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Thursday, March 24, 2016

The Micronesians were incredible navigators

The Marshall Islands in the Pacific Ocean was settled by the Micronesians more than three thousand years ago. 

These early settlers had to make frequent journeys between more than 1,100 islands spread out over 29 coral atolls.

They lacked modern navigation equipment such as compasses and sextants, but possessed an incredibly detailed knowledge of the sea, the waves, the swells and the currents which they utilized to develop a simple yet sophisticated system of navigation made up of sticks and shells.

I had heard of this years ago.

These people knew the ocean well and knew of it's natural currents and water flows.

They could accurately navigate the deep ocean with just their knowledge of the currents.

I once talked to a very old sea captain, Louis Mock, who told me that he could tell how many fathoms were under his vessel just by the vibrations under his feet as he stood at the helm.

He told me that when his fellow-crewman checked with the fathom rope, they found his fathom call was always accurate. 

Men of the sea possess some wonderful abilities that they have developed for navigation.

The Micronesian women danced informative dances on the sandy beaches that told stories and history with fine details that carried on throughout time to the present.

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