I need to drive 1500km from Oslo to Rotterdam to pick up the Kon-Tiki2 equipment that just arrived from Chile & be back in 3 days. Which one of my friends is stupid enough to want to help? I know, I'll call Ian!
And so the adventure began. At least according to my friend Ian Naysmith.
Actually the plan was made a couple of months ago. During the rescue operation
in the Pacific ocean in March, some important equipment and data were saved,
weighting half a ton.
We have ships sailing from here to Holland, we may
place the equipment on one of those ships, said Eugenio Moreno, general
manager of Gearbulk in Chile. He got Phil Curran, who is head of Gearbulks
operation group in Chile, on the job. When the ship arrived in Rotterdam, Orestis
Bakas from Gearbulks UK office took charge. Ian and I only had to drive a car
and a trailer that I was happy to borrow in Oslo. Outside of the driving and
occasional traffic, all went great. Steven Csanyi from Australia delivered the
goods at the port with a big, helpful smile. On the map you can see the return
route (blue line). The border crossings went okey. Fortunately we did not need
to explain that the stuff in the trailer was from South America, picked up at a
port in Rotterdam. We stayed one night in Osnabrück on the way south, and in
Oldenburg driving north. Both pleasant towns. But driving 3000km in three days
is not something I recommend as vacation. I think Ian agrees.
First of all my congratulations! For the first time you showed that it is possible to sail by a copy of an ancient Native American raft from South America directly to Easter Island. This in itself is a great achievement. In addition it gives further support to contacts between Eastern Polynesia and South America in pre-historic time.
I know what it is like, I understand how you feel, the veteran told us in a moving speech yesterday.
In those days we did not have communication like now, we only had morse. My wife and daughter suffered a lot for 20 days before they got to know that I was okey. In comparison we talk with our family with our tablets, thanks to our Opera Software sponsorship. I will never forget Yun and his crew.
In Pilot Pardo we had chicken for lunch and were served wine. Now we rest in good beds and enjoy Chilean professional rescue standards. These men really know what they are doing. It took only a few minutes to bring us into the RIB boat and from this we were lifted up in the air and to the stairs that lead us onboard the 80 meter long ship. Talcahuano is their home port, some 450km south of Santiago. We'll be there Monday at 10am.
[In the pictures, you can see Captain Yun Sun Gug with Torgeir; a picture from the transfer to Pilot Pardo; the rescued Norwegian flag onboard Pilot Pardo along with recognizable crew members Lisa, Andrey and Pedro. Finally, Torgeir with the officers on Pilot Pardo]
We are very happy with the help from the Armada. In October last year, a month before the launch of the rafts, I met representatives of the Aramade in their headquarters in Valparaiso. On Easter Isladn, the Armada assisted us in mooring the rafts, and during the voyage we have had weekly contact with the Armada.
Kon-Tiki2 is a unique collaboration. Logs from Ecuador provided by the AirexBaltekBanova comany were turned into rafts in Peru at the shipyard of the The Peruvian Navy, then sailed to Easter Island, and finally rescued by The Chilean Armada in an attempt to reach South America.
Captain Ola and captain Signe, both needless to say concerned over the situation, were deeply impressed by how perfectly the captain maneuvered the 49 000 tonne and 210 meter long ship so close to the raft that the crew could throw mooring lines down to the rafts. This ship is as long as a skyscraper is high and has only one propeller - maneuvering is not easy. The huge hull of Hokuetsu Ushaka served to dampen the waves as the assisted raft was tied longside. A rope ladder was lowered down along the ship side and the raft crew, each secured with a harness, climbed up the 16 meter high ship side. Equipment was hoisted up in another rope that was manned by the dedicated crew that worked hard to save as much as possible.
All procedures were followed and it was a very successful rescue operation - twice! We would like to commend the captain and crew for the professional and friendly way in which we have been received onboard the ship.
We have shown that balsa rafts can sail to Easter Island. This is a first, in modern times. We have also made good progress on the return journey, but this is an El Niño year and the weather patterns we have encountered have been atypical. We realize that reaching South America will take too long and we prefer to evacuate to ensure safety for all, says Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff.
The Expedition consists of two balsa rafts that left Lima in Peru on Nov 7th, 2015, and arrived on Easter Island just before Christmas. On Jan 6th, 2016, the rafts started the demanding return voyage.
In a normal year, we would have reached South America by now. Instead, we are still 900 nautical miles from land and the weather forecasts are not promising. The crew is at good health and spirit, and there is no emergency situation. These rafts have proven to be exceptional vessels at sea. They have impressed us by their seaworthiness in all sorts of weather, over enormous and remote waters. Needless to say, it is sad to end the expedition without reaching South America, says Higraff.
The Kon-Tiki2 Expedition has done important scientific research on climate change, marine life, plastics, and pollution in the Pacific.
The rafts are rigged as floating research vessels through a unique collaboration between NIVA, NTNU, Kongsberg Maritime, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Nortek, Sperre, Opera, and the American research organizations NASA and NOAA, says Cecilie Mauritzen, Chief Scientist of the Expedition.
We have gathered large sets of data on climate change and pollution. From a scientific point of view, it has been particularly interesting that the expedition took place in one of the strongest El Niño years recorded, even if El Niño now contributes to the termination of the expedition. As research partners, we look forward to receiving and analyzing these data sets, says Mauritzen.
The Expedition is supported by Thor Heyerdahl Institute, 3A Composites AirexBaltekBanova, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The Expedition is discontinued in close collaboration with the Chilean Navy, which have assisted us in a highly professional manner. The Norwegian Embassy has also communicated closely with the Expedition, says Ambassador Hege Araldsen at the Norwegian Embassy in Santiago, Chile.
For further information, contact Håkon Wium Lie, firstname.lastname@example.org