Norwegian explore Thor Heyerdahl landed at Bridgetown, Barbados after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in his papyrus reed boat "RA 2".
Norwegian explore Thor Heyerdahl landed at Bridgetown, Barbados after sailing across the Atlantic Ocean in his papyrus reed boat "RA 2". The boat, with its seven-man multi-national crew, completed the 3,900 mile (6,300 kilometres) crossing in 57 days, arriving on Sunday, July 12.
The expedition had set out from Safi, Morocco on May 17. It was their second attempt at the crossing the first ended when the boat began to break up in a hurricane 600 miles (960 kms) east of Barbados.
The boat, named "Ra 2" after the Egyptian sun God, was built in Safi by four Bolivian Indians. The voyage was to give credence to 55-year-old Heyerdahl's theory that the ancient Egyptians could have sailed to Central America, in a similar craft, many centuries before Columbus and so be the precursors of the Mayan and Incan civilisations.
Another intention of the expedition was to show that people of all skin colours, religions and political backgrounds, could work together, Ra 2 flew the United Nations flag by special permission of the Secretary-General U Thant.
The expedition was in some danger after about a month at sea when the rudder was broken by giant wave. The boat drifted aimlessly for two days while they made a makeshift rudder from wood.
Mr. Heyerdahl is already well-known for this kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, when he and a crew of five other Scandanavians, piloted a balsa-log raft across the Pacific, from Peru to Polynesia, to prove that Polynesian culture could have be derived form Peruvian origins.