Film of pacific double canoe completing voyage
The replica Pacific double canoe Lapita Anuta has made landfall at Anuta Island, in the south-east part of the Solomon Islands, Polynesia. On March 16th the 11m vessel ‘landedâ?? at tiny Anuta, crashing through the surf before a tribe of sturdy islanders dragged her up the steep beach to safety. The island featured in the Bruce Parry BBC program Tribe last year.
The â??Lapita Voyageâ?? began in the first week of November 2008, when two double canoes, based on an ancient Polynesian canoe form, set out on a 4,000 nautical-mile voyage along the island chains of the Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea and finally to Anuta and Tikopia, two tiny, remote islands at the Eastern end of the Solomons, where the boats were donated to the islanders for future inter island voyaging. They followed the â??Lapita Potteryâ?? trail that archaeologists believe to be the route of the Polynesian migrations.
James Wharram, the veteran ethnic multi-hull designer behind the project, gave up his bunk on the last 200Nm leg of the journey. His Polynesian crew, knowing the difficulties of landing at Anuta, had suggested that he should jump in the sea prior to landing. They planned to swim James through the surf. But, approaching the age of 81, with both knees needing medical refurbishment, James decided to stay in Lata, the capital of the province. Having sailed for four months he said: ‘Believe me, with the bad weather and lousy food, and being continuously wet, it was the hardest voyage of my sailing life.’