Adventurers to Trace Ancient Route to Polynesia by Travelling on Sailboats
TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol -- Bohol Provincial Gov. Erico Aumentado wished the captains - James Wharram and Hanneke Boon and their crews, "fair winds and calm seas" where they will try to reach Polynesia by sailboats.
The boats' recent launching was held at the Bohol Divers' Resort in Barangay Danao in the resort town of Panglao.
Several boat designers, an author, a scientist and lean but mean crews will undertake a voyage tracing the ancient migration route of Polynesians from Taiwan to the Pacific.
The group of Wharram, his design partner Boon and author Klaus Hymperdahl will jump off from Panglao any time this month, take the six-month voyage using two canoe-shaped catamarans powered only by sails and navigating only "by the stars", and present the boats built in Bohol to the residents of the remote Polynesian islands of Tikopia and Anuta - for their use.
Governor Aumentado said Wharram's theory is convincing.
"History tells us that Bohol used to be known as the Kingdom of Dapitan during the era of the Indonesia-based Majapahit empire which was long before the Spaniards came to the country and the province," he said.
Trading was already booming then, apparently explaining the presence of "lapita" or the ceramic ware in the islands along the route that the Wharram-Boon team wants to retrace.
He also took pride in knowing that the team had tapped the Junction Boat Works owned by Andy Smith in building the catamarans. The shop in Panglao is owned by a foreigner but has Boholano craftsmen and women who all attended the launching. …