A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: Peter Fogg
Date: 2007 Nov 3, 12:24 +1100
George enlightens us with:
"Remember, large parts of the Pacific have many island CHAINS and groups; in
many cases it's hard to miss an island as you sail through such a chain, and
the chains themselves can present a large target."
We remember. Much of the Polynesian/ Melanesian/ Micronesian world is composed of such island chains. That there has always been intercommunication between them is a given.
"If the voyage was to an isolated island, that would be more impressive."
Um, how would you describe Hawaii then? Or New Zealand? Or Easter Island?
Earlier George opined:
" ... were those [Polynesian] journeys intentional, directed toward a goal, or did they result from fortunate survival of some unfortunate accident? Only in the first case could we ascribe it to successful navigation. In the second case, it may be the result of outstanding seamanship, but lousy navigation.
I remain sceptical about their abilities to make planned, intentional, voyages over ocean distances, way beyond their
island groups. If they could do so, is there evidence of any
"return trips"; of Maori settlers, say, voyaging back to the
Marquesas or Tahiti against prevailing winds
currents? Were greenstone axes, or the remains of dubbed Kauri vessels, ever found in Tahiti, I wonder? I only ask. I wait to be convinced, and in the meantime am happy to act as "devil's advocate."
Deborah Smith has provided us with just that evidence. And what do we hear from George? Recognition that precisely the evidence he has demanded has been served up on a platter?
Nah. About all we get is more: " … a habitual sceptic on such matters …"
We remember. I'm not so sure, though, that such a stubborn reliance on scepticism does the subject justice when such good evidence is presented.
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