Thursday, 11 June 2009

Have Palm Sail Will Travels

TAWAU (Sabah): A 10-man team led by a 60-year-old surgeon from Tokyo left Tawau Yacht Club, Wednesday, to continue their 200-day voyage on two handmade ancient palm tree sailboats to trace the routes taken thousands of years ago.
Prof. Yoshiharu Sekino and his team arrived here, Monday (JUne 8), after sailing 800km from Kampung Lambe, a small fishing hamlet in Sulawesi Island, Indonesia.
The voyage from Southeast Asia along the Black Current is aimed at tracing one of the paths believed taken by ancestors of the Japanese some 3,000 to 10,000 years ago.
The Black Current route was one of the three paths believed to have brought seafaring people from the Sunda Land area, which now includes Indonesia and Malaysia, to the Japanese archipelago.
The team comprising four Japanese and six fishermen from the Indonesian Mandar tribe started their journey on April 30 on the sailboats called Jomon and Pakur. Jomon is seven metres long and could accommodate four people while and Pakur nine meters long and accommodate six people. The sails were made of Palmyra palm leaves woven the traditional way used by Mandar sailors.
Sekino, who is also a professor of anthropology at Musashino Art University, had already explored the two others routes, namely the northern route from Siberia via Sakhalin Island to Hokkaido from July 2004 to August 2005 and then from October 2005 to March 2008, the continental route from the Himalayas via China and the Korean Peninsula to Kyushu.
Sekino said he wanted to explore the origins of their ancestors, whose inheritance could still be found in different places along these routes.
Speaking to the Daily Express before leaving, he expected the 700km journey from here to Kudat, the northern tip of Borneo Island, would take about one month.
They would also stop over in Sipadan, Lahad Datu and Sandakan. "After that, we will sail to Philippines and Taiwan," he said, adding they would travel a total 4,000km.
Sekino said their journey from Sulawesi to Tawau was a bit difficult as the wind direction was inconsistent. As the handmade sailboats fully depend on wind, they spent about 30 per cent of the journey paddling the boats.
"We also sail at night if there is a full moon," he said, adding that so far they had sailed through six nights.
He expected the journey onwards would be much easier as the wind is blowing towards north.
Sekino who took four years to plan the trip said initially it was estimated it would take them three months as they planned to arrive in Naha, Okinawa Japan on July 20. But due to many obstacles, the trip had slowed down by 100 per cent.
It would take them seven months or 200 days to complete the journey. "There are another five months to go," he said, adding they are sailing an average 25km per day.
The team is assisted by Indonesian, Muhammad Ridwan who is escorting them in a motorboat providing foods and drinks.


Anonymous said...

....I am sailing...I am sailing...home again, to be with be free!

Atukoi Aki...check out this website

It tells how Jewish tradition got holed up in Japan and among the indigenous peoples of South East Asia. The Lost Tribes of Israel!

Baby boy.....King Cup!

anuarhashim said...

I can sail with you in another boat , but with one condition . you can not bring in TODI . only coconut drink is allowed. No smoking accept for cooking . ok ka ? Don't have to go to far KK Labuan on a smail sailing with batik made cloth is good enough . So are you ok with the idea .. we just enjoy the ancestors route.

JBingkasan said...

Pak Haji,

soon we will be able to walk to Labuan from Sabah. There is a plan by the government to build a bridge. So Baby Boy and Pak Haji, we will no longer go sailing, no todi but I will have bahar instead.