In these modern times most of us have become very reliant on technology – some would say a bit too much so. But no one will accuse the 24 sailors on the Voyage to Rapanui expedition of being too technology dependent. The group will soon set off on an ocean journey that will see them crossing more than 10,000 miles of open water without the use of any kind of modern navigational tool. That means they’ll be sailing the Pacific Ocean without GPS, a compass or even maps of any kind. Instead they’ll use traditional navigational techniques, which date back thousands of years, to help them find the way to their remote destination.
Each of the sailors on this journey are Māori – the indigenous Polynesian people who live in New Zealand. Their ancestors once sailed the Pacific Ocean using only the movement of the currents and the sun, moon and stars to guide them safely across the sea. These modern day explorers intend to do the same and recapture a bit of their cultural heritage in the process. Their destination is the island of Rapanui, better known as Easter Island, which is one of the most remote places on our planet. Locating it without navigational charts could be akin to finding a needle in a haystack, however.
The team will split into two crews of 12 with each crew manning a traditional double-hulled Māori sailing canoe. Sometime in the next few days they’ll set out from New Zealand and begin the long journey to Easter Island. Ironically they’ll be using social media to keep all of us updated on their progress with a Twitter feed, Facebook page and Google+ account all dedicated to the voyage.
[Photo courtesy of WakaTapu.com]