Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Tonga Expedition Trip

I'm going to be changing the name of my blog to A Singaporean in Tonga to document my 6 month trip with the boat ICE - its captain Don McIntyre, Jane Chou, Paul Brown,

The purpose of the expedition is to search for sunken ships from the 16th century in Tonga. Centuries ago, when Spain was a mighty empire - the Spanish Empire used to sail its ships from Latin America filled with gold and silver that its soldiers took from the Incas and South Americans to Asia to trade for silk, spices, porcelain, etc.. The profit on these voyages were tremendous - over 4000%. Back in those days, simple household goods like nutmeg, cloves were worth more than their weight in gold.

Some of the ships would sail pass Tonga in the South Pacific to "refuel" - they depended entirely on wind to cross the vast ocean. And the trade winds would take them to isolated islands in the pacific like Tonga where they would restock food, water and even wood to repair their ships. Apparently 10% of the trade ships would pass through Tongan waters. Some of them never made it and sank.

We hope to uncover some of these ships.

The photo below was taken at Fiji where our boat is currently docked.

No comments: