Circumnavigation of New Guinea by Canoe

An arduous, magical and historical odyssey. 6300km of high seas, remote coastlines and strange encounters.

Back on August 30th of 2016, Danish adventurer Thor F. Jensen and three Papua New Guinean companions, Job Siyae, Justin John and Sanakoli John, set off in a traditional local sailing canoe in an attempt to fully circumnavigate the island of New Guinea.

Covering 785,753 square kilometers, New Guinea is the second largest island on earth and their journey would take them through areas seldom seen by outsiders. Starting in Milne Bay on the Papua New Guinea side of the island, they hoped to both raise awareness of tourism opportunities in the country and to demonstrate what the traditional sailing canoe was capable of.

During the journey they struggled to sustain themselves by catching fish, battled with brutal weather, stormy seas and rumors of pirates. The expedition took almost 14 months and covered 6,300 km, with the crew eventually returning to their starting point in Milne Bay on October 20th of this year.

Thor believes the expedition to be the world’s first circumnavigation of the island by traditional canoe and his journey highlights a seldom visited area of the world, as well as the skills of Melanesian sailors and craftsmen. You can read more about their journey on his website here.