Vital Alsar

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Vital Alsar
Born Vital Alsar Ramírez
(1933-08-07) August 7, 1933 (age 83)
Santander, Cantabria, Spain
Residence Veracruz, Mexico
Nationality Spaniard
Occupation Explorer
Years active 1966 – present
Known for Crossing the Pacific Ocean by raft

Vital Alsar Ramírez was born on August 7, 1933, in "Calle Alta" in Santander, Cantabria, Spain.

His entire life has been linked to nature and the sea. He became professor of economics, although he never acted as such.

During his Military service in Morocco, Alsar read a book about the Kon-Tiki, the expedition that Thor Heyerdahl conducted a balsa raft on the Pacific. Reading this account led to his interest in duplicating the feat, to sailing 3,770 nautical miles (4,340 miles).

After his military service, he lived in France, Stuttgart, Hamburg, and Canada. It was in Canada where he met Marc Modena, who would be his traveling companion.


Ecuador to Australia by raft[edit]

Between 1966 and 1973, Alsar led three expeditions by raft across the Pacific Ocean, from Ecuador and Australia. The first expedition failed, but the second and third succeeded, both setting the record for the longest known raft voyages in history - 8,600 miles (13,800 km) and 9,000 miles (14,000 km). The first took place in 1966, using a simple raft, La Pacífica. The voyage was cut short by damage caused by teredo worms in the wood of his raft, which sank after 143 days - Alsar being rescued by a German ship. A second attempt in 1970 on a new raft, La Balsa, successful, and reaching Mooloolaba after 161 days and 8,565 miles (13,784 km).[1] A third voyage in 1972 featured three rafts. They reached the coast of Ballina, Australia after 179 days at sea (one of the three floundering in Australian waters).[2][3]

Mexico-Spain-Mexico, Mar, hombre y paz[edit]

Galeones used by Vital Alsar in the peninsula of Magdalena, in Santander.

Vital later replaced the rafts with galleons to carry out the project "Mar, hombre y paz", which was begun in 1980. This expedition took the trapo blanco (white rag), around the world on board the La Marigalante.[4]


Forthcoming expeditions[edit]

Alsar currently resides in Veracruz, Mexico, and spends his time with his grandchildren and profiling a new project that aims to unite all of the marine world. The new project is called "El Niño, La Mar y La Paz" (The boy, the Sea and The peace). It consists of carrying a child and thirteen crew aboard a trimaran named Itzamna (the Mayan god of knowledge). It set sail in 2009 from the Mexican island Cozumel. At each of the 27 ports it will be visited to deliver a message of peace to the world and make a tribute to all mariners in history.

The Cantabrian navigator Vital Alsar, aboard the Trimaran Zamná - God of the arts and the knowledge- is in the heat of transatlantic passage that left from the island of Cozumel, in the Mexican Caribbean, and will finalize in the Port of Pireo in Greece. They will be 15,000 nautical miles (28,000 km) those that it will confront, to its 75 years, the adventurous veteran, moved with the eagerness to transfer to the world a message of peace of the American indigenous towns. They will be 27 ports by which the ship saturates through its day's work. The operative center is located in the city of Santander, Spain and the arrival to its beautiful bay for next the 27 of September is expected.

The nobody best one than own the Vital Alsar so that it sets out the essence to us of this new adventure: “I come to give the "marine tin" with this new trip that, like that I have undertaken, they try to take a little romance, science, culture, history and, mainly, peace”. There is no storm that restrains the Cantabrian men... " I have never seen anything else than war throughout my life". For that reason the challenge has seted out “to see wave the flag of The peace, if not in the masts, at least in the hearts of people”.

In the operative center the special station EH1PAZ (PAZ mean PEACE) has been qualified that will make the pursuit daily of the boat. This special station will be operative in the HF bands the time that lasts the entrusted pursuit.[6]


He has received numerous awards for his career, most notably from the Spanish Geographical Society, or the Adena International, of the Society for the Protection of Nature. The latter is represented by a "Golden Dolphin" by Salvador Dalí, which he shared with Philippe Cousteau.


  1. ^ Kavanagh, L (April 4, 1991). "Pursuit Of Happiness Fulfilled In Hinterland". Courier-Mail, archived at LexisNexis. Brisbane, Australia: Nationwide News Pty. Retrieved July 12, 2010. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ Allen, Peter (November 29, 1987). "Ballina, Lismore: Our Fabulous Coast". The Sun Herald, archived at LexisNexis. Sydney, Australia: John Fairfax Publications Pty. Retrieved July 12, 2010. (Subscription required (help)). 
  3. ^ Eoghan Macguire, "Sharks, Dali and Waltzing Matilda: Explorer recalls epic raft journey", CNN, February 14, 2014. Retrieved April 20, 2014
  4. ^ Staff (September 30, 1987). "Santa Maria Replica Sets Sail For Europe". Journal of Commerce, archived at LexisNexis. New York: UBM Global Trade. Retrieved July 12, 2010. (Subscription required (help)). 
  5. ^ Rothar, Larry (August 31, 1987). "Alvarado Journal: Spain Ahoy! Reborn Columbus Ship Heads Back". New York Times, archived at LexisNexis. The New York Times Company. Retrieved July 12, 2010. (Subscription required (help)). 
  6. ^ "The Boat Zamná will take the Banner of Peace around the World". The International Committee for the Banner of Peace. Retrieved July 12, 2010.