The Kon-Tiki Museum
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Kon-Tiki - short history

Kon-Tiki - short history

Kon-Tiki - short history

Kon-Tiki - in finnish

Kon-Tiki log book 17 May (Norwegian National Day

Log book 17 May 1947

1 small octopus an 7 flying-fishes found on board, each 9-10” long. Pitch dark night, overcast, heavy seas and record speed to judge from phosphorescent plankton chasing by our side. Whirls behind raft 4-6 feet and lightning with phosphorescence. Lightning plankton are so much like glows that one feels inclined to withdraw legs when they wash around up to one`s knees at steering-platform. Only once in a while, it is necessary to steer, or rather to adjust. Otherweise watchman carries wrist-compass with trim puts it at his side inside hut when reading or on deck when carving, washing or fishing.

04.00: Torstein sleeps with head in hut`s door-opening and is so used to us climbing over his nose while changing watch that he never wakes up unless one steps on his face. Feeling something wet and cold dash desperately around his ears he woke up in pitch dark. Herman woke up by the noise and stated it was a huge flying-fish onboard right in hut opening. Erik was on watch astern and came with petrol lamp to see what made the noise.

Herman grasped out and caught a long slim fish around the belly. I woke up too and saw in the light of the lamp a long, eel-shaped fish twisting around in Herman`s grasp. The fish was 3 feet long (94 cm) with huge black eyes and a pointed mouth with great carnivorous mouth with five knife-sharp outstanding teeth beside its ordinary fish-teeth. Bengt woke up too, sat up in his sleeping-bag and said quietly: “ Nå sådana fiskar fines inte!” (No, such fishes do not exist), whereupon he fell asleep again. As Herman grasped firm around the belly of the twisting, it vomited, and out came another fish, 8 inches long with big eyes and built much like a flying fish. It was badly torn and molested by the dangerous teeth of its victor but apparently just caught. The big fish had jumped onboard by itself in the dark. It had more fish (like the one vomited) inside belly.

06.00: Norwegian flag hoisted in honour of our national day. The red of the flag, the green parrot and the beautiful blue ocean makes a wonderful composition. Seas are increasing today, and are bigger than yet seen – at intervals. Average wage-height today may be about 5 feet but certain breaking swells with deep intermediate valleys must be up to 12 feet, maybe more.

Wind strength 3 from S E. Overcast. Erik found floating shell as of certain squid onboard astern. Such have been found in fragments before. Seas do not splash on bamboo-deck even today. It is completely amazing and very hard for us to understand. Chiefly astern and partly in bow great seas breake over, but disappear immediately in great cracks between logs. Bamboo hut is moving slightly in all directions today, and we have a music of gnawing ropes, some heavy and deep sounds, others thin an squeaky. Logs under us are also moving quietly and soundless, but not more than desireably and intended. Something is banging gently in the boxes we sleep on too, probably the seas from underneath, but none of them splashes up although we see the blue, lightning water few inches under mattresses, while breaking crests chase past us outside the door, much lighter than the raft. Knut and I out in dingy, great seas, pulled in by rope.

19.00: Our national day was highly celebrated with toasting and singing on edge of raft while great waves chased by us in the dark. One broke over and tipped the wooden box with our compass over, but it was saved. Only minor splashes on bamboo-deck

The balsa raft Kon-Tiki was build in Callao, Peru. Read more about the Kon-Tiki expedition and its background.