Arrival of F.S.M. voyaging canoe delayed

By Alexander Rheeney 29 September 2022, 9:00PM

The change in the wind direction across the Pacific has pushed back the arrival time in Samoa of the Okeanos Waa'Qab voyaging canoe from the Federated States of Micronesia.

The Okeanos Waa'Qab is now expected to arrive in Samoa in the middle of next week or the end of next week, said Memea Lyvia Black, who is the Samoa Voyaging Society (S.V.S.) President. 

Meme said in an emailed update that the winds have "dropped dramatically" and being a traditional sailing canoe, it is very much wind dependent and steered by a massive sized "foe".  

"It means their expected arrival this weekend has now been rescheduled to next week. The voyaging canoe is under the guidance of Okeanos Captain Jerry Joseph, with a crew of seven," she added. 

According to a post on the Cook Island Te Puna Marama Voyaging Society Facebook page, Captain Jerry grew up on the island of Satawal, Micronesia, learning traditional navigation from his grandfather, renowned grandmaster navigator Mau Piailug.

His grandfather Pius Piailug, who later became known as Mau by the Hawai’ians, is from Satawal in the F.S.M. "Papa Mau" as he became known in voyaging community, was the grandmaster of traditional voyaging navigation, who taught the mainly Hawai'ian crew of voyaging canoe Hokule'a to sail from Hawai'i to Tahiti by traditional navigation in May 1976.  

The Okeanos Waa'Qab, the double hulled voyaging canoe, left Yap in the F.S.M. on 1 September 2022. The 15 metre by 6.2 metre canoe made a brief stop in Pohnpei, before it departed for this leg of the journey on 10 September.

The mixed international crew of seven include Micronesians, Cook Islanders, a Maori Aotearoa voyagers are in high spirits and taking guesses of their anticipated arrival date in Apia, Samoa. 

Aiga Folau extends a Fa'afetai tele to Transam Samoa for taking care of the arrival formalities for the Okeanos Waa'Qab.  

"Likewise we thank Samoa Ports Authority, Samoa Tourism Authority, our Government Ministries as well as Customs and Immigration for their prompt professional service to our enquiries," said Memea.

She added that Aiga Folau (Samoa Voyaging Society) encourages our people, especially youth groups to become involved and learn our ancestral traditional voyaging navigation. 

"It is a character building skill, that teaches us sustainable lifestyles," Memea said. "O se tomai fa'a'auro lenei a o tatou Tua'ā o aso anamua, aua ne’i tatou  fa'atamala ma manatu mama iai. 

"O folauga sa "tagata " ai Samoa.  O tagata Samoa, o tagata folau o le Pasefika. O se tasi lenei o measina a Samoa. Aua ne’i tatou faagaloina."

The Vaka Motu Okeanos Waa’Qab departed Pohnpei on the morning of 10 September after a three day stopover. Okeanos Waaqab and crew of five made a 17-day voyage from Yap to Pohnpei in the F.S.M. before stopping off for a crew change and to reprovision for the 3,000 nautical miles voyage to Rarotonga, which is estimated to take up to one month.  The vaka will make one stop in Samoa before making its final journey to Cook Islands.

By Alexander Rheeney 29 September 2022, 9:00PM
Samoa Observer

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