From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Acali was a raft which was used in the Acali Expedition or Acali Experiment.[1] The raft had a complement of eleven people: five men and six women. It left Las Palmas, Spain on 12 May 1973 and took 101 days to drift across the Atlantic Ocean and reach Cozumel, Mexico, with a single stopover in Barbados. The experiment was conceived by Mexican anthropologist Santiago Genovés (who had previously been a crew member of Thor Heyerdahl's Ra expedition) to investigate interpersonal relationships in conditions of limited space and social isolation.[2][3][4]

The raft[edit]

The name of the raft, Acali, comes from a Nahuatl language and means "the house on the water".[5][6]

The raft was built specifically for the experiment. It had a steel hull and dimensions of 12m x 7m. The cabin measured 4m x 3.9m in area and 1.4m in height. It was designed by José Antonio Mandri and Colin Mudie, and built in Newcastle, UK.[7]


  • Santiago Genovés Tarazaga (47 years old male), Mexican anthropologist who devised the experiment.
  • José María Montero Pérez (34 years old male), Uruguayan anthropologist and former student of Genovés.
  • Servante Zanotti (32 years old female), French, responsible for conducting a study on pollution, scuba diver.
  • Charles Anthony (37 years old male), Greek Cypriot, radio operator.
  • Rachida Mazani (23 years old female), Algerian, responsible for conducting a study on pollution.
  • Mary Gydley (36 years old female), American, with some knowledge of navigation.
  • Fe Evangelina Seymor (23 years old female), American, radio operator.
  • María Bjornstan (30 years old female), captain of the expedition, Swedish.
  • Edna Jonas (32 years old female), a Czechoslovak resident in Israel, doctor.
  • Bernardo Bongo (29 years old male), Angolan priest.
  • Eisuki Yamaki (29 years old male), Japanese, cameraman.


  1. ^ Storyville: The Raft, BBC4, 2 Jun 2019
  2. ^ The Acali Experiment: Five Men And Six Women On A Raft Across The Atlantic For 101 Days, by Santiago Genoves
  3. ^ Jeffries, Stuart (14 Jan 2019). "Mutiny on the Sex Raft: how a 70s science project descended into violent chaos". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  4. ^ Mangan, Lucy (2 June 2019). "Storyville: The Raft review – almost too deliciously ludicrous to be true". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2 June 2019.
  5. ^ Balsa Acali: 100 días de convivencia en el mar
  6. ^ "New Transdisciplinary Visualities As an Alternative to Redistribute the Power of Thought", by Maris Bustamante, Social Justice 2006, 33(2), 165-170
  7. ^ Experimento Acali: Viaje a las entrañas de la violencia