The Kon-Tiki Adventure: The Trade Winds
“But how will you know what direction to go?” asked Mira. It was obvious that there would be no sophisticated GPS navigation system on board.
“Well, I’ve been going over these historic records to understand the trade winds. It’s complicated though and I can’t seem to really make sense of them. Time is running out….” started Heyerdahl.
Mira looked at the maps. They were full of information and had all kinds of markings that crisscrossed and spanned the Pacific. After a few minutes, she put the map down.
She then grabbed a twig and started to draw in the sand. She drew the continent of South America and far away to the left of it, a few circles that she labelled Polynesia.
Mira explained to the group that the clouds and trade winds off the coast of South America, always followed the same patterns. The winds off the coast of Peru go north and then West towards Polynesia (they always have and always will). If they could just get the raft into the trade winds, then the currents and weather systems will move them towards Polynesia!
Heyerdahl was beyond himself! All he had to do was catch the trade wind and ride it. If he could do that, it could prove that ancient Inca went to Polynesia after all.
“What will you eat on the raft? And what will you drink?” asked Hari. Everyone knew the crew could not drink salty sea water.
Heyerdahl showed them a row of very large water jugs and informed the travellers that they would be carrying about 1000 litres of water on board the raft. However, he admitted that since no one had ever done the journey before, he wasn’t sure if that was enough.
Hari thought for a minute and then gave Heyerdahl a very useful tip, “If you need to start saving fresh water, you can mix 1 part ocean water with 2 parts fresh water. Because sea water is diluted, it will not dehydrate you.” This was indeed very valuable information.
For food, the travellers were told the sea crew would be catching and eating raw fish on the raft.
“My Grandma would love Sashimi so fresh” said Mira, with a smile on her face.
“Eat Local!” exclaimed Teyus with a wicked grin. “Grandma would love that as well!” he said with a chuckle.