The Okeanos Marianas arrived on Yap at 0945 Wednesday morning in Yap harbor after a sail from Guam’s Smiling Cove Marina that began last Friday morning. Traditional canoes greeted the craft with coconuts and leis as the conch shell was blown to signal their arrival and welcome them.
This will be the first time that a canoe sailing from the CNMI–by way of Guam–has participated in Yap’s Canoe Summit and Festival, which will take place on December 7th, 8th and 9th. It’s all part of the Pacific-wide revival of ocean going traditional canoes which continues to grow as knowledge is shared and more and more canoes take to the ocean.
The Okeanos Marianas and the 500 Sails organization will represent the CNMI at the festival.
Okeanos Marianas will soon be registered as a commercial vessel in the CNMI. Its operation is supported by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea for the purpose of transporting people and cargo between Saipan and neighboring islands in the Northern Marianas. Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport Ltd was founded by Emma Perez, Managing Director; Ray Tebuteb, Operations Director; and Pete Perez, member Board of Directors in conjunction with the Okeanos Foundation.
The Okeanos Foundation for the Sea is dedicated to facilitating sustainable, fossil fuel-free sea transportation by building traditional Polynesian canoes or Vaka Motus, and applying modern materials to traditional boat-building techniques. Okeanos’ Vaka Motus are internationally certified for open ocean commercial use and equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines. Okeanos Foundations helps to establish local, community-led businessed that generates revenue for their communities while restoring indigenous maritime traditions.
By Joyce McClure and Pacific Island Times Staff for Pacific Island Times, 6 December 2017