Members of the Tangaroa Expedition, photo from Kon-Tiki Museum
A group of explorers plan to recreate the dramatic expedition that launched Thor Heyerdahl’s adventurous career — they plan to float across the Pacific Ocean from Peru to Polynesia on a simple balsawood raft. Thor Heyerdahl’s raft was named, of course, the Kon-Tiki; this new raft will be named Tangaroa, for the fishing god. This latest expedition was originally planned for the beginning of 2005 and was postponed after last year’s tsunami complicated fundraising efforts; the launch is now planned for April 28, 2006. The team is led by Torgeir Sæverud Higraff, 31, a journalist and teacher. Thor Heyerdahl’s grandson, Olav Heyerdahl, will also be on the raft. The 28-year-old will lead the efforts to construct the balsawood raft in Peru. The two will be joined by Anders Berg, Inge Meløy, and Dag Oppen-Berntsen, and they hope to add a sixth crew member from Peru. The expedition is reported to cost $900,000, with funding coming from the Norwegian Environment Industry and various sponsors, and is endorsed and supported by the Kon-Tiki Museum in Oslo and the Heyerdahl family. While the team wants to keep true to the primitive spirit of the adventure by keeping the raft simple, there will be some modern equipment on board, including solar panels and a satellite connection for Internet updates.