~ Sustainable Seafaring from Oceania. History, Design, and Relevance ~

April 04, 2010

Photos from Steve Thomas's Traditional Micronesian Navigation Collection

The banner from the website

Unfinished canoe hull on beach

Same hull, closeup of interior

Mau adzing on a float

Fitting a rough-hewn bow to the keel

Man adzing a paddle with small child in his lap

Canoe under construction on beach with coconut mats for sun protection

Canoe under construction

Mas (eye) of a canoe

Glossary - from The Last Navigator

ama Literally "to face". A navigational exercise in which the navigator places a toy canoe in the center of the paafu circle and asks his student to name the stars over the bow, stern, outrigger, and lee platform.

epar "To fix" or "to aim". Denotes the individual birds, fishes, whales, and reefs listed in the pookof sysem.

Etak A conceptual plotting system that enables the navigator to track his position at sea witout chart, sextant, compass, or other modern aids to navigation. Also a unit of measurement.

etakidigina The "etak of sighting": the first and last etak of any voyage, inside which the island is visible.

fatonomuir "Facing astern": a navigation technique by which the navigator measures the current displacing his vessel by backsighting toward his island of departure to observe the star under which his isalnd has "moved".

- Excerpts from the Glossary of The Last Navigator by Steven Thomas

Micronesian and Canoe

Contemporary Micronesian with 2 canoes. A coconut mat is protecting the mas at the bow of the large canoe.