Africa and America is 1,600 miles - so technically we have proven that it would be possible for early man with a papyrus boat to come across."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Norwegian Explorer Thor Heyerdahl arrived yesterday (Tuesday) in Bridgetown, Barbados, aboard the motor-yacht "Shenandoah" after abandoning his papyrus boat "Ra" in the Atlantic. Heyerdahl and his seven-man crew were met at Bridgetown by their wives and families.
In spite of losing his paper boat, Heyerdahl stated that he felt the trip had been successful in proving that it was possible for the Egyptians to have sailed to the New World in their paper craft long before Columbus.
The "Ra" sailed from Morocco on May 25th and sailed 2,700 miles (5,000 kms) across the Atlantic before damage and water-logging forced the crew to abandon it last Friday (July 18) some 600 miles (960 kms) East of Barbados, after sharks prevented repairs from being carried out. They were picked up by the "Shenandoah" which had put out from Martinique carrying photographers to film the expedition's progress.
After being greeted by his wife and three daughters, Thor Heyerdahl signed autographs and then spoke to the crowd of reporters gathered on dockside: