From the New Zealand Herald: Insights into original explorers.
A replica 3000-year-old Pacific canoe, modelled on the world’s first ocean-going vessels, has been tested in a world-leading Auckland wind tunnel.
Preliminary results show the canoes of the type sailed from New Guinea to Fiji, Tonga and Samoa about 1000BC were so well designed they could probably sail against the wind. (…)
The project, a joint venture between the university’s engineering and archaeology departments, was set up to end a long-running debate: whether the first ocean explorers depended on luck or design to get to their destinations. [continue]
The obvious answer: both luck and intelligent design by experienced coastal fishers, island hopping traders and eventually seafarers, refining the design by experience and imagination.