A remarkable story will unfold on the screen with a globe spanning documentary and a local connection. ‘Las Balsas’ is the story of a trio of teams who defied the odds to prove an anthropological and historical concept. The documentary will screen the evening of Saturday, June 22 and the afternoon of Sunday, June 23.  

‘La Balsas’ chronicles the world’s longest raft expedition which started in Ecuador and followed the Humboldt Current southward in the Atlantic eventually ending in Australia. 

Greg Holden was one of the crew members and videographers on the six-month journey. Greg will attend the screenings and will be on hand to answer questions following the screening. 

 His sister, well-known Humboldt-based artist Karen Holden, talks about the documentary. 

 “The voyage involves twelve men from different countries, and they build three balsa wood rafts in Ecuador. They harpooned fish for food and never touch land for six months.” 

The rafts were built in a similar fashion to what they would have been during the initial excursion of Ecuadorian native peoples and was designed to demonstrate that such travel and oceanic migration was possible.  

A studio based in Hollywood, in conjunction with National Geographic, took an interest in the 1975 voyage and committed to the documentary. Karen Holden says while the production crew did not attend the rafts for the entire trip, Greg served as one of the photographers helping to preserve the experience.  

A small museum in Belina. Australia houses one of the rafts that made the trip along with information and artifacts.  

Greg Holden received a call from a producer affiliated with noted biologist and historian David Attenborough about a follow-up documentary on the trip given the fifty-year time span and the remarkable story given the lack of current technology when the original trip took place.  

The screenings are free and are based on seating availability. The event will take place in the upper loft of the Ford family barn located 6 km west of Humboldt on Highway 5. For more information or to RSVP for a spot at the screenings, click here.