The crew of our latest vaka motu Okeanos Palau has braved over 4,000 nautical miles to bring the new traditionally based, fossil fuel-free sailing catamaran to the communities of Palau. After its departure from Auckland, New Zealand, where the vaka motu was built and launched, Okeanos Palau made stop-overs in Vanuatu, Pohnpei and Yap, before its arrival in Palau on 4 July.
In Palau the vaka will be used to help conduct scientific research, to serve as a platform for conservation projects, to regularly provide passenger and cargo transportation services to the remote South West Island communities, and to revive and promote traditional sailing and navigation. For the Micronesian nation of Palau with about 300 islands, of which only few are connected by bridges, sea transportation is of utmost importance to connect the many islands.
Okeanos thanks the Office of the President, Republic of Palau for the continual support in delivering sustainable sea transportation and the friendly reception and also sends a big sulang to our crew: Captain Peia Patai, Samil Beouch, Jamos Andrew, Bucksie Blesam, Ivanancy Vunikura, Makalii Bertelmann, Cantero Ladore and Ardaseldo John.
You can find pictures of Okeanos Palau’s arrival at the Office of the President, Republic of Palau’s Facebook page.
Read the article from 25 June 2019 on Radio New Zealand: Vaka to help Palau with climate crisis
By Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, 1 July 2019