Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Last Navigator

Mau Piailug's canoe at sea off Satawal
Steve Thomas Photogarph
"…consider Mau Piailug. Among sailors he is a John Glenn, a Chuck Yeager, even a Flash Gordon. He lives on Satawal, a Micronesian island 400 miles north of New Guinea, and he is a navigator.
Using only his head and the lore therein, he guides canoes over open ocean to tiny days-distant destinations. His compass consists of sets of reference stars, his steering guides are the swells, his current indicators are wave shapes, bird and fish life are his markers, he dead-reckons by moving his destination toward him.
In 1976, Piailug piloted the great canoe Hokule'a unerringly from Hawaii to Tahiti some 2800 miles away. He used no instruments." - Sail Magazine

1 comment:

Silbs said...

Great piece. Thanks.