Thor! Wait for us!
Thor, don't do it!
Thor, don't do it!
It's dangerous! Don't do it!
Come back, Thor!
Are you OK? Cold...
You were showing off again, weren't you? Hm?
Thank God Erik was able to save you.
God had nothing to do with it.
What got into you? Why did you do it?
I hope you've learned a lesson.
Promise me you'll never take a risk like that ever again. Promise?
No, no, no. There shouldn't be smiling.
Just be yourself.
So, no smiling.
You look very handsome.
You'll make this island famous.
It will be just like Darwin and the Galapagos.
When people hear of Fatu Hiva they will think of Thor Heyerdahl.
Into the current. No, into the current.
It's really heavy.
Listen, you said that Polynesia first was populated from the west, right?
Imagine paddling all the way from Asia against the current.
They must have been really strong.
Are you OK?
Listen to this. "Faa-hoka is the Marquesan variety of pineapple.
It was found in abundance by the first European explorers."
Same pineapple? Indigenous, it says, to South America.
Maybe it can swim.
Tiki, the sun god...
...brought us to these islands...
...from the land behind the ocean.
So how long are you in New York? Leaving in a few days.
Going home for Christmas. Hm.
The wise men of anthropology are quite clear that Polynesia was not populated from the east.
Wise men are not always right, sir.
Look around you. Every book in here offers some theory or another.
Most written by one man, read by perhaps only ten, of whom nine disagreed with the theory.
But my theory provides evidence that Polynesia was settled from the east.
I've spent ten years writing and researching my thesis.
I lived on Fatu Hiva, professor. I lived my theory.
How many publishers have you seen before me?
The fact that I'm your last hope ought to tell you something.
Yes, that scientific publishing is completely closed to new ideas.
You claim that the Peruvian pre-Incan civilization was remarkable, I agree.
And that the prevailing winds and currents in the Pacific down there move from east to west.
But it is also the case that Tiki could not have traveled to Polynesia because his people had no boats! No.
But they had rafts.
They had balsa wood rafts.
Now that would be evidence.
You want your theory to be accepted? Then, go ahead.
Drift from Peru to Polynesia on a balsa wood raft.
Mr. Brownberg's here to see you, professor.
Your magazine will be with me on a raft at the mercy of the winds, all the way to Polynesia.
It's further than from Chicago to Moscow.
Here to here, 5,000 miles.
You'll have some sort of engine in case of emergency?
Absolutely not. We will surrender to the current and the wind, exactly as Tiki did.
And by undertaking this extraordinary voyage, you are proving...?
That the oceans were not barriers, but roads.
Not impediments, but pathways.
I will prove that South American people sailed to Polynesia 1,500 years ago.
Every schoolboy knows that Polynesia was peopled from Asia, not South America.
And it's my job as a scientist to prove the schoolboys, and those who quote them, wrong.
Being sun worshipers... Mr. Heyerdahl.
Doubtless, the story of Norwegians drowning in the Pacific will sell a lot of magazines, but not this one.
This is a scientific expedition...
Our magazine has a higher purpose than to finance and enable men bent on suicide.
I doubt you'll have any success in recruiting anyone.
So, a dozen logs lashed together, big balsa wood logs, like that.
A hut for five crew. All very capable, of course.
Mast and rudder...
And, uh, there it is.
I spent 22 days on a raft. Torpedoed. North Atlantic, winter of - 43.
You can't sail it, steer it.
All you can do is sit there and wait to die.
No, no, no. These logs, they are gonna move against each other in the waves, and eventually they're gonna break the lashings.
And you'll each be sitting on a log floating your separate ways at the mercy of the elements.
Thank you for your time.
Hey... Excuse me.
You're Norwegian, right? Back there... Yes?
...I couldn't help overhearing.
Back there I couldn't help overhearing about your raft. Interesting.
Are you a sailor? No. And neither are you.
Let me show you something.
That will lessen the drag a lot.
We engineers can't help ourselves.
You're an engineer? Yeah.
But nowadays I mostly sell refrigerators.
Thor Heyerdahl. So you're going on a raft, are you?
...the evidence is just overwhelming, you know?
It's possible to actually drift there on the current.
The wind and the current. That's the key, and I've got that.
Five months to finance, equip and mount the entire expedition.
So there's a lot to do.
Mr. Heyerdahl, may I help you? We have an appointment.
The money in place by Christmas, buy the balsa in January...
Mr. Heyerdahl, you are not on the list.
Look under his name. Watzinger. W.
Get a crew down to Peru in February, build in March, sail in April, land by August and hope the hurricane season starts late.
Just following my instincts...
We damn near died when the zipper froze.
We all walk in his shadow.
Mr. Heyerdahl, you are not allowed in here.
Well! My friend from Fatu Hiva!
You look like a man who just got dumped by a glossy magazine!
Don't worry, Heyerdahl.
Scientific committees, my ass.
Am I right, McGregor? Or am I right? Always. Of course.
Frostbite, the winter of - 24. do as the natives do, down to the smallest detail.
Don't use nails if they use rope, don't use steel if they use bone.
It took their ancestors a thousand years to learn.
Go with them, and you just might hang on to your leg.
I'm 32 years old.
I'm a refrigerator salesman, stuck in a marriage that doesn't go anywhere.
And I- d really like to go on that raft with you.
OK, I know it's going to be dangerous, but you have no idea how risky the fridge business is.
There will be no one to save us out there.
Except your theory.
At least you won't lose your leg to frostbite.
You know, Bamse's convinced you're Santa.
Oh, I hope you tell him it's not like that.
Well, you tell him. They are just so excited.
It will be so good to have you home, Thor.
Yes, Liv... I couldn't raise the money for the trip, so uh...
...I have to go directly to Peru now, and see if I can borrow enough money.
Are you not coming home?
It has been difficult, Liv. Really difficult.
And I just can't keep begging anymore.
Don't do this.
I have to, Liv.
Don't do this to the children.
Don't you understand? If I come home now, I'm finished.
I spent ten years working on this, Liv. I spent ten years.
You can't even swim.
You should have come home, Thor.
And, if not... Liv... you should have asked me to go with you.
Liv... You know I would have said no.
Liv... Because of the children.
Come and meet us in Tahiti.
Bring the boys. And we can show them Fatu Hiva.
This is the operator. Your collect call will end in ten seconds.
Just one moment, please? Thank you.
Merry Christmas, Thor.
You all made it! Oh, now I'm happy.
You- d better be. I spent three weeks getting here, you bastard.
Thor. Hi. This is Herman Watzinger, my second-in-command. Hello.
For the simple reason that without him, there couldn't be any first-in-command.
Herman. Herman, these are my two brilliant radio operators.
Torstein, war hero, nervous system made of asbestos.
And as far as we know, he has only whiskey and women.
Also a war hero.
And I know Knut hates this, but I have to call him a legend, because that's what you are.
Erik, Erik Hesselberg. Not a legend.
But you saved my life.
Erik and I grew up together.
And Erik has one unique quality that just might be useful to us.
Erik has actually been to sea before.
Now... Since you didn't introduce yourself, I Will.
This... this is Thor.
He's stubborn, egotistical, lawfully ambitious...
But he's also a leader.
Because of that, we are going to do what Tiki did.
We are going to build a raft.
And... And drift into the sunset.
...drift into the sunset. Where is the raft?
You're sitting on it.
There you go.
That's what we- re building? Yes.
Exactly that, down to the smallest detail.
We'll use the same methods, the same materials as Tiki did 1,500 years ago.
This is extremely important. Everything depends on it. I hope that's clear.
All I brought was a radio and a pocketknife.
We- re going to need a ton of supplies. Of course.
Once the money comes through, we will buy what we need.
Sefior Heyerdahl? Jose Bustamente.
Your Excellency. Thank you for seeing me.
So, what can I do for you?
Actually, I'm here to tell you about something I can do for you.
And what might that be? By crossing the Pacific for 5,000 miles, I will prove that Peruvians were the first to settle Polynesia.
What? Peruvians... discovered Polynesia?
And how may I help you?
So the president of Peru calls the American admiral and the admiral says we can have anything we want.
In return, we have to invade Polynesia on behalf of Peru?
And you thought he was a waiter?
...thermometers, battle rations, powdered soups, floating knives, desalination tablets, dinghies, fishing tackle, canned food, shark repellant...
Does it work? What?
The shark repellent? That's what we want you to find out.
Thor Heyerdahl. Yes?
My name is Bengt Daniels-son.
I'm a bit busy. I came across this yesterday.
So now you want to tell me that the first wave will tip the raft over, or we will sink two weeks out, or what do you think?
Giant squid? No.
I wanna show you how to assemble that camera.
Here you go. You're a photographer.
No. Ethnographer. Just spent a year up the Amazon.
But you know how to use the camera? Yes.
Let me join you on the raft, and I'll show you.
There's money to be made in a documentary... done right.
Thor, I've been thinking. What about a sea trial?
Just for a few days.
We could still leave before the hurricane season starts.
No, it's too risky. Risky?
Risky. And besides, Tiki already made the sea trial.
Here's to Tiki! Skol!
No, you loco!
I'm just calling to say goodbye, Liv.
We- re leaving in a few hours.
Goodbye, Thor. I brought medicines this time. Plenty.
I hope you don't have to use them. What?
I hope you don't have to use them. Yeah. Me too.
The boys wish you good luck. Thank you.
Don't be angry, Liv.
If I pull this off, Liv, our lives will be completely different.
No more struggling.
I just hope that 100 days from now your children still have a father.
What did you say?
Nothing, Thor. Nothing.
You're breaking up, Liv. I'm sorry.
I'm sorry, Liv... I called to say goodbye.
Thor, this way!
Hey, Torstein, help me with this.
We need to secure this box.
No, no, no, there's plenty of space right there.
If we get a westerly now, it'll take us right back to Callao.
No, Tiki- s wind came from the south.
Now pull it up, Thor.
Ow! Are you OK?
More line starboard.
More line starboard.
Which way is starboard? Right! Christ.
It's the wrong course.
We have no steering. That's fine, that's fine.
Let's use the oar. Keep it pointing forward.
Excellent work, boys.
You can just sit back and relax.
In 100 days, you can start your own Peruvian colony in Polynesia.
That's not too bad.
I would like it better if we were moving towards it.
You might want to take the lens cap off.
And only 100 days to go.
Remember those sailors in the bar in New York?
Who said the logs would move and break the ropes?
Perhaps we should have used wire.
The ropes held 1,500 years ago, and they will hold now.
If you can't trust Tiki, you can trust me.
Does anyone know if we can eat them?
Should be a delicious blend of herring and grouse.
Herman, grab onto something.
If you fall overboard, you stay overboard.
We won't be able to turn around.
Thank God one of us has been to sea before.
I've heard that drowning is the best way to die.
Well, not exactly. You might manage for a minute, until you breathe out of reflex.
Your lungs fill with water, you choke, and the, uh, acid created by the salt water in your stomach makes you feel like you burn up inside.
Panic makes your heart kick in, forcing you to breathe again.
You lose control, and then you finally die.
All in all, three or four minutes.
Hold on. What about my life flashing past?
Yeah, that's the worst part.
Damn this radio!
Forget it, Torstein. Excuse me?
Just forget it. Forget it?
What do you mean, forget it?
The Andes. There's nothing we can do.
The Andes are hundreds of miles away.
OK? Just stay in bed.
We can't risk you vomiting all over the radio.
I need radio contact.
Money follows attention, and I'm the one who has to pay for this.
That's right, Thor. Keep filming.
Look, all I need is to be able to contact the Coast Guard.
They- d never make it out here in time anyway. I mean, if something happened.
North-northwest, that's good.
And what we want is west.
The South Equatorial Current is the only road there is.
So... how do we get down to it?
As navigator, I can tell you this.
If you can't steer, you can't push yourself to change course.
Should we wake the others?
No. It's nothing.
We'll let them sleep.
Everyone on deck! Come on!
Get the sail down!
Tie yourself, Thor.
Get the sail down!
Get the sail down!
Just cut it down!
Just cut it!
Thor, grab my hand! Grab my hand!
That wasn't too bad.
Hey. Twelve degrees, five minutes, two seconds south.
Eighty degrees north-northwest.
Fifty-two-point-eight nautical miles.
That makes two-point-two knots.
That's quite good.
Still too northerly.
This is where we are after four days.
So the worst thing that can happen is that we drift back to the coast, right?
No, the worst thing that can happen is we get carried up into the maelstrom south of Galapagos.
That's where we- re heading right now.
I never heard about maelstroms around Galapagos.
Please, Thor, I'm serious. Look.
We'll be fine. Have faith.
I have faith.
Problem is I also have a sextant.
The Galapagos maelstrom, a gigantic vortex, creates waves over nine meters high and its powerful roar can be heard ten miles away.
Even has a nice illustration.
We need it higher. Take it higher.
We've got something. Yes?
His name is Hal. Transmitting from Los Angeles.
Can you relay messages to the press?
Thor is out of debt.
I lost him.
No, no, no, no! Oh!
Stupid, stupid, stupid bird.
Hey! Just leave her.
Whose idea was it to bring that bird anyway?
Camera. Get the camera!
Get the camera! Bengt! Bengt!
Get the camera!
Completely harmless. Harmless, are you crazy?
That one can tip us over just like that.
In Vietnam, it's a deity. They call it "Ca Ong."
It means Sir Fish.
Bengt, the camera. Right.
Here it comes.
Bengt, where's the camera? I'm loading it!
It's trying to overturn us! No, it's just feeding off the raft.
Where are you?
Look at that.
Hey. Put that away.
Erik! Get him up!
I've got you. It's all right. I got you.
Herman! Herman! Are you deaf?!
He told you to put the harpoon away!
He wanted to tip us over. It's all right.
Obey your orders!
It's all right.
He didn't listen. No, he didn't. I know.
But it's my job to tell him that, not yours.
He sells refrigerators.
He got frightened. It happens.
How are you?
People who can't get rid of their demons try this.
Drifting across the Pacific.
About the shark or the whale or...
Is Knut OK? He's fine.
Why the oar?
Trying to catch the South Equatorial bus.
Unless we already missed the stop.
We could have.
Building a life raft?
No, it's for my daughter.
She's six months old.
We just don't have enough power.
It's not about the wattage.
Oh! Oh, come on!
Put out that cigarette.
There's something down there.
Look at that.
Look at that.
Right. I see.
So are you going down? No. Bengt is.
That's right. Send the Swede.
It's getting waterlogged. Just as you showed me.
I broke off a piece and threw it overboard.
Sank like a stone.
The raft is absorbing water.
It looks worse than it is. We- re not even on the right course.
You just earned yourself another dog watch. Let's get back to work.
This is not a holiday.
There. Got him.
Royal Norwegian Embassy, Washington, D.C.
Thor Heyerdahl, Kon-Tiki, May 16th, 1947.
Zero-niner degrees, 36 minutes, 58 seconds south.
The raft is keeping up well.
We are on our way, and morale is high.
Having had problems with the radio, we have been unable to establish contact.
Wind conditions are stable and we are traveling an average speed...
You all right? Yep.
Sure about this? People will want to see a picture of the raft in the ocean.
Around your wrist.
It's about 5,000 meters deep, so don't drop it.
Get it up! Get it up! Don't jerk the rope!
Take my hand. Take my hand!
Grab my hand!
Why are you giving the sharks oursoup?
It's the shark repellant the Americans gave us.
No, it isn't. It's tomato soup.
Where's the shark repellent?
Well, I guess we ate it then.
Watch your feet!
Stop! This is madness! We'll only attract more sharks!
It's our only chance.
Our only hope now is to try to strengthen the lashings.
Tie her together.
Don't you see?
We built this raft exactly the way Tiki did.
And we'll get there just as he did.
This isn't religion, Thor.
This is insane.
This is bigger than us.
Look at the logs. Feel the raft.
I'm begging you.
All I'm asking is just a little safety with modern materials.
At least I won't lose my leg to frostbite.
Herman, grab the rope!
Hold on! Hold on!
Grab the oar!
Throw the shark overboard!
Pull it in again!
Throw it out!
Three years ago, I shot four men.
The Gestapo finally found me with my radio.
It was war. Yeah.
Tor-stein says the same.
He helped sink the Tirpitz. A thousand men went down.
That doesn't bother him.
You saved my life.
That's what I mean.
I couldn't have saved you.
I couldn't have saved you.
I can't swim.
We all know.
What time is it?
Ten past two.
You sure about that? Yes. Ten past two.
We need to talk. Yes?
We- re on the South Equatorial.
Heading straight for Polynesia.
Are you sure? I'm sure.
Look at that! Look at that! We found it!
Is that it? Are we there? Whoo-hoo!
I knew it! You see? No, you didn't!
I knew it!
At last! Hey, let me have one.
You didn't doubt it, did you?
On course, and shipshape, we have now passed the critical point.
And spirits are high.
Every nautical mile is a nautical mile closer to the proof I have sought.
Early man did not see the ocean as a barrier, but rather as a means of communication.
This is science that cannot be done behind a desk or by a committee.
One thousand five hundred years ago, a South American civilization possessed the maritime and navigational skills to successfully maneuver a balsa wood raft over 5, 000 miles.
We are using the same stars as they did.
It's as if we- re the only human beings left in the universe.
Maybe we are.
Maybe they've dropped more bombs on each other.
Every city like Hiroshima.
Then we wouldn't have radio contact, Bengt.
Maybe nature has just accepted us.
As a part of itself.
Like a fish or a... or a bird.
Hey, look! A bird!
What's going on?
Five thousand miles behind us, and the worst danger lies just ahead.
Human beings, right? No.
The Raroia reef.
A barrier of underwater razor blades.
Why didn't you mention that before?
There was no way of knowing exactly where we would end up.
We could try to force our way south.
Ought to hit Samoa in 30 days.
What other options are there?
We could try and, uh... surf over it.
You see, waves build in cycles of 13.
Meaning every 13th wave is significantly bigger than the rest.
Um... let me show you.
Uh... when we get close to the reef, we'll throw out an anchor or something heavy to hold the raft back in position.
Then what? Then we count the waves.
And just before the 13th wave, we cut the rope, and hopefully surf the raft over the reef.
That might work.
I like it.
That's the way.
Let's do it. All right.
Let's find something heavy.
Approaching Raroia reef.
If no word within 36 hours, contact Norwegian Embassy in Washington.
Two hundred and 50 yards to go.
Put your boots on! Everybody, get your boots on!
Are we ready? Is everything set?
When you're ready, Herman. Yep! All right! Drop the anchor!
Did you ever consider life jackets?
We've lost it! Pull tight!
This is BBC Radio reporting worldwide.
This is Radio Australia World News...
A stunning achievement being reported today from the Tuamotu Islands in Polynesia.
... six Scandinavian explorers, 5,000 miles of sea and one balsa wood raft.
...cheating death over a 101-day voyage.
Not since Ernest Shackleton- s journey to Antarctica has anyone done something so bold. An awe-inspiring tale of man against nature.