Jul 5, 2018

Okeanos Marianas arrives at Satawal

On July 5th, Okeanos Marianas arrived at the sacred island of Satawal, the island where Captain Cecilio Raiukiulipiy was born and raised.

Quote from watch captain Andrea Carr’s most recent email: “The community of Penga helped in the morning to unload cargo that we had for the island. Chief Leo of Satawal is in charge of distributing goods to all the island people. We are very happy for this. Many people from the CNMI donated goods. We, the crew, also brought quite a contribution. We will keep you updated on the discussion about the Okeanos Vaka Motu that is intended for Yap. Chief told us this morning that he is planning to talk to his people about this and what it means for them and the neighboring islands.”

Okeanos Marianas brings donated rice to Satawal.

A few days before they stopped at the island of Gaferut. They had been voyaging there using traditional navigation following the wind, waves, stars, seabirds and whales. Other members of the crew on this trip, besides Cecilio and watch captain Andrea, are Leo C. Pangelinan, Scottie Prince Suzuki, Cecilia K. Selepeo (all Okeanos Marianas) and Steve Holloway (Okeanos Foundation USA).

Okeanos Marianas crew members Scottie Prince Suzuki and Cecilia K. Selepeo, picture by Daniel Lin

Here is the crew report from 3 July 2018:

Good morning from the Okeanos Marianas crew!

We have reached the first island of our voyage! The island is Gaferut, where we are presently anchored. Gaferut is the island where we ask permission from its chief, to enter the islands. The chief is a female coconut crab, a very spiritual being that is not to be disturbed here; of course, not to be eaten. After breakfast, a crew will go out to the island with various offerings for the chief. We will also have an anchor watch at all times.

Now, there are many birds, flying and singing to us above the Vaka. It is cheerful with their presence. When we were about 120NM from the island, we began to see birds that nest on the islands. We also saw a pod of whales about 60NM out. Although the weather gave us lots of rain, we are all in good spirits from the friendly animals of the sea.

Cheers from Gaferut!  (Andrea Carr, Watch Captain and Team Lead, 3 July 2018)

This is an aerial photo of Gaferut which is home to an abundance of birds and wildlife and no people…