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

September 29, 2015

Herb Kane's excellent illustrations for National Geographic

Here are some scans of Herb Kane's map/poster from the 1974 National Geographic article "The Coming of the Polynesians". 

(These files are really big so I've posted them seperately.)

It turns out that this poster is actually available from purchase from National Geographic.  Go here and scroll to the bottom of the page:

"The Discoverers of the Pacific map was published in December 1974 as half of a two-map set with the Islands of the Pacific map and the article “The Coming of the Polynesians.” An educational work, this map contains an abundance of information about Pacific islanders, their shipbuilding techniques, types of canoes, and how they navigated using the stars, birds, and other natural data.

The 1974 Discoverers of the Pacific map features

  • A map showing the travels of Pacific islanders and how various islands were discovered
  • Information on Pacific islanders, their history, and their extraordinary seafaring abilities
  • Illustrations and information on the canoe-building practices of Pacific islanders
  • Illustrations and information about many types of canoes
  • “Steering by Stars and Sea” article with illustrations to show how islanders navigated
  • Illustrations of various peoples who inhabited the Pacific
  • Illustrations of native shipbuilding tools
Coverage Area: South Pacific, Indonesia, Micronesia, New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Polynesia, Hawaiian Islands, New Zealand, Australia

To purchase a wall-size version of this map click here.


Kaep, Popo, Wa Lap, and Waka


Amatasi, Tongiaki, and Waka Taua

The map/poster

Map of Micronesia

September 26, 2015

Just off the beach

Source unknown.  This is the classic Carolinian sail shape.  Note the two piece scarfed boom.

September 17, 2015

"Big Sailing Canoes in Micronesia"

Posted at YouTube:

Some sail raising footage at about 4:20 into it.

Good building footage at the beginning.

Posted by Ulf Nyman
Thanks, Ulf!

"Glimpses of Ailuk Atoll"

Videos on YouTube:  Glimpses of Ailuk Atoll

 Part 1

Part 2

Posted by: Tropical Sailing Life

From the Marshalls...

Some Ailuk Atoll guys having a blast!

September 05, 2015

More on the "new tack"

In my previous post I outlined the "new tack", a simple one-piece-at-a-time approach to shunting the rig.  This has in its favor simplicity and few moving parts.  At least in a smaller sized vessel, I wouldn't mind moving the yard from one bow to the other by hand.  I can handle just a yard and sail as long as the mast isn't flopping around as well!  (As can happen shunting in a choppy sea state.)

However, one might want to control the movement of the sail also with a "tack track" or "tack line" of sorts.  Reference the sub topic Shunting Solutions in Michael Schacht's excellent article Proa Rig Options: Crab Claw

In case any of you are not familiar with Michael's body of work, his site ProaFile, is the motherlode of proa and other such research on the web.  A link here and more kudos later: