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You are here : eLibrary : IAHR World Congress Proceedings : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) FULL PAPERS : THEME 7- EXTREME EVENTS, NATURAL VARIABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE : SWELL-WAVE ISLAND INTERACTION AND WAVE PILOTING IN THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC OCEAN
SWELL-WAVE ISLAND INTERACTION AND WAVE PILOTING IN THE SOUTHERN PACIFIC OCEAN
Author : GERBRANT PH. VAN VLEDDER
The indigenous people of Oceania have astounded the Western world with their capability to travel between remote island groups using only natural means to find their way. This first became evident when Magellan discovered the Marianas in 1521. This is all the more surprising in view of the fact that these ancient Pacific seafarers sailed in relative small canoes. Over time, a gradual understanding developed in the Western world about the way these people could navigate in the almost empty ocean in the areas now known as Polynesia and Micronesia. At the same time Western instruments were introduced in these areas, gradually replacing the traditional ways of navigation. In the beginning of the 20th century, the traditional way of navigating almost vanished. Fortunately, a growing interest arose to understand this ancient art and studies were initiated to help preserving it. Winkler (1901) was one of the first explorers documenting this art of navigation in the Marshallese islands. A landmark study was carried out by Lewis (1974, 1992) who travelled widely in the Southern Pacific to document and understand as much as possible. Further studies were done by Genz and co-workers (2009) from the University of Hawaii. Their approach is a mix of anthropology and oceanography leading to a better understanding of this art. More recently Huth (2013) discussed this ancient art of navigating from a physical point of view.

File Size : 504,991 bytes
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Chapter : IAHR World Congress Proceedings
Category : 36th Congress - The Hague (2015) FULL PAPERS
Article : THEME 7- EXTREME EVENTS, NATURAL VARIABILITY AND CLIMATE CHANGE
Date Published : 20/04/2016
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