Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Jared Diamond Gets Funny

Collapse, p. 129-130
The journey from Mangareva to Henderson [Island] would take four or five days by Polynesian sailing canoes; from Pitcairn to Henderson, about one day. My own perspective on sea journeys in native canoes is based on much briefer voyages, which left me constantly terrified of the canoe's capsizing or breaking up and in one case nearly cost me my life. That makes the thought of a several-day canoe voyage across open ocean intolerable to me, something that only a desperate need to save my life could induce me to undertake. But to modern Pacific seafaring peoples, who sail their canoes five days just to buy cigarettes, the journeys are part of normal life.
And you thought going to the corner store for milk was a chore...

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