ARRIVAL: The late Robert Perry, of Ballina, took this photo of one of the Las Balsas rafts arriving in Ballina on November 21, 1973.
ARRIVAL: The late Robert Perry, of Ballina, took this photo of one of the Las Balsas rafts arriving in Ballina on November 21, 1973. Contributed

Raft interest grows

THE recent publicity about the Las Balsas raft expedition has been a boon for the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum.

Ron Creber, curator of the museum where an amalgamation of the surviving two rafts which arrived in Ballina in 1973 is on show, said the publicity had generated a noticeable increase in the number of local people visiting the museum.

When Gabriel Salas, one of the 12 crew members who made that 178-day voyage on three rafts from Ecuador to Ballina, visited town last week, he said he was disappointed there were people in Ballina who had never heard of the raft expedition. This year marks the 40th anniversary of the arrival of the Las Balsas expedition to Ballina.

The Friends of the Las Balsas group - a Facebook page has been launched - are working on plans for an anniversary event in November, and Mr Salas has indicated he would like to return to town for that.

The Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum is located in Regatta Ave, behind the Ballina Visitor Information Centre.

It is open from 10am to 4pm, seven days a week.

The monthly meeting of the Ballina Naval and Maritime Museum will be held at 10am on Wednesday, March 27, at the museum. Apologies to the secretary on 6686 2611.


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