One of the parts of the Beginner's Guide course that is always popular, no doubt because it is a break from listening to me bang on, is when I show a short excerpt from the film, The Navigators. In this excellent 1982 Sam Low documentary about indigenous Pacific navigation methods, we get to see scenes where master navigator Mau Pialug instructs new recruits on the small island of Satawal in navigating at night with a star compass. Following this it gets a bit emotional as we witness the climax of Mau's 2500 voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti, without any…
During the Beginner's Guide course at West Dean College today we watched a few minutes from the unique film, 'The Navigators'.The film is about Mau Pialug, one of a very small number of Pacific Islanders still skilled in using traditional Pacific navigation methods. He explains his use of the stars and swell and demonstrates the methods using rocks on the beach, before embarking on an epic voyage without using instruments.Mau Pialug went on to play an important role in the founding of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, a non-profit organisation dedicated to preserving the traditional navigation methods.