Thor Heyerdahl was a Norwegian adventurer and ethnographer with a background in zoology, botany and geography.
Ochroma pyramidale, commonly known as the balsa tree, is a large, fast-growing tree native to the Americas. It is the sole member of the genus Ochroma. The name balsa comes from the Spanish word for "raft."
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 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 1950 documentary film chronicling his adventures, and the 2012 dramatized feature film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
The Pee Dee River, also known as the Great Pee Dee River, is a river in the Carolinas of the United States. It originates in the Appalachian Mountains in North Carolina, where its upper course, above the mouth of the Uwharrie River, is known as the Yadkin River. The lower part of the river is named Pee Dee after the Pee Dee Indian Tribe. The Pee Dee region of South Carolina, composed of the northeastern counties of the state, was also named after the tribe. In fact, today the Pee Dee Indian Tribe still occupies some of their ancestral lands, although the tribe only consists of just over 200 enrolled members. The first Europeans believed to have navigated part of the river was a party sent by Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón in 1521. They named it "River of St. John the Baptist."
An inflatable boat is a lightweight boat constructed with its sides and bow made of flexible tubes containing pressurised gas. For smaller boats, the floor and hull is often flexible, while for boats longer than 3 metres (9.8 ft), the floor typically consists of three to five rigid plywood or aluminium sheets fixed between the tubes, but not joined rigidly together. Often the transom is rigid, providing a location and structure for mounting an outboard motor.
Marajó is a large delta island in the state of Pará, Brazil. It is the main and largest of the islands in the Marajó Archipelago. The island is bordered by the mouth of the Amazon River to the west and northwest, the Atlantic Ocean to the northeast and by the Pará River, a distributary of the Amazon to the east.
The Chippewa River in Wisconsin flows approximately 183 miles (294 km) through west-central and northwestern Wisconsin. It was once navigable for approximately 50 miles (80 km) of its length, from the Mississippi River, by Durand, northeast to Eau Claire. Its catchment defines a portion of the northern boundary of the Driftless Area. The river is easily accessible for bikers and pleasure seekers via the Chippewa River State Trail which follows the river from Eau Claire to Durand.
The Chincha culture was the culture of a Native Peruvian people living near the Pacific Ocean in south west Peru. The Chincha Kingdom and their culture flourished in the Late Intermediate Period, also known as the regional states period of pre-Columbian Peru. They became part of the Inca Empire around 1480. They were prominent as sea-going traders and lived in a large and fertile oasis valley. La Centinela is an archaeological ruin associated with the Chincha. It is located near the present-day city of Chincha Alta.
The geography of Mesoamerica describes the geographic features of Mesoamerica, a culture area in the Americas inhabited by complex indigenous pre-Columbian cultures exhibiting a suite of shared and common cultural characteristics. Several well-known Mesoamerican cultures include the Olmec, Teotihuacan, the Maya, the Aztec and the Purépecha. Mesoamerica is often subdivided in a number of ways. One common method, albeit a broad and general classification, is to distinguish between the highlands and lowlands. Another way is to subdivide the region into sub-areas that generally correlate to either culture areas or specific physiographic regions.
In early periods of North American industrial development, an ark was a temporary boat used for river transport in eastern North America before slack-water canals and railroads made them obsolete. Because they could be built using relatively crude hand tools, Arks were built in American colonial and early republic times, primarily to carry cargo downriver on the spring freshets, and especially to carry milled lumber, charcoal and other forest products and bulk agricultural produce to a city or a port downriver; while logs were often tied into rafts, on long trips which could take weeks, the rafts would be accompanied by such arks as crew support quarters. Deep rivers allowed large log arks such as is described below instead of less controllable rafts. Since by 1800, most eastern towns and cities were short on heating fuels, even badly processed timber or planks could readily be sold at the destinations.
Traditional Polynesian Navigation was used for thousands of years to make long voyages across thousands of kilometres of the open Pacific Ocean. Navigators travelled to small inhabited islands using wayfinding techniques and knowledge passed by oral tradition from master to apprentice, often in the form of song. Generally, each island maintained a guild of navigators who had very high status; in times of famine or difficulty, they could trade for aid or evacuate people to neighbouring islands. As of 2014, these traditional navigation methods are still taught in the Polynesian outlier of Taumako in the Solomons.
A lifeboat or liferaft is a small, rigid or inflatable boat carried for emergency evacuation in the event of a disaster aboard a ship. Lifeboat drills are required by law on larger commercial ships. Rafts (liferafts) are also used. In the military, a lifeboat may double as a whaleboat, dinghy, or gig. The ship's tenders of cruise ships often double as lifeboats. Recreational sailors usually carry inflatable liferafts, though a few prefer small proactive lifeboats that are harder to sink and can be sailed to safety.
William Willis was an American sailor and writer who is famous due to his solo rafting expeditions across oceans.
Floats are airtight hollow structures, similar to pressure vessels, designed to provide buoyancy in water. Their principal applications are in watercraft hulls, aircraft floats, floating pier, pontoon rhinos, pontoon causeways, and marine engineering applications such as salvage.
Reed boats and rafts, along with dugout canoes and other rafts, are among the oldest known types of boats. Often used as traditional fishing boats, they are still used in a few places around the world, though they have generally been replaced with planked boats. Reed boats can be distinguished from reed rafts, since reed boats are usually waterproofed with some form of tar. As well as boats and rafts, small floating islands have also been constructed from reeds.
A Benson raft was a huge seagoing log barge designed to transport large quantities of timber to Southern California from the Pacific Northwest and Canada. The rafts were used to transport industrial quantities of unprocessed timber at one time over hundreds of miles of waterway. The technique of building barges this way was efficient and saved transportation costs. John A. Fastaben was the key raft-building specialist that Simon Benson hired as a construction supervisor to assemble his unique log barge rafts. This innovation resulted in lower cost of finished lumber and contributed to the boom of the construction industry in the first part of the twentieth century for builders in Southern California. The building of these ended in 1941 when mysterious fires broke out in a short period of time and sabotage was suspected.
Pine Creek Gorge, sometimes called The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania, is a 47-mile (76 km) gorge carved into the Allegheny Plateau by Pine Creek in north-central Pennsylvania.
The Ottawa River timber trade, also known as the Ottawa Valley timber trade or Ottawa River lumber trade, was the nineteenth century production of wood products by Canada on areas of the Ottawa River and the regions of the Ottawa Valley and Western Quebec destined for British and American markets. It was the major industry of the historical colonies of Upper Canada and Lower Canada and it created an entrepreneur known as a lumber baron. The trade in squared timber and later sawed lumber led to population growth and prosperity to communities in the Ottawa Valley, especially the city of Bytown. The product was chiefly red and white pine.The Ottawa River being conveniently located with access via the St. Lawrence River, was a valuable region due to its great pine forests surpassing any others nearby. The industry lasted until around 1900 as both markets and supplies decreased, it was then reoriented to the production of wood pulp which continued until the late 1990's/early 2000's.
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.