Arorae Island

Island Arorae

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Areorae - Republic of Kiribati

The Arorae is the most southern island of the Kiribati group. The rocks, or better said reef plates, are situated on the most southern island of the Kiribati group. This is one of the clearer reasons for this intriguing phenomenon: "When I went to the Gilbert Islands in M.V. Tulagi in 1956, I learned about some arorae island reefs used for early canoeing.

Locals named them "Te Atibu-ni-Borau" (the rocks for travelling), but they had no legend of their origin or use. It turned out to be a shallow plate of corals that were placed at the rim and cobbled around the ground. The tombstones were like gravestones, but had no inscription except the most recent initial inscriptions.

These rocks pointed in almost all direction and should show the way to the different neighboring isles of the Gilberts. The Arorae is about 5 nautical leagues long and less than a nautical leagues broad and points southeast into the Tradewind. On the other end is a long sandy tongue that has spread over the ages because it is the leeward side of the island.

It is the location of the navigational rocks, which are eight or nine in all. Many other shallow rocks exist on the island, but they are landmarks for cocos. When we arrived at the rocks, we came to the first one, which was the biggest of all and only seemed to be marking the entry to the corner.

Then the other eight bricks were pointing in five different ways. It was about 100 meters from the shore and about 200 meters from the top of the island. Due to the existence of various indigenous cottages and the flora of palm trees and some shrubs, it was not possible to see the ocean from the rocks.

At this point I could not see how you could navigate with it over the open ocean to other isles. I' ve displayed the bearing on a map and found that four of the direction point to the three closest isles, with a five degree fixed ecc. The other two were on both sides of the next island, 52mph.

The use of the navigation blocks took several month to work out. Eventually I came to the following conclusions: When the direction to the nearest island was connected to certain star shapes and every hours of the nights at a certain season by trying them out over many years, some brilliant teachers came up with the concept of making the rocks permanently sailable.

Then in the afternoons, selected for the descent, the kayak is started at the jetty, circumnavigated around the top of the island and hoisted in a line with the right rock or couple of shales. Since these were barely to be seen from a secure position beyond the crushers, a brief light must have been placed from the rocks to line them up and bring them directly to the rear as the boat made its descent.

When the island was no longer visible, the star appeared and were used allight. Arorae's journeys took a little more than 12 hrs, so that at sunrise an imprint would search the skyline for the destination island.

Exactly one of the rocks pointed to the north-east, in which way there was no island for 1,000 mile. Though the rocks that are so far from the ocean may have been at the tip of the island, the extent of the island over the course of the ages has kept them out of view of the se.

They are actually just reef corals with low sandbanks, up to 12 ft above sealevel. The canoeing is 75 ft. so that the island can only be seen from a mast up to ten mile. I have described a navigational technique that would not be more than 100 nautical mile, unless your destination was a long vulcanic or a long string of lowlands.

There' s no proof that the Micronesians could verify their degree of latitude, and therefore we must presume that all their long journeys, up to 2,000 and 3,000 mile, were random or experiential, as Captain Cook was compelled to close. "A fisherman from Arorae.

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