Mankind took its first steps toward conquering vast seas 9 long time ago. Although the first steps he took were mere baby steps. The earliest form of water transportation is thought to be dugout canoes. These were developed independently in different parts around the world. A dugout canoe is a boat made from a tree trunk. These simple forms were used for short distance transportation of small numbers of people and fishing. Although these canoes made crossing bodies of water possible, they may not have been good enough to transport masses of people to distant lands. There is one theory however, that explains the habitation of Australia about 45,000 years ago which may prove that seaworthy boats existed as early as 45,000 years ago.
Sail boats started the Age of Navigation. Humankind started to rely on wind power to carry masses of people around. It was during this period that great discoveries and inventions were made. The Greek invented the astrolabe which was later developed by Islamic astronomers, and then the Chinese revolutionized sea transportation by discovering the concept of true north.