The Pacific Ocean is very, very big. It's so huge, it's larger than the landmass of every continent and island combined! All that water is constantly moving, propelled around the globe in sweeping currents. But why does this occur?
Eight hundred years ago, sailors on a double hulled waka didn't have Google Maps, iPads or satellites. So how did they know which way to steer? To find out - meet the Jedi Knights of Polynesia!
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Create Your Own Current
Learn about how ocean currents circulate with Nanogirl marine scientist Dr Kate Sparks and this easy ocean currents experiment!
Do you want to explore more of the Earth's Superpowers? Then be sure to visit the Nanogirl website
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On a waka in the middle of the world's largest ocean, you can't see any landmarks to show the direction you're sailing. But you do have a vast amount of starry sky. That's why, thousands of years ago, Polynesian navigators developed a compass made of stars...
Brains vs Gizmos
Polynesian navigators steered across the Pacific using brain power. Today, modern sailors rely on technology to find their way. There were both brains and gizmos on the waka travelling from Tahiti to Aotearoa...
Do you think today, it's possible for someone to navigate 4,000km across the Pacific, using only the traditional methods of sun and stars; wind and waves? Compared to a course mapped by satellite technology - how accurate do you think a traditional voyage would be?
In 2019 the waka hourua Fa'afaite sailed from Tahiti to Aoteoroa, guided by navigators using only the sun, the sea, and their kinship with nature. The skipper India Tabellini was the only one checking the sat- nav, so did they stay on course?
For hundreds of years the ancient Polynesian navigators ruled the waves of the Pacific. So how did they compare to the great European explorers? To find out about a navigator who gave Captain Cook a helping hand, check out Part 4 - Who Was Tupaia?
Things To Do
We have created fun activities associated with Finding Your Way. To find out more take a look at Part 3 - Things To Do.