The ‘Fête de la Science’ took place from October 13 to October 15, 2016 in Papeete (French Polynesia). On Wednesday, October 12, our local team – consisting of Okeanos’ Director for French Polynesia Eliane Koller and members of the Tahiti Voyaging Society Fa’afaite – started setting up the Okeanos booth.
On Thursday morning everybody was ready to welcome the many visitors who were interested in getting to know the work of Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport Ltd in Tahiti, the Okeanos Vaka Motu and the upcoming Vaka Hapua. There was a model of the Vaka Hapua at our booth in order to educate visitors about its technology, capabilities and general advantages.
The Hapua is a new boat for transportation within lagoons. It combines the most current and innovative use of the fibreglass with epoxy resin construction process with a solid solar technology and electric power system. It has a wide range of use, including daily inter-island transportation of passengers, shuttle services for tourists between the airport and their hotel, reef excursions, whale watching, sunset tours, dive operation trips, school bus shuttle services, and express cargo operation.
The Vaka Hapua will be able to ferry 20 passengers and two crew members with luggage and little cargo and is now in the development stage.
There was a lot of interest in both vessels during these three days and a lot of prominent visitors at our booth such as Tahiti’s Minister of Culture and Environment Heremoana Maamaahuaiatutapu and Nicole Sanquer, Minister of Education.
Overall our booth also attracted a total of over 4000 kids and teenagers in two days which was a big joy for everybody. Lots of questions were raised and answered – from the very smallest citizens to the older ones.
Okeanos and its work was also presented by our director Eliane Koller who gave a speech at the accompanying conference and told the audience about Okeanos’ theory and its specific work in French Polynesia. Her speech was followed by a passionate first-hand report by Fa’afaite member India Tabellini who spoke about her experiences while sailing on the Vaka Moana Fa’afaite. The vessel was gifted to the Tahiti Voyaging Society by Dieter Paulmann, founder and chairman of Okeanos, in 2012 after completion of the epic ‘Te Mana o Te Moana’ voyage.
The next science event on renewable energies in Tahiti will take place in March 2017 and Okeanos will surely be there again.
Thanks to everybody who visited our booth and helped with the event’s preparation.
The team of Okeanos – Foundation for the Sea and Okeanos Transport Maritime Durable French Polynesia