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Kon Tiki. Across the Pacific by Raft

by Thor Heyerdahl



Pagina 2 - 27 januari 2017
Once in a while you find yourself in an odd situation. You get into it by degrees and in the most natural way but, when you are right in the midst of it, you are suddenly astonished and ask yourself how in the world it all came about.


Pagina 3 - 27 januari 2017
So now we all knew exactly where we were, and I could go on speculating as to why.


Pagina 7 - 27 januari 2017
And the men of our race, who boldly called themselves the discoverers of the islands, found cultivated fields and villages with temples and huts on every single habitable island. On some islands, indeed, they found old pyramids, paved roads, and carven stone statues as high as a four-story house. But the explanation of the whole mystery was lacking. Who were these people, and where had they come from?


Pagina 7 - 27 januari 2017
And where science stopped, imagination began.


Pagina 8 - 27 januari 2017
But they had schools, and the poetical teaching of history was their most important function, for in Polynesia history was the same as religion.


Pagina 14 - 27 januari 2017
Seamen came and seamen went. They varied in type, dimensions, and degrees of sobriety but they all had one thing in common: when they talked about the sea, they knew what they were talking about.


Pagina 16 - 27 januari 2017
It's easier to interest people in an expedition than in an unread manuscript.


Pagina 18 - 27 januari 2017
He was sure no clever modern inventor could sit in his laboratory and think out anything better than what the experience of thousands of years had taught the Eskimos to use in their own regions.


Pagina 19 - 27 januari 2017
I knew nothing about the man beyond what an open face can say. It may say a good deal.


Pagina 35 - 1 februari 2017
Poor in possessions and small in stature, the mountain Indians had the wiry hardiness of wild animals and the childlike alertness of a primitive people, and the less they could talk, the more they could laugh.


Pagina 43 - 6 februari 2017
If one could only get in there, one would be safe.


Pagina 48 - 8 maart 2017
Sailing on an open raft can cost human lives.


Pagina 50 - 8 maart 2017
he begged me to give up the voyage while there was yet time.


Pagina 62 - 3 december 2017
The advantage of a raft was obviously this: the more leaks the better. Through the gaps in our floor the water ran out but never in.


Pagina 63 - 3 december 2017
So the first sixty hours passed, in one continuous struggle against a chaos of waves that rushed upon us, one after another, without cessation. High waves and low waves, pointed waves and round waves, slanting waves and waves on top of other waves.


Pagina 65 - 3 december 2017
What did it matter if we danced round a bit with a thousand fathoms of water under us, so long as we and the raft were always on top?


Pagina 67 - 3 december 2017
The cooks first duty in the morning was to collect all the flying fish which had landed on deck during the night.


Pagina 68 - 3 december 2017
It sometimes happened that we heard an outburst of strong language from a man on deck when a cold flying fish came unexpectedly, at a good speed, slap into his face.


Pagina 69 - 3 december 2017
Knut was much upset one morning because, when he was standing operating with the frying pan, a flying fish struck him on the hand instead of landing right in the cooking fat.


Pagina 69 - 3 december 2017
Our neighborly intimacy with the sea was not fully realized by Torstein till he woke one morning and found a sardine on his pillow.


Pagina 71 - 3 december 2017
When night had fallen and the stars were twinkling in the dark tropical sky, a phosphorescence flashed around us in rivalry with the stars, and single glowing plankton resembled round live coals so vividly that we involuntarily drew in our bare legs when the glowing pellets were washed up round our feet at the raft's stern.


Pagina 71 - 3 december 2017
Several times, when the sea was calm, the black water round the raft was suddenly full of round heads two or three feet in diameter, lying motionless and staring at us with great glowing eyes. On other nights balls of light three feet and more in diameter would be visible down in the water, flashing at irregular intervals like electric lights turned on for a moment.


Pagina 76 - 8 december 2017
To us on the raft the great problems of civilized man appeared false and illusory-like perverted products of the human mind. Only the elements mattered.


Pagina 79 - 8 december 2017
As the spiritual representative of the sun among a solely sun-worshiping people, it is very probable that he ventured straight out to sea to follow the sun itself on its journey in the hope of finding a new and more peaceful country.


Pagina 79 - 8 december 2017
in the power of the elements, he would drift in exactly the same large semicircle right toward the sunset.


Pagina 98 - 7 juli 2018
The closer we came into contact with the sea and what had its home there, the less strange it became and the more at home we ourselves felt. And we learned to respect the old primitive peoples who lived in close converse with the Pacific and therefore knew it from a quite different standpoint from our own. True, we have now estimated its salt content and given tunnies and dolphins Latin names. They had not done that. But, nevertheless, I am afraid that the picture the primitive peoples had of the sea was a truer one than ours.


Pagina 100 - 7 juli 2018
We felt we were living in a strange world - "east of the sun and west of the moon".


Pagina 106 - 10 juli 2018
The world was simple-stars in the darkness. Whether it was 1947 B.C. or A.D. suddenly became of no significance. We lived, and that we felt with alert intensity.


Pagina 107 - 7 juli 2018
Time and evolution somehow ceased to exist; all that was real and that mattered were the same today as they had always been and would always be.


Pagina 112 - 8 juli 2018
The technique was admirable but in no way mysterious if we cease to underestimate the intelligence of men in ancient times and the amount of time and manpower which they had at their command.


Pagina 116 - 4 augustus 2018
We caught all too easily more dolphins than we could eat. To keep a popular form of amusement going without wasting food, we hit on comic fishing without a hook for the mutual entertainment of the dolphins and ourselves.


Pagina 117 - 4 augustus 2018
The mood of a shark may vary immensely, the animal being completely at the mercy of its own emotions.


Pagina 117 - 4 augustus 2018
Pulling animals' tails is held to be an inferior form of sport, but that may be because no one has tried it on a shark.


Pagina 118 - 4 augustus 2018
We had found it a hard job to cut the dolphin in two with knives, but in a fraction of a second the shark, moving its triangular saw teeth quickly sideways, had chopped off the backbone and everything else like a sausage machine.


Pagina 120 - 4 augustus 2018
"Once overboard always overboard" was a lesson that was gradually branded into our consciousness on board.


Pagina 123 - 4 augustus 2018
It was incredible how easy it was to steer by the stars when we had seen them marching across the vault of the sky for weeks on end. Indeed, there was not much else to look at at night.


Pagina 138 - 4 augustus 2018
And the moon seemed larger and rounder than ever as it sailed over the lookout at the masthead. In our fancy it reflected palm tops and warm-blooded romance; it did not shine with such a yellow light over the cold fishes out at sea.


Pagina 138 - 4 augustus 2018
Our first thought was that the island did not lie where it should.


Pagina 138 - 4 augustus 2018
At half-past six the sun rose out of the sea and climbed straight up as it does in the tropics.


Pagina 145 - 4 augustus 2018
Erik nodded proudly. He had been right; we were where the sun had told him that we were.


Pagina 149 - 4 augustus 2018
we six comrades were left on the raft, together and alone.


Pagina 150 - 4 augustus 2018
The natives' intention was obvious. They badly wanted our company, and they knew that there were a lot of good things on board white men's ships.


Pagina 151 - 4 augustus 2018
In the middle of night we held a council of war. It was a question of saving our lives now.


Pagina 153 - 4 augustus 2018
We saw that we had now only a few hours more on board the Kon-Tiki. They must be used in preparation for our inevitable wreck on the coral reef. Every man learned what he had to do when the moment came; each one of us knew where his own limited sphere of responsibility lay, so that we should not fly round treading on one another's toes when the time came and seconds counted.


Pagina 155 - 4 augustus 2018
- 8:45: The wind has veered into a still more unfavorable quarter for us, so we have no hope of getting clear. No nervousness on board, but hectic preparations on deck. There is something lying on the reef ahead of us which looks like the wreck of a sailing vessel, but it may be only a heap of driftwood.


Pagina 155 - 4 augustus 2018
The wind is taking us straight toward the last island but one we see behind the reef.


Pagina 156 - 4 augustus 2018
I felt a violent blow and was submerged under floods of water. I felt the suction through my whole body, with such great power that I had to strain every single muscle in my frame and think of one thing only - hold on, hold on! I think that in such a desperate situation the arms will be torn off before the brain consents to let go, evident as the outcome is.


Pagina 157 - 4 augustus 2018
The whole submersion lasted only seconds, but it demanded more endurance than we usually have in our bodies. There is greater strength in the human mechanism than that of the muscles alone.


Pagina 161 - 4 augustus 2018
She was a wreck, but an honorable wreck.


Pagina 164 - 4 augustus 2018
We were all of us a bit unsteady the first day ashore, after 101 days on board the raft, and would suddenly begin reeling about among the pahn trunks because we had put out a foot to counter a sea that did not come.


Pagina 165 - 4 augustus 2018
Heavens, how good it was to be able to sleep!


Pagina 179 - 5 augustus 2018
While the old men wanted to discuss Tiki and rongo-rongo, the young ones wanted to hear about the whale shark and the voyage across the sea.