Sep 19, 2016

Arohanui Duncan

written by Tina Baumgartner
in category Uncategorized

This special newsletter is dedicated to our friend, captain and brother Duncan Morrison who sadly lost his short battle with cancer this Sunday morning. Our deepest condolences and best wishes go to his wife Anna, and his family.


In 2010, Okeanos began working with voyaging societies across the Pacific to develop and build a fleet of seven traditionally designed, fossil fuel free double masted Vaka Moanas, representing ten island nations. These vakas commenced their international voyage ‘Te Mana O Te Moana’ (The Spirit of the Ocean) in April 2011, and Duncan joined the challenge right from the beginning as a captain on one of these canoes. Over the course of two years, Duncan – together with more than a hundred sailors from across the Pacific and some from Europe – navigated from Aotearoa to Hawai’i to the US West Coast with a historic arrival at San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in August 2011.

Their journey home began January 2012 with stops at Cocos Islands, Galapagos, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu concluding at the Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands, August 2012. Collectively Duncan and the crew safely sailed 210,000 nautical miles of open ocean and showed the world the great power and potential of the vaka, spreading the message of  conservation, raising awareness for our oceans, and reviving the cultural traditions of ocean voyaging.

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Duncan who has captained Marumaru Atua, Haunui and Faafaite te Ao Mohi contributed to the voyage’s success in many ways – with his excellent sailing skills, team spirit and high reliability. In addition, as most of you will know, Duncan was a great poet and writer. The most beautiful and touching voyage blogs were written by him – poetic, funny and witty recaps of his experiences on board and on land, often accompanied by thought-provoking impulses. With this newsletter we want to share some of his voyage blogs with you and hope they might offer all who knew and loved Duncan a little comfort and some fond memories of him.

Duncan will be greatly missed by all who participated in the ‘Te Mana o Te Moana’ voyage, the whole team of Okeanos and the many people throughout the world who were lucky enough to have met him.

Rest in peace and love, Duncan. You will always be in our hearts and thoughts.

Dieter and the team of Okeanos


If you have not read Duncan’s book, it is available on Amazon (Kindle only): Hope or High Water: The voyage of a lifetime and a model for our future