The traditional Carolinian canoe Okeanos Marianas will be making some history when it departs Guam's Smiling Cove Marinas for Yap at noon on Friday. It will be the first time that a canoe sailing from the CNMI 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.
Pete Perez, Executive Director of 500 Sails, won't hop on a flight to go to Yap for his presentation. Instead he's to board the Okeanos for the sail to Yap, representing the growing family of canoes of the CNMI.
The Okeanos Marianas will be departing from Smiling Cove at noon on Friday, December 1.
Joining the crew for the voyage is Master Navigator Sesario Sewralur, son of Grand Master Navigator Mau Piailug. Sesario is also presenting at the Canoe Summit and representing the Micronesian Voyaging Society. The international crew making the voyage includes Steven Tawake of Fiji, who will be using traditional navigation under Sesario’s tutelage; India Tabellini of Tahiti who will be serving as watch captain; Saipan long-time resident Andrea Carr, also serving as watch captain; Leo Pangelinan, training as crew; and 500 Sails staff Pete Perez, Jason Aldan, and Michael Finey, all getting to experience and learn open ocean sailing in preparation for taking out the 500 Sails canoes that will be in the waters early next year.
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.