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Taratai - A Pacific Adventure
By James Siers

In 1976 an incredible voyage of 1500 miles was made in a 76 foot voyaging canoe from Tarawa in the Gilbert Islands to Fiji in an effort to re-establish an ancient sea link between the two island groups and at the same time to prove that native canoes (waka) were capable of making such long sea voyages.

The expedition was led by James Siers, a New Zealand writer / photographer who had been dreaming of this adventure for more than 10 years.

Siers went to the Gilbert Islands in 1975 and lived in the village where the canoe was built, recording its construction and sharing a simple life with the villagers.

This book is not only an adventure story of a dramatic voyage - it is an account of an unique way of life of a race of extraordinary people whose life is ruled by the ocean. It is full of insight and anecdote, heartbreak and final sweetness in July 1976 on arrival in Lautoka Fiji.

The book has added interest because it includes a chapter from Peter Barton, an English Naval Architect, who sailed on the first voyage as the navigator and assesses the capability of the Taratai and Bruce Askew, a New Zealand Naval Engineer, who was involved in the planning of the construction of the second canoe. There are definitive essays on the history and evolution of the canoes of Oceania, pre European navigation and theories concerning the populating of the Pacific with special reference to the role of the canoe.

Paperback. There is some slight water damage across the bottom of the first 30 or so pages (nothing major), spotting and stains, and some creasing to the bottom right front cover, otherwise the book is in good condition.

Conditions of sale...

Contact must be made and auction paid for within 7 days of winning otherwise item will be relisted and appropriate feedback placed.

We accept no responsibility for items lost or damaged in the post.


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  • Seller location: Whangarei, Northland, NZ

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