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

October 30, 2015

Some of Dame Jane Resture's sites

Her Micronesia Home Page:

Micronesia Postcards and Photos:

A canoe of the Carolines
A Kiribati canoe
A Yappese canoe at speed

Canoes of the Kiribati Islands

Check out this great piece on Kiribati canoe construction at Jane Resture's site:

With the slightest of a breeze
And the greatest of ease
She skims over the shimmering blue
A most remarkable craft
From the fore to the aft
The incredible Kiribati canoe!

Like a frigate bird on a wing
The rigging and sails sing
A melodious song of the deep
About the spirits of the sea
And what has come to be
The incredible Kiribati canoe!

Poem by Dame Dr. Jane Resture

A great winds app!

Check out this great interactive winds app!

October 29, 2015

Mokil and seafaring

Mokil is one of the more eastern islands in the Carolines.  It's actually in the Pohnpei district. Don't know how much seafaring they still do but I did find an old film (from the 40's?) which showed a lot of proa action.  It's here:

Film by Melvin Sloan and Conrad Bentzen, Project by J.E. Weckler, 1948, 60 mintues

The people are doing their best for the camera and there are lots of interesting scenes.  At around 41 and 42 minutes there are good racing scenes, including a shot of capsize recovery.  Of note is that they're recovering the small canoe in the same manner I have used:  by sinking the hull rather than the float to right the boat.

There's also a film here called The Last Sailing Canoe on Mokil:

Their canoes seem to have more in common with the Marshallese style.  Not unexpected given the proximity.

Model canoe, with paddle and bailer
Caroline Islands, Mokil
Collected by Saul H. Riesenberg, 1947, acc. 1948.
The model above was found here:


And from the Last Sailing Canoe video:

P.S. In finally getting to listen to this film, at one point the narrator mentions that they got this style of canoe from the Marshalls and have only had it about one generation...

October 21, 2015

Enewetak walap

Here's some stuff about the Enewetak walap built by Dennis Alessio and others on Majuro Atoll in 1992.  Will put up more as I can gather it up.

Short video clip here:

This, I believe, is their home site, Waan Aelon Kein:

And here is Dirk H.R. Spennemann's Digital Micronesia article on it:

Here's a good illustration on a stamp:

Illustration by Herb Kane

October 20, 2015

Sail specs

Here are a few fairly "orthographic" views of Carolinian sails.  I'll collect as many useful pics as I can in order to notate the typical tack angle of these and other "Oceanic lateen" or "Crab-claw" sails.

The average tack angles in the above sails are from about 60 to 63 degrees, depending on how you measure them.  These seem to be typical for most of the Carolinian sails I've seen.

October 12, 2015

The Satawalese Seasons

"Lefung concurs with our winter, it is "the impatience", the time of hunger.  Leraak, approximately our summer, is "the year", the time of plenty."

- from page 36 of The Last Navigator, by Stephen Thomas