The story of how six men and one woman made maritime history: sailing the Pacific on a bamboo raft with the aim of testing the theory that Asian raft sailors reached America some 2000 years ago. On a beach in Vietnam Tim Severin found fishermen still using small bamboo rafts of age-old design. Forming a team of builders and riggers he constructed a 60-foot ocean-going raft from 220 giant bamboos, lashing them together with rattan. Named Hsu Fu, in honour of a Chinese mariner who was sent to explore the Pacific in the third century BCE, the raft set out from Hong Kong on its epic voyage. Battered by gales and nearly run down by merchant shipping in the Taiwan Strait, the historic craft was swept past the intended landfall by a powerful current. Narrowly escaping pirates, the crew, including an artist, a photographer, a doctor and a Vietnamese fisherman - landed on the idyllic Pacific island of Miyako to repair a broken foremast. They then sailed north to the main islands of Japan to stock up on provisions and prepare for the perilous crossing ahead of them. Then for 105 days the raft edged eastwards, contending with fog, gales, breakages to spars and rigging, and the gnawing of bamboo beetles eating the very fabric of the raft.
Condition: Very slight crumpling to top and bottom of dust jacket. A clean, crisp textblock in a tight binding.