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Traveling on rowing and sailing ships

Rafts, various boats, bots and other vessels, national or recreated according to old models, are very popular.

The pioneer of this area is, without a doubt, the great traveler Thor Heyerdahl. His sailing on the famous rafts “Kon-Tiki”, “Ra”, “Tigris” laid the foundation for a whole direction in extreme tourism – overcoming the seas and oceans alone or in very small groups on very small and fragile rowing vessels.

The famous Norwegian explorer took his first trip together with five comrades back in 1947. The route of a brave group lay along the coast of Peru to the islands of Polynesia. Due to the exceptional decisiveness and ability of the expedition members with whom, using minimal material equipment, they made dangerous sea voyages across the Pacific Ocean, this journey is one of the most daring and outstanding expeditions of the 20th century.

On a simple raft of nine logs fastened with ropes from the stems of plants, with the simplest straight sail, the researchers walked about 4,300 nautical miles from the shores of South America to the islands of Polynesia. They sailed on their very small raft twice as far as Christopher Columbus during his first voyage to the islands of the West Indies, which he made on well-equipped sailing ships, although small in size.

The success of the tour of Heyerdahl was due to an accurate analysis of the interaction of currents and winds of the part of the Pacific Ocean in which the journey took place. In depth of scientific foresight and courage of the enterprise, this expedition can only be compared with a drift across the Arctic Ocean, carried out in 1893-1896. another prominent Norwegian navigator, Fridtjof Nansen.

The purpose of the Heyerdahl expedition was to prove that the ancient inhabitants of Latin America, in particular Peru, could sail on their very simple rafts to the islands of Polynesia. At one time, Thor Heyerdahl belonged to a group of ethnographers who adhered to the American hypothesis about the origin of the Polynesians. These scientists believed that the islands of Oceania were inhabited by immigrants from South or North America. Other researchers believed that this is not so. As evidence, they primarily indicated that the ancient inhabitants of America and especially the inhabitants of the Pacific coast did not have well-equipped sailing vessels.

Thor Heyerdahl decided to refute the objection of the impossibility of sailing from Peru to Polynesia on primitive Peruvian ships. With his voyage to Kon-Tiki, he brilliantly proved that on a raft no different from the ancient Peruvian one can sail, taking advantage of the current and the trade winds, almost to the center of Polynesia. Despite the fact that later Heyerdahl himself wrote that he only proved the excellent seaworthiness of basalt rafts, and the hypotheses about the American or Asian origin of the Polynesians require additional scientific justification, his journey should be considered one of the most remarkable and daring scientific enterprises of the last century.

Heyerdahl’s endeavors were picked up by dozens and hundreds of brave sailors. Of course, not everyone will decide to go around the world alone or with a small team on small boats. Nevertheless, today in the oceans there are always a lot of such daredevils. One of the most famous of our compatriots, who repeatedly surprised and admired the whole world, is, of course, Fedor Konyukhov.

Of course, among sea travelers there are also “pure adrenalinists,” but most of these expeditions pursue very specific scientific and practical goals. Such travels bring a lot of useful information – from ships messages about the weather, the state of the ocean, observations of the animal world, information about the pollution of surface waters, etc. are transmitted. After all, far from everything is visible from the high sides of huge liners plowing the seas and oceans.

Thus, extreme water tourism is directly related to ecological tourism. Man is just beginning to study the depths of the sea. Given the volume of the world’s oceans (4/5 of the planet Earth is under water), we can say that we are just beginning to get acquainted with this amazing, mysterious world.

Another very important task of such extreme sea voyages is the testing of new types of swimming facilities and equipment.

And, perhaps, the most important achievement of this direction in extreme tourism is the development of rules of behavior and ways of survival of people, by chance (for example, as a result of a catastrophe and flooding of a ship, accidental loss overboard, taking bathers and divers with strong currents to the open sea, etc. e.) caught in the ocean in a force majeure situation. The experience of brave single travelers has helped to save more than one life.

Many active tourists prefer sailing on small vessels to fashionable cruises on huge ocean ships.

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