Blog 6 – Ngā Pū Toru – Tāua e Moana Voyage

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Kia orana tatou katoatoa I teia ra manea, E akameitaki matou no te ki o te moana. 

This teretere Vaka (vaka journey) was inspired by the theme “taua e Moana”.  To me this describes the relationship that we have with sea and the ocean.  Sailing on the ocean for me is one way to be reconnect to this.  Often on land our relationship is about te punu ika (the canned fish) and I certainly don’t have enough time to sit and notice things. Voyaging allows me to disconnect from the land, stressors, and Phone.  It allows me to notice the world that we are in – the ocean, the weather. 

On this leg we left Rarotonga – and basically sailed as close into the wind as we could to get to our first Island – Enuamanu(Atiu).  Atiu is my home, so the feeling of sailing back was bit emotional.  Bringing the cannoe to Atiu, and bringing te iti tangata (community) to the canoe was special.  The faces of te au mapu (young people) as they got on board, and steered her round was inspiring – My great grandfather voyaged regularly around and many of these mapu are fmaily – of his blood- natural sailors (well they can steer pretty ok and they don’t get sick). The conversations with the old people around what they remember notice and see – as those whose survival is tied into the ocean.  Conversations about ways forward were held – taking some (not all) of the ideas from the past and aere marie (going slowly)on new ideas. With whales greeting us and also as we left – we know we are doing something awesome.   

We sailed through to Mitairo  – where we are now –  a short sail – again punching into the wind – good way how to learn to steer straight. Reminded again that the strength of the ocean is real – rain, wind, swells and the odd wave that washed over – it makes you feel alive – and small, all at the same time. However, we know we are safe – we have excellent skipper, great crew and our vaka is strong.  We arrived at mitiaro and in the morning were greeted by paiere (traditional little boats) and then with a kiriti  maro tai – a process of cleansing – leaving the things of sea at sea, and coming to land – we walked through smoke and came to welcome by te iti tanagata o Nukuroa (community from mitiaro).  Again conversations were held around what old people see, their oceans, and ways of doing things. tomorrow we bring on the kids from Mitiro and deliver school programs – today it teia ra pure – so we rest. 

Meitaki ranuinui e kia manuia

Evangelene Wong

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