“Viracocha III” (13 pics)




Aerial view of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. An expedition in a boat made only of reeds crafted by indigenous Bolivians is getting ready to cross the Pacific from South America to Australia, in a fresh attempt to prove that ancient mariners were capable of making the journey. Phil Buck, a 51-year-old explorer from the United States, already has led two similar expeditions and will captain the “Viracocha III” set to depart from northern Chile in February on an expected six-month journey. The final touches are being put to the balsa boat in Bolivian capital La Paz, where it is being constructed by indigenous Aymara who live on Lake Titicaca high in the Andes and have used similar craft for centuries. In a bid to show that it was possible for Aymara or other South Americans to have made the trip in pre-Columbian times, Buck said the international crew will use bamboo water containers and eat quinoa, potatoes and fish from the ocean. Unlike the sailors of the past, though, they will send daily updates to social media. Maritime law stipulates that they will also have to carry modern GPS and navigation systems. Their first stop-off is scheduled to be the remote Polynesian island of Mangareva, after around 60 days at sea. “It's one of the closest places to South America, and it's all downwind sailing, and it's likely the place they would have landed”, Buck said on Wednesday. “There's a legend there that an Inca king landed on that island and returned all the way back to South America six months later”. After Mangareva, the 18-meter (59 ft) long “Viracocha III” will head to Tahiti, Fiji, and then Sydney, a journey of some 10,000 nautical miles. Buck's expeditions are inspired by the 1947 trip of Norwegian explorer and writer Thor Heyerdahl, who crossed the Pacific in the “ Kon-Tiki ” balsa-reed raft. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

“Viracocha III”

Bolivian builder Gregorio Caceres walks on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the tot

Bolivian builder Gregorio Caceres walks on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being p

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

An Aymara builder works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is bein

An Aymara builder works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Bolivian builder Gregorio Caceres works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora ree

Bolivian builder Gregorio Caceres works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Ruben Limachi, an Aymara builder, works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora ree

Ruben Limachi, an Aymara builder, works on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being p

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being p

Aymara builders work on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Builders hold totora reeds on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the reed, as it is being pr

Builders hold totora reeds on the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Aerial view of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared t

Aerial view of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

A Bolivian builder walks on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it

A Bolivian builder walks on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Phil Buck, a 51-year-old explorer from the United States, poses for a picture in front of the “Virac

Phil Buck, a 51-year-old explorer from the United States, poses for a picture in front of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, which he will captain on a journey expected to last six months, crossing the Pacific from Chile to Australia, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)

Builders work on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being p

Builders work on top of the “Viracocha III”, a boat made only from the totora reed, as it is being prepared to cross the Pacific from Chile to Australia on an expected six-month journey, in La Paz, Bolivia, October 19, 2016. (Photo by David Mercado/Reuters)




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