One of the two rafts built with balsa tree logs.
courtesy Kon-Tiki2, SOURCE
Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff with the Norwegian and Peruvian flags.
courtesy Kon-Tiki2, SOURCE
10,000km: Kon-Tiki2 rafts set sail

Posted: Nov 08, 2015 12:42 pm EST

Kon-Tiki2 is sailing two balsa rafts from South America to Easter Island. Documenting climate change, marine life, plastics, pollution, guara board navigation, and human reactions to Pacific sunsets.


An International group of 14 people, with Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff from Norway, set sail from Callao in Peru to Eater Island (Tapa Nui) on November 7th. They travel on two wooden rafts. Each are 17m long, 5m wide and 40cm deep (56ft x 23ft x 1ft 4in).


This is a round trip, but they will not quite follow the same route back. Higraff explains on their website, "From Rapa Nui, the course is due south for almost 1,000 miles until we reach the infamous Roaring Forties where we find strong winds for eastward sailing. We end up in the cold waters of the Humboldt current (Peruvian Current). Doing so we will do what no one has done before in modern times.""


The 2015 expedition follows in the footsteps of 1947 Norwegian adventurer,Thor Heyerdahl, who sailed on a raft made from balsa tree trunks.


Higraff cut down 44 balsa trees in Ecuador, assisted by balsa experts. "Then, at the SIMA shipyard in Callao, and with assistance from the Peruvian Navy, we tie the logs together into two rafts. Then we add mast, sail, and – most importantly – guares – or centerboards. After that, we sail for about six weeks and 5000 kilometers until we reach Rapa Nui. There we turn around and head back to South America.”


Both rafts will be equipped with sophisticated satellite communications and a broad range of media capabilities. The crews will provide frequent updates to social media, as well as perform a range of experiments and tests with regards to water quality and marine animal diversity.


Read more and follow the expedition at their website.