1. List: 1970-73La Balsa
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  1. Long Voyages in Strange Craft
    The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954) Friday 9 July 1954 p 9 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: A lone voyager, 61-year-old American William Willis, is now sailing the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft. He left Callao, Peru, recently, bound for ... 951 words
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    2016-12-29 20:52:53.0

    Long Voyages in Strange Craft A lone voyager, 61-year-old American William Willis, is now sailing the Pacific Ocean on a balsa wood raft. He left Callao, Peru, recently, bound for Samoa, 6000 miles — his only companions being a cat and a parrot.

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  2. RAFT ADVENTURE PLANNED YEARS AGO PACIFIC TEST AGAINST PRIMITIVE CONDITIONS
    The Courier-Mail (Brisbane, Qld. : 1933 - 1954) Tuesday 23 November 1954 p 8 Article
    Abstract: MY decision to cross the Pacific alone under primitive conditions was made several years ago. I was aboard a collier 1963 words
    • Text last corrected on 28 May 2019 by birdwing
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    2016-12-29 20:50:15.0

    Another Raft adventure

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  3. Raft Drift Resumes
    The Central Queensland Herald (Rockhampton, Qld. : 1930 - 1956) Thursday 29 December 1955 p 16 Article
    Abstract: PANAMA, December 27 (A.A.P.) —La Cantuta the 30 ft. by 18 ft. balsa raft on which four men and a woman are 167 words
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    2016-12-29 20:27:42.0

    raft another

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  4. Rescued raft men tell of adventure
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Tuesday 21 March 1967 p 6 Article
    Abstract: PANAMA CITY, Monday (AAPReuter).—Three bearded Pacific 404 words
    • Text last corrected on 30 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-30 09:38:10.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Tuesday 21 March 1967, page 6 Rescued raft men tell of adventure PANAMA CITY, Monday (AAP Reuter). — Three bearded Pacific rafts-men rescued last week from their burning balsa wood craft are planning their next at-tempt to cross the Pacific. The three were on their way from Guayaquil, Ec-uador, to Sydney, in what they claimed was the path of Ecuadorians to the South Seas 2,000 years ago. The men were saved from their burning raft, Balsa Pacifica, by the German freighter Ernst Mittmann 800 miles west of Balboa. They had set fire to the cabin with gasoline to attract help when the 40 foot by 18 foot raft be-gan sinking. Escort of sharks As it sank in the stormy seas, escorting sharks in-creased in number until on the last day about 20 were circling the craft. Almost three-feet of water was washing across the deck and much of their equipment had been shifted to the roof of the bamboo cabin. Their radio distress calls sent the German freighter on a reverse course for 170 miles to pick them up. Balsa Pacifica's captain, Vital Alsar Ramirez, 33, Spaniard whose wife lives in Mexico, said today six men originally planned to make the 4,000-mile trans-Pacific voyage, but two withdrew before the raft sailed from Ecuador on October 20 last year. Sea sickness overcame the fourth member of the crew, an Ecuadorian navi-gator Ruben Laudazuri, 29, who left the ship in the Galapagos Islands on November 9 after teaching the crew some navigation. Ramirez and the other two members of the raft's crew, Manuel Camino, 31, a bachelor from Madrid, and a Frenchman, Mare Modena, 40, rested in Galapagos, repairing dam-age suffered on the 900 mile voyage from Guaya-quil. They resumed the voy-age on December 25, 1966, but unfavourable winds and currents sent them circling over 1,000 miles out into the Pacific and back to 300 miles from Galapagos. The men now plan an other attempt next March when winds and currents should be more favour-able. Ironically, their voy-age covered about 4,000 miles in about 143 days at sea — almost the dis-tance to their goal, but actually about 1,200 miles from their point of de-parture. They kept three-hour day shifts with six-hour night shifts, fished to augment their food supply (still sufficient for several months when rescued), made radio contacts and repairs, and myriads of other routine duties.

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  5. 8,500 MILES Four on a raft to Australia
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Friday 6 December 1968 p 20 Article
    Abstract: MEXICO CITY, Thursday (AAP-Reuter). — Four Mexicans will try to cross 562 words
    • Text last corrected on 30 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-30 09:44:45.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Friday 6 December 1968, page 20 8,500 MILES Four on a raft to Australia MEXICO CITY, Thursday (AAP-Reuter). — Four Mexi-cans will try to cross the Pacific Ocean from Ecuador to Australia in a native style raft next March, the longest raft voyage in modern times. On the 8,500-nautical mile voyage — avoiding land for eight months — they will live mainly on fish and salt water. For three of them it will be their second attempt to sail from Ecuador to Syd-ney. Their first try, the Pacifica Expedition, failed when their water-logged raft sank after four months at sea in January, 1967, and they were saved by a German freighter. The three are Spanish language professors Mr Vital Alsar Ramirez, 35, and Mr Manuel Camino, 33, and French-born hotel manager Mr Marc Modena, 42. The fourth member will be a Mexican doctor who wants his name kept secret. Their voyage recalls the famous Kon-Tiki expedi-tion of Norwegian Thor Heyerdahl in 1947. Using balsa wood raft whose construction was based on ancient Peruvian drawings, Mr Heyerdahl and five companions were carried 5,000 miles across the southern Pacific from Peru to an atoll near Tahiti in 101 days. The Mexican expedition will use the replica of an Amazon tree-raft which the Ecuardorian tribe of Huancavilcas used for mig-ration and trade thousands of years ago. Amazon tree-raft They will set out on their historic expedition with no more than 33 gallons of fresh water, some tins of food — and two cats and two parrots for company. "We are not taking hens and rabbits with us this time — on the last trip we became so fond of them we refused to eat them. They drank most of our water and ate a lot of our food". Mr Ramirez, leader of the expedition, told AAP- Reuter. The voyagers will battle for their lives as the Huancavilca natives did many thousands of years ago. "We will fish with wooden harpoons, live from seafood algae and drink small quantities of sea-water every day to get our systems used to it", Mr Ramirez said. "We hope to catch fresh water from rain", he added. Two years of careful pre-parations have followed their 1966-67 failure. 'Last time we cut the trees too early in the Ama-zon jungles of Ecuador. After months at sea they became water-logged and the raft sank. We were lucky to be rescued", Mr Ramirez said. 'This time we will cut the trees at full moon dur-ing the rainy season three weeks before sailing. At full moon the sap in the trunks rises and closes the pores. This prevents water logging", he said. Tree-trunk cabin The 30-foot long, 14-foot wide raft, made of tree trunks strung together by the same fibre-ropes used by the Huancavilcas, will be of triangular shape with tree-trunk cabin in the centre and one large sail amidship. It will be stabilised by a number of wooden rudders wedged between the logs. "If we see land we will not go ashore, our aim is to prove that man with the bare necessities can stay afloat for a long time, that the sea actually is not a killer and that ancient man using the same uncompli-cated raft could have mig-rated in whole tribes from Ecuador to the Polynesian Islands, Asia, and even to Australia", Mr Ramirez said.

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  6. NEW CUTBACKS Higher unit cost chips at F-111s
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Friday 5 June 1970 p 4 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: NEW YORK, Thursday (AAP). — Cost adjustments have chipped away 10 more aircraft 376 words
    • Text last corrected on 30 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-30 09:30:33.0

    Some supersonic aircraft are delta-shaped, but this balsa-log raft, also delta-shaped, promises to be much slower on its planned voyage across the Pacific from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Australia. Four adventurers, Mr Vital Alsar, of Spain; Mr Gabriel Salas, Chile; Mr Marc Modena and Mr Normand Tetreault, Canada, will sail on the raft. — AAP-AP cable picture.

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  7. IN BRIEF Author's passport returned
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 14 September 1970 p 5 Article
    Abstract: DURBAN, Sunday (AAP-Reuter).—Mr Alan Paton, internationally-known South African 322 words
    • Text last corrected on 29 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2017-08-12 08:01:21.0

    Raft trip
    QUITO, Ecuador, Sunday (AAP). — Four men crossing the Pacific Ocean in a primitive wooden raft, La Balsa, have passed Pago Pago, amateur radio operators reported yesterday, the Associated Press said.

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  8. WORLD NEWS IN BRIEF Niarchos cleared of charges
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 5 October 1970 p 4 Article
    Abstract: ATHENS, Sunday (AAP). — Stavros Niarchos, the millionaire Greek shipowner, was 398 words
    • Text last corrected on 29 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2017-08-12 08:02:06.0

    Raft at sea
    QUITO, Ecuador, Sunday (AAP). — A small
    wooden raft, with a crew
    representing four nations,
    has passed the islands of
    the New Hebrides in the
    South Pacific heading for
    Sydney, the Associated
    Press reported. The captain
    of 'La Balsa', Mr Vital
    Alsar, of Spain, is trying to
    prove that native Americans centuries ago travelled
    between South America
    and Australia. They left
    Guayquil on May 29.

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  9. Reef menaces balsa raft
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 2 November 1970 p 3 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Sunday. — A mild south-easterly wind forecast for waters off the central 284 words
    • Text last corrected on 29 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-29 16:05:10.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Monday 2 November 1970, page 3 Reef menaces balsa raft BRISBANE, Sunday. - A mild south-easterly wind forecast for waters off the central Queensland coast could endanger a history-making trans-Pacific drift by the raft La Balsa. Ham radio operators in Australia and New Zealand say the raft is very near the treacherous Swains Reefs complex. Yesterday the raft's position was given as about 200 miles from Rockhampton. I Ham radio operator Mr L. Bell, of Airlie Beach, said this would be just east, and slightly to the south, of the Swains. The raft is without power. It has a small sail and a centreboard type of rudder. Mr Bell said the raft's crew had not called for assistance and he understood there was an Australian naval boat in the vicinity. La Balsa left Ecuador, South America, on May 29 'fo drift across the Pacific to Australia, proving that natives could have made these voyages hundreds of years ago. Aboard are Captain Vital Aibar (Spanish), Marcel Modena (French), Gabriel Garcos (Chilean), and Mormand Tetreaul (Canadian). Mr Bell said last night that the raft's radio equipment could have been damaged. The raft could receive but could not transmit "voice" in return. The home base in Mexico and a New Zealand ham operator had worked out a code system for the raft so that it could reply "yes" or "no" to essential questions. I If an answer was "no" the microphone button was not touched. In this way they had been able to discover that the crew were fit and well. The Minister for the Navy," Mr Killen, has said he will give naval aid to the raftsmen if necessary. The route the raft took.

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  10. Something is out there—but is it La Balsa?
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Tuesday 3 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Monday. — Queensland's top expert on air-sea rescues, and radio 449 words
    • Text last corrected on 29 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-31 16:41:18.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Tuesday 3 November 1970, page 3

    Something is out there—but is it La Balsa?

    BRISBANE, Mon day. — Queensland's top expert on air-sea rescues, and radio hams in Australia, New Zealand and Mexico, differed today on the existence of the raft La Balsa.

    Queensland's air-sea rescue co-ordinator, Captain E. Whish, said. "I think the whole thing is an elaborate radio hoax. Such a craft would have become waterlogged and sunk weeks ago".

    Ham radio operator Mr Len Bell, of Airlie Beach, near Proserpine, North Queensland, said, "It's there all right and the four men are well. I was talking to her this afternoon and other ham operators have combined to fix her position.

    "Other ham operators listened in on our call and we got a cross-bearing on the signal from operators in Mexico, New Zealand and Sydney.

    First word of the 30ft raft came on Thursday, when ham radio operators reported picking up signals in code.

    There is no dispute between Captain Whish and the ham operators that a raft named La Balsa left Ecuador on May 29.

    Its captain, Vital Alsar, planned to drift right across the Pacific to Australia.

    Studying ocean-current charts in his office today. Captain Whish said the raft could not be where it is reported to be.

    "I think someone is pulling someone's leg. I cannot believe it could stay in the water for more than five months and not become waterlogged.

    "I will be the first man in Australia to take my hat off to these men if they do reach Australia but I firmly believe they have sunk somewhere along their incredible voyage .

    'Not even a bump'

    "If the raft is where they say it is, it would be right on the northern shipping lanes. Any one of a dozen fast freighters could run it down and not even feel a bump.

    "If the men have not lost their craft I am sure they would be dead from exposure or starvation by now.

    "They have little cover and we give a man only four hours' survival in unprotected sunlight on the Pacific .

    A Sydney technician, Mr S E Molen, who is co-ordinating communications with the men on the raft. said he had made contact with them today and that they were well. "If the wind stays in the same direction the men hope to be able to land in Sydney, perhaps in a week's time", he said.

    The four men left Ecuador six months ago to prove a theory that South Americans could have done the trip long ago.

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  11. 'HAM' BETS ON RAFT
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Wednesday 4 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Tuesday. — Airlie Beach radio ham Mr Len Bell offered 51,000 today to anyone who could 138 words
    • Text last corrected on 29 December 2016 by birdwing
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    2016-12-31 16:38:08.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Wednesday 4 November 1970, page 3

    'HAM' BETS ON RAFT

    BRISBANE, Tuesday. — Airlie Beach radio ham Mr Len Bell offered $1,000 to-day to anyone who could prove that the raft La Balsa, which he believes is off the coast of Queensland, did not exist.

    A controversy has arisen over the raft, which left Ecuador with a crew of four on May 29 to prove a theory that similar feats were accomplished long ago. Queensland's air-sea rescue co-ordinator, Captain E. Whish, has said the raft could not have lasted the distance but radio hams say they are receiving its code signals.

    In Sydney, the Consul for Ecuador, Mr Gavan Baker, said he had written to Ecuador for instructions on arranging a welcome for the raftsmen. "All I know about the raft is what I've learnt from the Press", he said.

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  12. Search for mystery raft draws blank
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Thursday 5 November 1970 p 7 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Wednesday. — If there is a manned balsa raft drifting south along the 322 words
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    2017-06-21 08:19:41.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Thursday 5 November 1970, page 7
    Search for mystery raft draws blank
    BRISBANE, Wednesday. — If there is a manned balsa raft drifting south along the Queensland coastline, it is defying all efforts to find it.
    An extensive air search of the ocean about 65 miles due east of Noosa Heads, 100 miles north of Brisbane, this afternoon failed to pick up any trace of the raft, La Balsa,
    And two other aircraft, including an RAAF Canberra from Amberley, tracked and re-tracked a search pattern over the sea without sighting the raft.
    To prove theory
    The search was launched after a positional fix of the raft had been made by Mr Les Bell, an amateur radio operator near Proserpine.
    He fixed at 2pm a position that would have put La Balsa about 65 miles east of Noosa.
    According to radio, signals received last Saturday, the craft was then 200 miles east of Rockhampton.
    La Balsa left Ecuador on May 29 to drift 7,000 miles to Australia and prove that natives centuries ago could have made the Pacific crossing.
    The crew are Captain Alsar Vitale, 23, of Spain, Marcel Modena, 38, of France, Gabreil Garces, 32, of Chile and Canadian Normand Tetreaul, 31.
    Mr Bell said that when the crew reported their position this afternoon they said they were making for Brisbane because of 30ft seas in the area.
    The Brisbane weather bureau reported seas as moderate to slight, with rough patches.
    Mr Bell said that the crew had asked for help from the Air-Sea Rescue Service.
    He said: "They said there was no immediate danger to the raft or life. All were well but it was very rough and they thought it would be better to get assistance into Brisbane".
    The co-ordinator of the Air-Sea Rescue Service, Captain E. Whish, sent an emergency signal to all ships in the area to be on the alert for the raft.

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  13. La Balsa raft when sighted off the Sunshine Coast, 5 November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa raft when sighted off the Sunshine Coast, 5 November 1970
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    2017-01-02 08:59:12.0

    La Balsa raft when sighted off the Sunshine Coast, 5 November 1970

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  14. La Balsa raft enters Mooloolaba Harbour, November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa raft enters Mooloolaba Harbour, November 1970
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    2017-01-02 08:59:48.0

    Residents and officials welcomed the four man crew - Marcel Modena, Gabriel Garces, Normand Tetreaul and Captain Alsar Vitale - who were driven through Currie Street. The crew had set out on a timber raft from Ecuador on 29 May, 1970 to show that natives of South America could have crossed the Pacific Ocean to Australia many years ago. On completing their epic journey, their raft had been towed into Mooloolaba Harbour.

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  15. La Balsa raft moored in Mooloolaba Harbour after its arrival, November 1970
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    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa raft moored in Mooloolaba Harbour after its arrival, November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:00:45.0

    Mooloolaba Harbour.
    La Balsa Voyage departed Guayaquil, Ecuador on 29 May 1970 and drifted 8,565 nautical miles (13,700km) to the Australian coast. The raft, with four crew aboard was towed from 20 Nautical Miles offshore from Double Island Point into the Mooloolah River, arriving on 5 November 1970. The crew spent a total of 161 days at sea (5 months) carried principally by the prevailing currents, using a sail and keel boards (up to six feet long), called “guayas” for manoeuvring. The aim of the La Balsa journey was to demonstrate the possibility that prehistoric contact was possible between pre-Columbian South American cultures and those of Australasia and the Pacific. La Balsa moored in Mooloolah River, attracting local and international attention for achieving the longest raft voyage in history at the time. The crew attended a civic reception in Nambour on 6 November before the raft and two of the crew left Mooloolaba Harbour under tow of the charter boat ‘Capri’ in company with ‘San Suri’. Raft Captain Vital Alsar and a fellow crewman remained behind to attend further press interviews. On arrival in Brisbane, the La Balsa was moored in the Upper Lytton Reach of the Brisbane River, before being towed into the city reaches. The expedition leader, Vital Alsar repeated the journey in 1973, however the three rafts missed their planned destination of Mooloolaba, landing instead at Ballina NSW.

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  16. Primitive La Balsa raft moored in Mooloolaba Harbour after its arrival, November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 2004 ]
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    Primitive La Balsa raft moored in Mooloolaba Harbour after its arrival, November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:01:22.0

    Primitive La Balsa raft moored in Mooloolaba Harbour after its arrival, November 1970

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  17. La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolah River at the Mooloolaba Boat Harbour, 5 November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolah River at the Mooloolaba Boat Harbour, 5 November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:04:18.0

    La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolah River at the Mooloolaba Boat Harbour, 5 November 1970
    Creator

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  18. La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolaba River near the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, ca 1970
    Wallace, J
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolaba River near the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, ca 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:05:17.0

    La Balsa raft moored in the Mooloolaba River near the Mooloolaba Yacht Club, ca 1970
    Creator
    Wallace, J.
    Physical Description
    1 photograph : b&​w
    image
    Subjects
    La Balsa (Raft)
    Rafts -- Queensland -- Mooloolaba
    Mooloolaba Harbour (Qld.)
    1970 (Date)
    Maroochydore, Queensland (Place)
    Summary
    La Balsa Voyage departed Guayaquil, Ecuador on 29 May 1970 and drifted 8,565 nautical miles (15,862.38km) to the Australian coast. The raft, with four crew aboard was towed from 20 Nautical Miles (37.04km) offshore from Double Island Point into the Mooloolah River, arriving on 5 November 1970. The crew; Captain Alsar Vitale, Marcel Modena, Gabriel Garces, and Normand Tetreaul spent a total of 161 days at sea (5 months) carried principally by the prevailing currents, using a sail and keel boards (up to six feet long), called “guayas” for manoeuvring. Australian Customs Officials seized and quarantined the ships cat, name Minet and sent the cat back to sea with another vessel the day the raft was intercepted. Mr Andrew Tait, a Diver aboard the pilot boat, was first to step aboard the raft, after he had completed an underwater inspection of the rafts structure on behalf of Australian Customs. The raft was initially moored on the Kawana Waters (Landsborough Shire) side of the Mooloolah River and then moved to a position in front of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club on the 8 November 1970. An alert Landsborough Shire Council Parks and Gardens employee, named Jim Case, took his boat over to pick up La Balsa crew who he had noticed on jetty on other side of Mooloolah River, (Maroochy Shire side) and Jim ferried the crew to the southern side of the river, nearer their raft, where other Landsborough Shire Council employees had prepared a concrete pad, so as to have La Balsa crew members place their footprints in the concrete as a memorial to the historic event. La Balsa Park at Kawana was named in honour of the event and the park name was Gazetted in 1991. The raft and the crew's story attracted local and international attention for achieving the longest raft voyage in history at the time. The expedition leader, Vital Alsar repeated the journey in 1973, however the three rafts missed their planned destination of Mooloolaba, landing instead at Ballina NSW. The aim of the La Balsa journey was to demonstrate the possibility that prehistoric contact was possible between pre-Columbian South American cultures and those of Australasia and the Pacific. La Balsa moored in Mooloolah River, attracting local and international attention for achieving the longest raft voyage in history at the time. The crew attended a civic reception in Nambour on 6 November before the raft and two of the crew left Mooloolaba Harbour under tow of the charter boat M.V. Capri in company with San Suri. Raft Captain Vital Alsar and a fellow crewman remained behind to attend further press interviews. On arrival in Brisbane, the La Balsa was moored in the Upper Lytton Reach of the Brisbane River, before being towed into the city reaches. The expedition leader, Vital Alsar repeated the journey in 1973, however the three rafts missed their planned destination of Mooloolaba, landing instead at Ballina NSW.

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  19. Landfall of triumph for La Balsa
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Friday 6 November 1970 p 1 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Thursday. — Four men and a cat on the raft La Balsa are due to arrive at 365 words
    • Text last corrected on 8 July 2013 by anonymous
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    2016-12-29 16:40:54.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Friday 6 November 1970, page 1 Landfall of triumph for La Balsa The raft La Balsa under sail 20 miles off the coast of Queensland yesterday after its epic 7,000-mile drift across the Pacific from South America. The four-man crew is headed by Captain Vitale Alsar, who said, "We say we make Australia and we do". The raft left Ecuador on May 29 and will make a landfall early today.-Picturegram. BRISBANE, Thursday. - Four men and a cat on the raft La Balsa are due to arrive at Mooloolaba, 70 miles north of Brisbane, tomorrow after a 7,000mile drift across the Pacific. They have completed one of the world's most remarkable sea voyages to prove a theory 1,000 years old. From Ecuador, South Am erica, they have drifted for five months to prove that South Americans could have migrated to Australia. The men are Captain Vital Alsar of Spain, Marcel Modena of France, Gabriel Garces of Chile and Normand Tetreaul, a Canadian. All were reported to be fit and well when they were sighted 20 miles east of Double Island Point. The raft and its passengers have been taken in tow by a 24ft pleasure launch, Capre, and are due at Mooloolaba about 1am tomorrow. The four men were jubil ant when a charter launch containing pressmen arrived. They clasped their hands above their heads, cheered themselves, laughed and waved. In halting English, Captain Alsar said, "We do it. We are happy. Maybe one day we do it again. "We say we make Austra lia and we do, next sleep we have is in Australia". Captain Alsar told press men of the incredible voyage of La Balsa. "We leave five months ago. We have many many storms. Some waves almost cover the raft. It was very bad some nights. We all fell overboard many times but always we were able to get back. "We use rope harnesses around our waists to keep us on the raft". He said the cat fell over board many times but the raft's crew dived in to save her. Captain Alsar said the voyage began with three parrots and two cats. "All we have now is a cat. The others died".

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  20. Crew of La Balsa raft arriving at the Maroochy Shire Council Chambers after a parade through Currie Street, Nambour, 6 November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    Crew of La Balsa raft arriving at the Maroochy Shire Council Chambers after a parade through Currie Street, Nambour, 6 November 1970
  21. La Balsa crew signing the visitors book in the Maroochy Shire Council Chambers, Nambour, 6 November 1970
    Unknown
    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    La Balsa crew signing the visitors book in the Maroochy Shire Council Chambers, Nambour, 6 November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:09:58.0

    La Balsa (Raft) - Maroochy Shire Council - Official functions
    Cr Eddie De Vere, the then Chairman of Maroochy Shire Council (standing far left), escorted the four crew men into the Chambers to sign the book before attending an official reception in the Council's Reception Room. Raft Captain Vital Alsar (seated) at the Council table watched by Marcel Modena, Normand Tetreaul and Gabriel Garces. The crew had arrived at the Chambers after a procession along Currie Street and were subsequently presented with the 'key of the Sunshine Coast'.

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  22. Civic reception for the crew of the La Balsa raft, Maroochy Shire Council Chambers, Nambour, 6 November 1970
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    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    Civic reception for the crew of the La Balsa raft, Maroochy Shire Council Chambers, Nambour, 6 November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:10:42.0

    La Balsa (Raft) - Maroochy Shire Council - Official functions.
    The four crew members pictured in the Reception Room of the Council Chambers after a welcoming parade in which they were driven along Currie Street, Nambour, in the back of a utility. The crew were greeted by the then Council Chairman Eddie De Vere (far left), who presented them with the 'key of the Sunshine Coast'. After an official speech the men enjoyed refreshments. Pictured L to R: Captian Vital Alsar and crew members Marcel Modena, Normand Tetreaul and Gabriel Garces. The chartered boat 'Capri' met the raft and its four man crew off Double Island Point and towed La Balsa into Mooloolaba, ending an epic non-stop journey of approximately 8,600 miles across the Pacific from Ecuador. The raft was initially moored on the Kawana Waters side of the Mooloolah River and then moved to a position in front of the Mooloolaba Yacht Club on the 8 November 1970.

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  23. Signatures of the La Balsa raft crew, November 1970
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    [ Photograph : 1970 ]
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    Signatures of the La Balsa raft crew, November 1970
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    2017-01-02 09:09:28.0

    Mooloolaba - Personalities.
    The raft, with the four crew men on board, was towed into the Mooloolaba Harbour on 5 November 1970 after completing an epic journey of some 8,600 miles across the Pacific from Ecuador. The signatures, from top, written with each crew members country of origin: Normand Tetreault (Tetreault) a French Canadian, Gabriel Salas Von Godin (Gabriel Garces) from Chile, Modeua Mare (Marcel Modena) from Montreal Canada and raft Captain Vital Alsar from Mexico.

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  24. Civic reception for the crew of the La Balsa Expedition in Currie Street, Nambour on 6 November, 1970
    Unknown
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    Civic reception for the crew of the La Balsa Expedition in Currie Street, Nambour on 6 November, 1970
  25. La Balsa crew has a story to tell-at a price Whish on the mat
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 7 November 1970 p 1 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Friday. — Having just lived one of the century's great adventure stories, 683 words
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    2017-01-02 09:17:37.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Saturday 7 November 1970, page 1

    La Balsa crew has a story to tell-at a price. Whish on the mat The garlanded crew of La Balsa at the civic reception given them at Nambour, Queensland, yesterday afternoon. From left, Captain Vital Alsar, Mr Marcel Modena, Mr Normand Telrault and Mr Gabriel Salas. - Picturegram.
    BRISBANE, Friday. - Having just lived one of the century's great adventure stories, the crew of La Balsa seems to have clinched a $60,000-plus deal to tell it.
    Since their arrival they have been bombarded with offers for the world rights to their history.
    At a press conference this morning, the opening bid was $20,000, which was quickly topped by several offers of $50,000.
    It appears, however, that a major overseas magazine has clinched the deal for more than $60,000.
    The captain, Vital Alsar, today referred all inquiries "to Mrs Edith St. Claire-Telford, of Maroochydore, who is acting as the crew's interpreter, host and business manager.

    She said they would be consulting a solicitor and expected to sign a contract for the story within 48 hours.
    Most Australian news representatives shied off the story this afternoon when Mrs St Claire-

    Captain E. Whish, the co-ordinator of air sea rescue operations in Queensland, will be put on the mat for insisting that radio mes-sages from La Balsa were a "grand hoax".

    The matter is being regarded as serious in the Department of Shipping and Transport.

    Informed sources described yesterday Captain Whish's statement as "silly", particularly when it came from a man with technical knowledge, entrusted with search-and-rescue operations.

    The Minister for Shipping and Transport, Mr Sinclair, said the success of the search was all the more pleasing in view of "scepticism expressed in some quarters".

    Telford said the men would not consider offers under $60,000 and wanted return air fares paid to Ecuador and the raft shipped to Spain.

    La Balsa's sail, which was painted by Salvador Dali was offered for sale today by Captain Alsar for $100,000.

    The multinational crew comprises Vital Alsar (captain, France); Marcel Modena (Spain); Normand Tetrault (Canada); and Gabriel Salas (Chile).

    The money from the sail may go toward building a maritime museum in San Angers, Spain.

    The raft is not for sale. Approximately 2,500 people packed Nambour's main street as the four were led into Nambour by the Nambour and Maroochy District Band.

    The Maroochy Shire Chairman, Mr E. O. De Vere, gave them the freedom of the municipality for the duration of their stay.

    After their historic landing at Mooloolaba at 11.40 last night the four men slept at the home of their interpreter, Mrs St Claire-Telford.

    They had been towed into Mooloolaba Harbour by the pleasure launch Capre at the end of their drift from Ecuador, which began on May 29.

    Customs and Immigration checks kept them up until 3am.

    Shortly after first light today a stream of visitors drove almost bumper to bumper to the area where the raft is moored.

    Speaking at the Nambour reception, Captain Alsar said, "When you are children you dream. When you are grown you dream. When you are old men you dream. We dreamed, now we made the dream.

    "We'll stay here maybe a week, maybe two weeks".

    The four raftsmen will be given a civic reception in Brisbane's King George Square by the Lord Mayor, Mr C. Jones to-morrow.
    Alsar and Salas said they were not disappointed at having been towed into Mooloolaba instead of being taken back into the currents to drift to Sydney.
    "Brisbane, Sydney — it's Australia. We proved what we want", Alsar said.
    Alas, poor Minet
    Minet, the cat, was deported today, but the deportation order was the only way to save Minet's remaining lives.

    Full of apologies, quarantine officers pointed out that an animal from Ecuador, a country ridden with rabies, could not be allowed into Australia.
    Under normal circumstances, death for the animal was inevitable, but officialdom bent a little, and Minet left Brisbane tonight aboard the cargo ship Cirrus, bound for the United States.

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  26. Embassies transmit congratulations
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 7 November 1970 p 1 Article
    Abstract: In Canberra congratulatory telegrams have been sent from embassies to the crew. 120 words
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    2017-01-02 09:13:44.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Saturday 7 November 1970, page 1

    Embassies transmit congratulations. In Canberra congratulatory telegrams have been sent from embassies to the crew.

    The French Ambassador, Mr Favereau, sent a telegram which read, "Bravo pour le voyage aller" which means, roughly, "Congratulation's on the half use of a return ticket".

    The Chilean Ambassador, Mr J. Riethmuller, advised his honorary con-sul in Brisbane to render any assistance needed and "officially advised his Government in Chile that the raft had arrived".

    The Canadian High Commission sent a telegram of congratulations to the Canadian crew member, Mr Normand Tetreault.

    Nobody so far has thought to send a telegram to La Balsa's cat which fell overboard several times during the epic voyage.

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  27. The Canberra Times Saturday, November 7, 1970 WORKING MOTHERS
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 7 November 1970 p 2 Article
    Abstract: IT is the clear policy of the Commonwealth Government to encourage married women, including mothers, to work. There has been little doubt of this sin ... 1095 words
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    THE ADVENTURERS HUMAN endeavour, whether it is taking a multi- million walk on the moon, sitting in a cave alone for a year or sailing across the Pacific on a raft, deserves a true measure of acclaim. It should not be diluted by being justified in terms of scientific research or exploration: these are the by-products of such endeavours. Today the world, and Australia in particular as hosts, salutes the triumph of four men who have sailed their raft, La Balsa, 7,000 miles from Ecuador to Australia. Their story has had the timeless ingredients of all adventures: a frail craft, storms, humour and a happy ending. The final days of the saga have provided landlocked observers with much entertainment and, as far as one senior maritime official is concerned, some embarrassment. As long as there are men with courage enough to pursue dangerous adventure there will be millions more who will happily share it with them from their comfortable ruts. From our comfortable ruts we are indebted to Captain Alsar, Mr.Modena, Mr Salas and Mr Tetrault.

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  28. Raft to go on display
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 9 November 1970 p 1 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Sunday. — The raft La Balsa is expected to be brought to Brisbane for display within 73 words
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    2016-12-29 20:19:48.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Monday 9 November 1970, page 1

    Raft to go on display

    BRISBANE, Sunday. — The raft La Balsa is expected to be brought to Brisbane for display within the next fortnight. Arrangements for its transfer from Mooloolaba were being completed to-day.

    The interpreter for the crew, Mrs Edith St Claire-Telford, said La Balsa would be towed to Brisbane by the pleasure launch Capre which took La Balsa into Mooloolaba Harbour on Thursday night.

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  29. IN BRIEF State acts to protect HP buyers
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Tuesday 10 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: MELBOURNE, Monday. — The Victorian Government will legislate to protect hire-purchase 601 words
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    Raft story
    SYDNEY, Monday. —
    The crew of the raft La Balsa have sold their story, log and pictures to John Fairfax and Sons Ltd and the Herald and Weekly Times Ltd.
    They made the deal after considering offers from British, American and other Australian newspapers and magazines.

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  30. La Balsa lands at last
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Friday 13 November 1970 p 7 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Thursday. — Rockets curved into the sky this afternoon as the raft La Balsa finally 171 words
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    2016-12-29 16:44:47.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Friday 13 November 1970, page 7 La Balsa lands at last BRISBANE, Thursday. — Rockets curved into the sky this afternoon as the raft La Balsa finally touched land after her trans-Pacific voyage. La Balsa came alongside the container terminal at Newstead and was lifted on to a truck. Her four-man crew aboard, La Balsa had been towed up the Brisbane River to a welcome surpassed only by that for the Royal yacht Britannia. Thousands lined both sides of the river. Near the end of the trip, Captain Alsar had the tow cast off and the crew hoisted the sail to fulfil a promise they made to themselves when they left Ecuador, that they would sail the last half-mile to land. The 12-ton raft was lifted from the river by two mobile cranes on to a cradle. Tonight it was being pre-pared for fumigation before going on display for a week, after which it will be sent by road to Sydney. Captain Alsar's story will be published in the Sydney Sun-Herald and the Sun, daily from Sydney.

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  31. La Balsa goes on air
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 14 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: BRISBANE, Friday. — Captain Vital Alsar of the raft La Balsa spent nearly an hour today 125 words
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    2017-08-12 08:09:52.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Saturday 14 November 1970, page 3

    La Balsa goes on

    air

    BRISBANE, Friday. — Captain Vital Alsar of the raft La Balsa spent nearly an hour today talking by shortwave radio to amateur operators in several countries who helped maintain communications with his craft during its Pacific

    voyage.

    Earlier the four mariners received a message from the President of Ecuador, Mr Ibarra, congratulating them on their "great, historical"

    feat.

    Captain Alsar called up his "faithful" overseas ham operators on a powerful short-wave set at the Brisbane home of Mr Keith Schleicher, one of the first Australian hams to speak to the raft off the Queensland

    coast.

    He spoke to Ecuadorian, Mexican, Canadian and New

    Zealand hams.

    The raft will go on display at Mt Gravatt tomorrow.

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  32. IN BRIEF Mimosa II on its way
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 16 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: Mimosa II, the new ferry for Lake Burley Griffin, is expected to reach Canberra late 468 words
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    2017-06-21 08:21:43.0

    La Balsa
    BRISBANE, Sunday. —
    The raft, La Balsa, attracted thousands of people at the weekend to a shopping centre in the suburb of Mt Gravatt where it is on display, before going to Sydney on Saturday.

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  33. IN BRIEF Alarm over haircuts rise
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Tuesday 17 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: SYDNEY, Monday.— The NSW secretary of the Hairdressers and Wigmakers Union, Mr J. 579 words
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    2017-06-21 08:23:00.0

    Raft stinks
    BRISBANE, Monday. —
    The raft La Balsa, which is on display at a Brisbane shopping centre, has been seen by an estimated 65,000 people in the past three days. They have also smelt it. The very distinctive odour emanating from the raft has been attributed to dying marine growth on the logs. The La Balsa crew will leave Brisbane for Melbourne tomorrow.

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  34. IN BRIEF 'Sunday' report soon
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Wednesday 18 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: The Joint Committee on the ACT is expected to present its report on the Sunday Observance Inquiry 603 words
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    La Balsa MELBOURNE, Tuesday. -- More than 200 people greeted the four-man crew of the La Balsa at Essendon Airport this afternoon. The crew will be in Melbourne until Friday.

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  35. FROM ECUADOR TO MOOLOOLABA Raft La Balsa ends its five-month voyage
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 25 November 1970 p 8 Article Illustrated
    663 words
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  36. Raft on show
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Monday 30 November 1970 p 3 Article
    Abstract: SYDNEY, Sunday.—The crowd which Waited to see the raft La Balsa in Hyde Park today saw some 54 words
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    2017-06-21 08:24:41.0

    Raft on show
    SYDNEY, Sunday—The crowd which waited to see the raft La Balsa in Hyde Park today saw some marine growth on its underside and little else. Only about 1,000 turned out to see the raft, which arrived in Australia recently after an 8,564-mile drift across the Pacific from South America.

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  37. LETTER BOX
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 23 December 1970 p 41 Article Illustrated
    508 words
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    2016-12-29 16:46:26.0

    Not packaged IT was a humid Brisbane morning and we were excitedly inspecting the raft La Balsa, on display after the historic Pacific crossing. Pungent, fishy odors rose in the steamy atmosphere, causing several women in the huge crowd to cover their noses with handkerchiefs. Everyone within hearing distance of our family grinned when our just teenage daughter commented, "It's not a hoax, Mum. You can't get a smell like THAT in a spray can!" $2 to Mrs. N. L. Hall, Mount Gravatt, Qld.

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  38. Crew gone
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 2 January 1971 p 3 Article
    Abstract: SYDNEY, Friday.—The last of the La Balsa crewmen, Norman Tetrault, 27, of Canada, left Australia 23 words
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    Crew gone SYDNEY, Friday. — The last of the La Balsa crew men, Norman Tetrault, 27, of Canada, left Australia-to day for Montreal.

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  39. THEY CALLED IT NOLA'S ARK When a man insists on using his wealth for adventures on rafts, there's one big thing the practical-minded wife can do to help, and that is make them comf...
    The Australian Women's Weekly (1933 - 1982) Wednesday 20 January 1971 p 4 Article Illustrated
    2110 words
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    2016-12-29 16:50:10.0

    Another sailor on a raft

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  40. World features America celebrates Columbus's discovery | Voyage to Europe coincides with South American expedition
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Wednesday 23 September 1987 p 6 Article Illustrated
    Abstract: AS AUSTRALIA marks its 200th anniversary of settlement with dramatic sea voyages, so too is America 657 words
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    2016-12-30 09:05:01.0

    Vital Alsar

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  41. Web page: Pacific Challenge
    http://cinemacanada.athabascau.ca/index.php/cinema/article/viewFile/652/724
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    2016-12-30 09:53:28.0

    Document with photos

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  42. Sign accompanying the foot imprints of the La Balsa Crew, La Balsa Park, Harbour Parade, Buddina, 2013
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    Sign accompanying the foot imprints of the La Balsa Crew, La Balsa Park, Harbour Parade, Buddina, 2013
  43. Foot prints of the four La Balsa crew imprinted in concrete at La Balsa Park, Harbour Parade, Buddina, 2013
    Unknown
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    Foot prints of the four La Balsa crew imprinted in concrete at La Balsa Park, Harbour Parade, Buddina, 2013
  44. Web page: Interview with Mike Fitzgibbons of Las Balsas
    http://thescuttlefish.com/2014/03/life-in-salt-an-interview-with-mike-fitzgibbons-of-las-balsas-the-longest-known-raft-trip-in-history/
    Web page
  45. WORLD NEWS EXPEDITION Wood and cane rafts drift off course
    The Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995) Saturday 17 November 1973 p 4 Article
    Abstract: GUAYAQUIL, Ecuador, Friday (AAP-Reuter). — Three rafts trying to reach 'Australia 225 words
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    2018-08-26 10:54:39.0

    Canberra Times (ACT : 1926 - 1995), Saturday 17 November 1973, page 4 WORLD NEWS EXPEDITION Wood and cane rafts drift off course GUAYAQUIL, Ecua-dor, Friday (AAP-Reu-ter). — Three rafts try-ing to reach Australia from Ecuador are being swept southwards by strong winds and may have to be taken in tow, according to radio re-ports. The rafts, are participat-ing in the Huancavilca Expedition, an attempt to prove that pre-Columbian Huancavilca inhabitants of Ecuador navigated the Pacific and reached Poly-nesia in similar craft. Mr Vital Alsar, 38, the Spanish leader of the 12 man expedition, was quoted as saying the rafts were being driven directly south instead of south west and would miss their target, Mooloolaba Beach north of Brisbane, if they were unable to right their course. Mr Alsar was speaking to an Australian radio ham and the conversation was picked up by an Ecuadorean radio ham. He said the Australian had asked whether Mr Alsar wanted to be taken in tow by tugboats, but the Spaniard said he would make further efforts to correct the rafts' course before giving a final answer. Apart from Mr Alsar, the expedition in-cludes a Mexican, two Chileans, three Americans, three Canadians, a French-man and an Ecuadorean. The rafts are 35ft long and made entirely of logs and cane, with no metal attachments, an attempt to copy exactly the ancient Huancavilca craft.

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