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We, the navigators : the ancient art of landfinding in the Pacific

CollectionsANU Press (1965- Present)
Title: We, the navigators : the ancient art of landfinding in the Pacific
Author(s): Lewis, David
Date published: 1975
Publisher: Canberra, ACT : Australian National University Press
The peopling of the Pacific islands is one of the world{u2019}s greatest maritime achievements. Ever since Magellan entered the Pacific Ocean, European explorers have marveled at the excellence of the vessels they saw, at the skill and daring of the helmsmen and crews, and at the feats of navigation performed without the aid of charts and instruments. David Lewis discovered that the ancient arts of navigation, passed by word of mouth from generation to generation, are still known to men who have put them into practice. The ocean, empty to most of us, is, for the skilled island mariners, full of signs to steer by, indicators of invisible land. In a firsthand account in which he relives the excitement of ancient exploration and discovery, Lewis retraces 13,000 nautical miles of the Pacific - sailing entirely without benefit of modern navigational methods. Under the guidance and instruction of island navigators, Lewis never failed to reach his often distant landfall. This book opens a whole new field of speculation on settlement of the Pacific islands by showing how migration could have taken place. But its interest is not limited to the scholar. All whose imaginations are caught by the adventure of navigation, small-boat sailing, and ocean exploration will find it compulsive reading. For the outstanding navigational activities described here and for similar work, Dr. David Lewis was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Institute of Navigation, London, and the Superior Achievement Award of the Institute of Navigation, Washington.


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