| Ocean Today. The ocean shows us the way - :15790 | Education and Outreach | National Ocean Service (NOS)
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Ocean Today. The ocean shows us the way
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Ocean Today. The ocean shows us the way
  • Corporate Authors:
    United States, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration., Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, ; University of Hawaii at Manoa, Sea Grant College Program, ; Wenner-Gren Foundation for Anthropological Research ; ... More ▼
  • Description:
    The video is part of the Ocean Today educational video collection (sub-collection: Exploration). It has open captions and can be viewed in regular (640 x 36) or high resolution (1280 x 720). Video's transcript : "Hundreds of years ago, Pacific Islanders used voyaging canoes to travel. They developed navigation techniques to steer across the ocean without instruments or charts. The Marshall Islands is a nation in the western Pacific. The land is formed from low-lying coral atolls and islands. Western researchers have studied Marshallese canoe construction and navigation techniques, including their unique understanding of wave patterns. As deep ocean swells strike islands, some of the wave energy reflects back to the ocean. As swells pass by an island, some of the wave energy bends, or refracts, to create a crossing wave pattern. Wave refraction patterns are visible in this satellite image. The crossing wave patterns extend miles past the island, which show the navigator the direction and distance toward land. Marshallese navigators model the wave patterns by creating designs of symmetric lines and curves. These devices, commonly called "stick charts," are used to prepare for a voyage and to teach students. Modern science is just now beginning to understand and appreciate the traditional Marshallese navigation techniques. With only a few surviving master navigators, it is crucial to pass on this knowledge to their children so this unique maritime heritage will not be lost forever. Learn more about indigenous Pacific cultures and navigation in the Ocean Hall gallery, 'Going to Sea'."

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