Friday, March 6, 2009

The Voyage of the Kon-Tiki

I read the most interesting story in World Literature class today. It was just a four page summery from the book Kon-Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl, the Norweigon captain of the Kon-Tiki expedition. Adventurer/writer Thor Heyerdahl believd that the people of South American sailed acrossthe Pacific and settled Polynesia. To prove this theory, Thor and five other men set out on a balsa wood raft (named after Kon-Tiki, the legendary leader of the ancient Polynesians) in April of 1947. After 101 days of battling giant waves and sea creatures of all shapes and sizes, Thor and his fellow adventures landed on one of the French Polynesia Islands, proving their theory.

Before reading this story, I had never heard of Thor or his voyages. (Just goes to show you you learn something new everyday-and even in Literature class!) My favorite part of the story was their encounters with various fish. The crew came face to face with a whale shark (the biggest fish in the whole ocean-and yeah, don't forget that whales are mammals, not fish), flying fish, some creepy glowing creatures that only came out at night, and one guy even found a sardine on his pillow!

I enjoyed it a lot. In fact I think I will put Thor's book on my "Must Read Classics" list. The book isn't very long (256 pages), so it could probably be read within a short time. Long classics scare me. When I walk through Barns & Nobles I cringe when I see all of Leo Tolstoy's (even though I like his short stories) or Charles Dickinson's works. If you want to scare the daylights out of someone, just show them a volume of War and Peace! It haunts me when I think about all the Shakespeare works I'll have to read in college!That reminds me, I will be reading my first Shakespeare work, Julius Caesar, this semester.

[Bites nails.]

I've read lots of classics-even when I was in elementary school (you know the juvenile kind where the characters don't talk like they just stepped out of Elizabethan Era)-but I have never liked the idea of reading Shakespeare.

Anyways, on a happier note, I just wanted to blog about this neat story. Hope you learned something new too. Happy sailing!

Here is the original Kon-Tiki sitting in it's final resting place in Norway.

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