Prime Minister Mark Brown departed for Aitutaki yesterday on his first voyage aboard vaka Marumaru Atua, which is expected to arrive on the Southern Group atoll midday Thursday.
On Thursday morning, Prime Minister Mark Brown was en-route to Aitutaki on his first voyage on board vaka Marumaru Atua.
“It is a privilege and an honour to be invited by the Voyaging Society to join them on this trip to Aitutaki; it’s something I’m looking forward to,” the PM said.
The vaka is expected to arrive at Aitutaki around midday.
Captain Deon Wong says training will also take place, adding this is a good opportunity for the young crew to learn from the experienced crew.
The voyage is Marumaru Atua’s last for the year. Commercial sails are scheduled out on the water when the vaka returns to Rarotonga.
According to Cook Islands Voyaging Society board member Nooroa (Bim) Tou, the vaka has 14 crew and two passengers for the Aitutaki voyage.
Traditional and educational voyaging training workshops will take place in schools on Aitutaki.
Marumaru Atua is scheduled to depart Aitutaki on Sunday/Monday to return to Rarotonga.
The passengers on the voyage are: Prime Minister Mark Brown, Director of Marae Moana Maria Tuoro. Crew: Captain Deon Wong, First Mate Maurai Villa, Shane Warren, Terii Pittman, Ian Karika, Paul Mangakahia, Tetini Pekepo, Ana Maine, Teraia Maoate, Henry Koteka, Dane Newnham, Sandy Ankli, Sam Napa Jnr and Anthony Vavia. The vaka will then be dry docked on Rarotonga in the first week of December in preparation for the cyclone season.