September 30 – October 3, 2013 – At sea, en route to the Marshall Islands
Very pleasant days and nights, sailing smoothly southeast toward the Marshall Islands – beautiful, balmy weather in the middle of the Pacific. Hundreds of miles from the nearest land.
1125 nautical miles from Hawaii, 590 nautical miles to Majuro, Marshall Islands.
I have mentioned in previous blogs how much we enjoy the lecturers on these voyages. We attended a lecture on the origin of the peoples of this area, a subject which I have long been curious about and in which I have an interest. This area of the Pacific is divided roughly into three general areas, Micronesia, Melanesia, and Polynesia. We have traveled through this area of the world twice before, and I had been curious about the differences in the people, the languages, and the customs. Unlike the Caribbean, where these things were strongly influenced by the colonial powers owning the islands, these differences seemed to be more inherent, more indigenous. The lecturer, Joseph Kess, a former professor of Asian and Pacific Island cultures, cleared much of this up.
There were apparently two broad waves of migration to this area, the first by darker skinned peoples who settled the areas of New Guinea and Fiji, now known as Melanesia, plus Australia, where their descendants are the Aborigines of Australia. The second broad wave of migration was lighter skinned peoples, settling the areas now known as Micronesia and Polynesia. Micronesia so named because it is made up of mostly very small islands and Polynesia so named because of the large number of islands.
The Polynesian area, which most of us are more familiar with, is often called the Polynesian triangle, and extends from New Zealand to Hawaii to Easter Island. Anyone who has visited these places has surely noticed the typical Polynesian men, from the Maori’s in New Zealand, to the Samoans, to the Hawaiians. There are also an abundance of these guys in the NFL.
We are headed toward Majuro Island, capital of The Marshall Islands, in Micronesia.