Pictured is Lisa Sharpe, local photographer, with the rafts in the background 40 years ago.
Photo: Contributed by Anne Sharpe
Pictured is Lisa Sharpe, local photographer, with the rafts in the background 40 years ago. Photo: Contributed by Anne Sharpe

Today marks 40 years since Las Balsas left Ecuador

TODAY marks 40 years since the three Las Balsas rafts left Ecuador on their way to Australia, and thousands of well wishers lined the port of Guayaquil.

The rafts eventually landed in Ballina in November 1973 after a non stop journey with no loss of life.

Their journey, the longest raft trip ever, is an important part of maritime history and preparations are now under way for celebrations to mark the anniversary of their arrival.

One of the original rafts, Aztlán, remains in the Maritime Museum in Ballina.

Interview with Las Balsas navigator Gabriel Salas: Gabriel Salas was a navigator on one of the Las Balsas rafts which sailed from South America to Ballina in 1973.
Interview with Las Balsas navigator Gabriel Salas: Gabriel Salas was a navigator on one of the Las Balsas rafts which sailed from South America to Ballina in 1973.