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Balsa raft Tupaq Yupanqui sailing from Peru to Easter Island December 2015 Kt2-tupaq-yupanqui.jpg
Balsa raft Tupaq Yupanqui sailing from Peru to Easter Island December 2015
Balsa raft Rahiti Tane sailing from Peru to Easter Island December 2015 Kt2-rahiti-tane.jpg
Balsa raft Rahiti Tane sailing from Peru to Easter Island December 2015

The Kon-Tiki2 Expedition built and sailed two balsawood rafts from Peru to Easter Island in 2015. [1] The goal of the expedition was to show that balsawood rafts can be sailed across long distances, and to collect scientific data in the southeast Pacific. [2] The expedition built two rafts in 30 days and went on to sail the rafts more than 2000 nautical miles before reaching Easter Island after 43 days at sea. No other balsa rafts have sailed to Easter Island in modern times.

Peru republic in South America

Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peru is a megadiverse country with habitats ranging from the arid plains of the Pacific coastal region in the west to the peaks of the Andes mountains vertically extending from the north to the southeast of the country to the tropical Amazon Basin rainforest in the east with the Amazon river.

Easter Island Place in Valparaíso, Chile

Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park.

On the return journey from Easter Island to South America, the expedition was terminated after 71 days at sea due to difficult weather conditions. By then, the rafts had sailed halfway to South America. All crew members were taken aboard a Japanese freighter, and later transported to shore by the Chilean Armada. Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff chose to terminate the expedition to avoid risking the life of crew members. [3]

Chilean Navy maritime warfare branch of Chiles military

The Chilean Navy is the naval force of Chile.

Torgeir Sæverud Higraff Norwegian explorer

Torgeir Sæverud Higraff is an explorer, teacher and author with special interest in prehistoric transoceanic contact. Like Thor Heyerdahl, Higraff combines history, anthropology and traditional knowledge with expeditions. In 2002, the year Heyerdahl died, Higraff decided to recreate the Kon-Tiki expedition, and in 2006 the Tangaroa Expedition sailed from Peru to Raiatea in eastern Polynesia. Tangaroa outperformed Kon-Tiki by using an improved sail rig and active use of the guara centerboards.

The expedition built and sailed two balsawood rafts: Rahiti Tane and Tupac Yupanqui. The rafts were similar to the Kon-Tiki raft built by Thor Heyerdahl in 1947. Like the Kon-Tiki, Rahiti Tane and Tupac Yupanqui were built from balsawood transported from Ecuador to SIMA, the Peruvian Army's shipyard in Callao, Lima. However, the Kon-Tiki2 rafts were different in several respects: Kon-Tiki had a rudder, while the Kon-Tiki2 rafts were steered by guara boards which allowed the rafts to be sailed in crosswinds. The Kon-Tiki2 rafts had modern satellite equipment on board, in addition to solar panels and scientific equipment. [4]

Thor Heyerdahl Norwegian anthropologist and adventurer

Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany, and geography. He became notable for his Kon-Tiki expedition in 1947, in which he sailed 8,000 km (5,000 mi) across the Pacific Ocean in a hand-built raft from South America to the Tuamotu Islands. The expedition was designed to demonstrate that ancient people could have made long sea voyages, creating contacts between separate cultures. This was linked to a diffusionist model of cultural development. Heyerdahl subsequently made other voyages designed to demonstrate the possibility of contact between widely separated ancient people, notably the Ra II expedition of 1970, when he sailed from the west coast of Africa to Barbados in a papyrus reed boat. He was appointed a government scholar in 1984.

Ecuador Republic in South America

Ecuador, officially the Republic of Ecuador, is a country in northwestern South America, bordered by Colombia on the north, Peru on the east and south, and the Pacific Ocean to the west. Ecuador also includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres (620 mi) west of the mainland. The capital city is Quito, which is also the largest city.

SIMA Peruvian shipbuilding company

Servicios Industriales de la Marina S.A., well known as SIMA or SIMA PERU S.A., is a Peruvian shipyard that operates as a state owned company established under private law in 1950 pursuing the activities of the former Naval Factory founded in 1845, and continually extending its operational capacity, first to the shipbuilding which SIMA pioneered in South America and then to the greatest metalworking structures manufacture, contributing to the defense and socio-economic development of Peru. The SIMA principally serve the Navy of Peru as well as domestic and foreign private clients through a wide range of products.

The Kon-Tiki2 Expedition had crew from many nations: Norway, Russia, UK, Mexico, New Zealand, Sweden, and Peru. Øyvin Lauten and Kari Skår Dahl were captains on the first leg, while Signe Meling and Ola Borgfjord were captains on the second leg. Cecilie Mauritzen was the chief scientist and Håkon Wium Lie was the CTO. On the return journey, Pedro De La Torre was responsible for the technical equipment and the scientific work. [5]

Håkon Wium Lie Norwegian software engineer

Håkon Wium Lie is a Norwegian web pioneer, a standards activist, a founding member of the Pirate Party of Norway, and the former Chief Technology Officer of Opera Software. He is best known for proposing the concept of Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) while working with Tim Berners-Lee and Robert Cailliau at CERN in 1994. In 2018 he was sued by Lovdata for having published decisions from the Norwegian Supreme Court.

A chief technology officer (CTO), sometimes known as a chief technical officer or chief technologist, is an executive-level position in a company or other entity whose occupation is focused on scientific and technological issues within an organization.

Related Research Articles

<i>Ochroma</i> species of plant

Ochroma is a genus of flowering plants in the mallow family, Malvaceae, containing the sole species Ochroma pyramidale, commonly known as the balsa tree. It is a large, fast-growing tree that can grow up to 30 m tall. Balsa wood is a very lightweight material with many uses. Balsa trees are native to southern Brazil and northern Bolivia, up to southern Mexico.

<i>Kon-Tiki</i> expedition raft used by Thor Heyerdahl

The Kon-Tiki expedition was a 1947 journey by raft across the Pacific Ocean from South America to the Polynesian islands, led by Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl. The raft was named Kon-Tiki after the Inca sun god, Viracocha, for whom "Kon-Tiki" was said to be an old name. Kon-Tiki is also the name of Heyerdahl's book, the Academy Award-winning documentary film chronicling his adventures, and the 2012 dramatized feature film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

Topa Inca Yupanqui tenth Sapa Inca

Topa Inca Yupanqui or Túpac Inca Yupanqui, translated as "noble Inca accountant," was the tenth Sapa Inca (1471–93) of the Inca Empire, fifth of the Hanan dynasty. His father was Pachacuti, and his son was Huayna Capac. Topa Inca belonged to the Qhapaq panaca. His wife was Mama Ocllo.

Anthony Smith (explorer) British explorer and writer

Anthony John Francis Smith was, among other things, a writer, sailor, balloonist and former Tomorrow's World television presenter. He was perhaps best known for his bestselling work The Body, which has sold over 800,000 copies worldwide and tied in with a BBC television series, The Human Body, known in America by the name Intimate Universe: The Human Body. The series aired in 1998 and was presented by Professor Robert Winston.

Torstein Raaby Norwegian resistance member

Torstein Pettersen Raaby was a Norwegian telegrapher, resistance fighter and explorer. He is known as a crew member on the Kon-Tiki expedition.

Knut Haugland Norwegian resistance fighter

Knut Magne Haugland, DSO, MM, was a resistance fighter and noted explorer from Norway, who accompanied Thor Heyerdahl on his famous 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition.

Tangaroa Expedition

The Tangaroa Expedition of 2006 closely resembled the Kon-Tiki expedition sailing a balsa raft from Peru to Polynesia. Tangaroa outperformed Kon-Tiki by having an improved sail rig and by actively using guaras (centerboards). As such, the expedition represents a scientific continuation of Thor Heyerdahl's experiments in recreated maritime technology.

The Kantuta Expeditions were two separate expeditions on balsa rafts led by the Czech explorer and adventurer Eduard Ingris.

William Willis (sailor) American rafter

William Willis was an American sailor and writer who is famous due to his solo rafting expeditions across oceans.

Kon-Tiki Museum museum

The Kon-Tiki Museum is a museum in the Bygdøy peninsula in Oslo, Norway. It houses vessels and maps from the Kon-Tiki expedition, as well as a library with about 8000 books. It was opened in a provisional building in 1949. In 1957, the current building—designed by architects F. S. Platou and Otto Torgersen—was opened. In 1978, an extension of the museum designed by Torgersen was opened.

<i>Kon-Tiki</i> (2012 film) 2012 Norwegian film

Kon-Tiki is a 2012 historical drama film directed by Joachim Rønning and Espen Sandberg about the 1947 Kon-Tiki expedition. The film was mainly shot on the island of Malta. The role of Thor Heyerdahl is played by Pål Sverre Hagen. The film is an international co-production between Norway, Denmark, Germany, Sweden, and the United Kingdom.

L’Égaré II was the name of a raft used by a French crew in 1956 to cross the Atlantic Ocean. The expedition, led by Henri Beaudout, departed from Halifax, Nova Scotia, arriving 88 days later at Falmouth, England.

Erik Hesselberg Norwegian resistance member

Erik Bryn Hesselberg was a Norwegian sailor, author, photographer, painter and sculptor. He is most known as a crewmember of the Kon-Tiki raft expedition from South America to French Polynesia in 1947.

The Viracocha expedition

In 2000 and 2003, professional explorer Phil Buck led international teams across the Pacific Ocean from South America to Easter Island via two separate ancient style reed rafts. Both vessels were constructed in their entirety from only four Andean materials; totora reeds, natural fiber rope, cotton sails and wood.

Vital Alsar Pacific raft expeditions

Between 1966 and 1973, Spanish explorer Vital Alsar led three expeditions to cross the Pacific Ocean by raft - La Pacífica in 1966, La Balsa in 1970 and Las Balsas in 1973. Travelling from Ecuador, South America, to Australia, the first expedition failed, but the second and third succeeded, both setting the record for the longest known raft voyages in history - 8,600 miles (13,800 km) and 9,000 miles (14,000 km) respectively.

Pre-Columbian rafts plied the Pacific Coast of South America for trade from about 100 BCE, and possibly much earlier. The 16th century descriptions by the Spanish of the rafts used by Native Americans along the seacoasts of Peru and Ecuador has incited speculation about the seamanship of the Indians, the seaworthiness of their rafts, and the possibility that they undertook long ocean-going voyages. None of the prehistoric rafts have survived and the exact characteristics of their construction and the geographical extent of their voyages are uncertain.


  1. Kon-Tiki2: Why would you cross the Pacific on a wooden raft?, BBC, November 7, 2015, fetched Feb 25, 2017
  2. Kon-Tiki 2 sets sail, niva.no, Oct 20, 2015, fetched Feb 25, 2017
  3. Kon-Tiki2: Pacific raft expedition abandoned, CNN.com, March 18, 2016, fetched Feb 25, 2017
  4. De La Torre Olazabal, Pedro Roberto; Mauritzen, Cecilie; Higraff, Torgeir; Wium Lie, Håkon Kon-Tiki2 Expedition 2015-2016 Scientific Cruise Report
  5. Kon-Tiki2 Crew, fetched Feb 25, 2016