Bob Hobman


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Sarimanok is the thrilling story of an attempt to cross the Indian Ocean in a 20-metre-long dugout canoe to demonstrate how the Austronesian-speaking people of Madagascar may have colonised their island some 1,500 years before Christ. Characters on the way include cuthroat rebels and pirates, sea gypsies, mystical way-finders, primitive ship builders, people who hunt whales with homemade spears and boats with palm woven sails. It is a story of bold determination, tragedy and triumph; all the elements the sea delivers to those who who enter its realm. But mostly it is a story of a remarkable vessel and the equally remarkable people who sailed it; like the artist Chico Hansen who began another journey before Sarimanok’s had ended. It is to Chico the book is dedicated.