Greetings to the Expedition

(2016-05-25) Hege Araldsen, Norway's Ambassador to Chile, has sent a greeting to the Expedition. As can be seen in these pictures, she recently met with Admiral Larrañaga to express gratitude to the Chilean Navy for the rescue operation. Read her and other greetings on our greetings page.

The Last Challenge

By Torgeir

(2016-05-20) I need to drive 1500km from Oslo to Rotterdam to pick up the Kon-Tiki2 equipment that just arrived from Chile & be back in 3 days. Which one of my friends is stupid enough to want to help? I know, I'll call Ian!

And so the adventure began. At least according to my friend Ian Naysmith. Actually the plan was made a couple of months ago. During the rescue operation in the Pacific ocean in March, some important equipment and data were saved, weighting half a ton. We have ships sailing from here to Holland, we may place the equipment on one of those ships, said Eugenio Moreno, general manager of Gearbulk in Chile. He got Phil Curran, who is head of Gearbulks operation group in Chile, on the job. When the ship arrived in Rotterdam, Orestis Bakas from Gearbulks UK office took charge. Ian and I only had to drive a car and a trailer that I was happy to borrow in Oslo. Outside of the driving and occasional traffic, all went great. Steven Csanyi from Australia delivered the goods at the port with a big, helpful smile. On the map you can see the return route (blue line). The border crossings went okey. Fortunately we did not need to explain that the stuff in the trailer was from South America, picked up at a port in Rotterdam. We stayed one night in Osnabrück on the way south, and in Oldenburg driving north. Both pleasant towns. But driving 3000km in three days is not something I recommend as vacation. I think Ian agrees.

Greetings to the Expedition

(2016-03-11) Erik Thorsby, a notable Norwegian scientist, sends his greetings to the Kon-Tiki2 Expedition:
First of all my congratulations! For the first time you showed that it is possible to sail by a copy of an ancient Native American raft from South America directly to Easter Island. This in itself is a great achievement. In addition it gives further support to contacts between Eastern Polynesia and South America in pre-historic time.

You can read the full greeting, and greetings from Nadia Artemieva and P J Capelotti on the Kon-Tiki2 Greetings page.

Home to a hero's welcome

(2016-03-25) Several Kon-Tiki2 crew members, including Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff, landed in Oslo today, to a hero's welcome. Family and friends had gathered at the airport to greet the crew. In Norwegian tradition, flags were used to cheer the returning sailors, who were happy to be home after an extraordinary journey. In these pictures you can see Ola, Erik, Erlend in addition to Torgeir. Also, Håkon and Øyvin, crew members from the first leg, were present, and can be spotted.

Andrey, the Russian crew member on Tupac, did not arrive in Oslo, but he has written some closing remarks, well worth reading.


By Håkon

(2016-03-21) The Chilean Navy ship "Piloto Pardo" today entered the port of Talcahuano, near Conception, in Chile. All Kon-Tiki2 crew members are on board. While still at sea, but with cellphone connectivity, Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff expressed heartfelt sadness for not arriving by raft, as he has been planning for years. However, he also expressed gratitude for everyone being safe thanks to the Chilean Navy and the Hokietsu Ushaka freight ship. In the hours to come, the crew will transfer to a local hotel and have debriefing sessions. And probably a good meal, prepared on land, for the first time in 74 days.

Maori power!

(2016-03-20) Lisa, one of the Kon-Tiki2 crew members, was injured when being evacuated from the Rahiti Tane raft. Read Liv's description of what happened and how Lisa continued the climb to the deck of Hokuetsu Ushaka.

From ship to ship with gratitude

By Torgeir

(2016-03-19) After two days on the cargo ship, the Kon-Tiki crew and the scientific equipment from Tupac are now with the crew of 43 people on the coast guard ship Pilot Pardo. We have been rescued twice this week and I think my fellow Kon-Tiki2 crew members share my opinion that both rescue operations were perfectly executed. My gratitude goes firstly to Captain Yun Sun Gug from South Korea who made us feel as home in Hokietsu Ushaka. He was rescued himself in the Indian Ocean 41 years ago when his ship sank early in his career. I know what it is like, I understand how you feel, the veteran told us in a moving speech yesterday. In those days we did not have communication like now, we only had morse. My wife and daughter suffered a lot for 20 days before they got to know that I was okey. In comparison we talk with our family with our tablets, thanks to our Opera Software sponsorship. I will never forget Yun and his crew.

In Pilot Pardo we had chicken for lunch and were served wine. Now we rest in good beds and enjoy Chilean professional rescue standards. These men really know what they are doing. It took only a few minutes to bring us into the RIB boat and from this we were lifted up in the air and to the stairs that lead us onboard the 80 meter long ship. Talcahuano is their home port, some 450km south of Santiago. We'll be there Monday at 10am.

[In the pictures, you can see Captain Yun Sun Gug with Torgeir; a picture from the transfer to Pilot Pardo; the rescued Norwegian flag onboard Pilot Pardo along with recognizable crew members Lisa, Andrey and Pedro. Finally, Torgeir with the officers on Pilot Pardo]

Safe and sound, thanks to the Armada

By Torgeir

12-Torgeir-279A9418 12-Torgeir-FILE0078-1 12-Tupak-279A9269-1 12-Tupak-279A9272-1 12-Tupak-279A9289 12-Tupak-279A9308
(2016-03-19) The 14 crew members of the Kon-Tiki2 rafts are now safe and healthy on board the cargo vessel Hokietsu Ushaka after a successful rescue operation Thursday. We decided to ask The Chilean Armada for assistance and to end the scientific expedition Kon-Tiki2 after 115 days of sailing and 4½ months at sea. The two rafts – Tupac Yupanqui and Rahiti Tane – were made of 11 balsa logs and 10 crossbeams held together by 2000 meters of natural fiber ropes – like the ancient South American rafts. Tens of thousands of waves, up to six meter heght, hit the rafts in an extreme El Niño year. This constant stress for 16 weeks weakened the ropes. Some of the 150 or so knots were replaced in tough working conditions, but we could not replace all of them. In particular, the rigging was a major safety concern. To avoid accidents (e.g., a mast collapse in a storm) we decided to perform a controlled disembarking during daylight in good weather.

We are very happy with the help from the Armada. In October last year, a month before the launch of the rafts, I met representatives of the Aramade in their headquarters in Valparaiso. On Easter Isladn, the Armada assisted us in mooring the rafts, and during the voyage we have had weekly contact with the Armada.

Kon-Tiki2 is a unique collaboration. Logs from Ecuador provided by the AirexBaltekBanova comany were turned into rafts in Peru at the shipyard of the The Peruvian Navy, then sailed to Easter Island, and finally rescued by The Chilean Armada in an attempt to reach South America.

Thank you Hokuetsu Ushaka!

By Signe and Ola

(2016-03-19) When our call for assistance was sent out, the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center contacted the closest ship that could come to help. As we were in an area with little ship traffic we were mentally prepared that we could have to wait for several days. However we were lucky that the woodchip cargo vessel Hokuetsu Ushaka under the command of captain Sun Gug Yun was only twenty hours away from Rahiti Tane, on their way from Japan to Calbuco in Chile. After successfully saving the crew of Rahiti Tane, Hokuetsu Ushaka continued south a few hours in order to reach Tupac Yupanqui.

Captain Ola and captain Signe, both needless to say concerned over the situation, were deeply impressed by how perfectly the captain maneuvered the 49 000 tonne and 210 meter long ship so close to the raft that the crew could throw mooring lines down to the rafts. This ship is as long as a skyscraper is high and has only one propeller - maneuvering is not easy. The huge hull of Hokuetsu Ushaka served to dampen the waves as the assisted raft was tied longside. A rope ladder was lowered down along the ship side and the raft crew, each secured with a harness, climbed up the 16 meter high ship side. Equipment was hoisted up in another rope that was manned by the dedicated crew that worked hard to save as much as possible.

All procedures were followed and it was a very successful rescue operation - twice! We would like to commend the captain and crew for the professional and friendly way in which we have been received onboard the ship.

All onboard, even Balsa

(2016-03-18) All Kon-Tiki2 crew members are now safely onboard the Hokuetsu Ushaka freight ship. This includes Balsa, our monkey mascot, as seen with Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff and Captain Signe Meling in the last picture. The expedition requested assistance after 114 days and 4500 nautical miles in the South-East Pacific. The balsa rafts were dismantled in a controlled fashion to not be a danger to other vessels. People and equipment were transferred from the raft to the freight ship, and Captain Ola Borgfjord can be seen with cases of equipment in the sceond picture. We are thankful to the captain and crew of the Hokuetsu Ushaka for welcoming us. Also, we thank the Chilean Navy for coordinating the operation in a highly professional manner.

Preparing for rescue operation

(2016-03-17) The crew on Tupac Yapanqui reports that a plane from the Chilean Armada passes above raft as they prepare to disembark. On Rahiti, Pedro is talking on VHF with a possible rescue ship, the Hokuetsu Ushaka enroute to Chile. In the first photo you can see one of many repair operations on Tupac. In picture 2 and 3, Erik is in his diving gear rescuing the echo sounders from underneath the raft. Picure 4 shows the lowered mast, and picture 5 shows the Tupac crew inside what has been their home for the last 10 weeks. In the final picture, taken a few hours later, the Hokuetsu Ushaka has arrived. Thus, the raft will be abandoned, but we will continue reporting on the well-being of the crew. Stay tuned.

Kon-Tiki2 Expedition ends

(2016-03-17) The Kon-Tiki2 Expedition has decided to end the expedition after 114 days and 4500 nautical miles in the South-East Pacific. The goal of the expedition has been to show that balsa rafts can sail from South America to Easter Island, and back. The Expedition reached Easter Island after 43 days at sea, but the return voyage has proven more difficult due to atypical winds.

We have shown that balsa rafts can sail to Easter Island. This is a first, in modern times. We have also made good progress on the return journey, but this is an El Niño year and the weather patterns we have encountered have been atypical. We realize that reaching South America will take too long and we prefer to evacuate to ensure safety for all, says Expedition leader Torgeir Higraff.

The Expedition consists of two balsa rafts that left Lima in Peru on Nov 7th, 2015, and arrived on Easter Island just before Christmas. On Jan 6th, 2016, the rafts started the demanding return voyage.

In a normal year, we would have reached South America by now. Instead, we are still 900 nautical miles from land and the weather forecasts are not promising. The crew is at good health and spirit, and there is no emergency situation. These rafts have proven to be exceptional vessels at sea. They have impressed us by their seaworthiness in all sorts of weather, over enormous and remote waters. Needless to say, it is sad to end the expedition without reaching South America, says Higraff.

The Kon-Tiki2 Expedition has done important scientific research on climate change, marine life, plastics, and pollution in the Pacific.

The rafts are rigged as floating research vessels through a unique collaboration between NIVA, NTNU, Kongsberg Maritime, Norwegian Meteorological Institute, Nortek, Sperre, Opera, and the American research organizations NASA and NOAA, says Cecilie Mauritzen, Chief Scientist of the Expedition. We have gathered large sets of data on climate change and pollution. From a scientific point of view, it has been particularly interesting that the expedition took place in one of the strongest El Niño years recorded, even if El Niño now contributes to the termination of the expedition. As research partners, we look forward to receiving and analyzing these data sets, says Mauritzen.

The Expedition is supported by Thor Heyerdahl Institute, 3A Composites AirexBaltekBanova, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The Expedition is discontinued in close collaboration with the Chilean Navy, which have assisted us in a highly professional manner. The Norwegian Embassy has also communicated closely with the Expedition, says Ambassador Hege Araldsen at the Norwegian Embassy in Santiago, Chile.

For further information, contact Håkon Wium Lie, or phone +47 90192217

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