Day 21 – View from Rarotonga
While our vaka makes its way around the Northern group in some of the most remote corners of our planet, we’ll be regularly taking the chance (while they’re out of range) to check in with people on land to give our ocean voyage some perspective. We’ll call these regular features ‘View from Land’ and they’ll cover logistics, technology, history and even our mental health.
Today: Our view from Rarotonga. Did you know that YOU – land crew, families and friends are the most important part of a vaka voyage? How we send-off our voyagers, how we welcome our vaka on each of the islands and how we look out to the horizon for their safe return is all so important and part of the delicate balance that makes vaka voyaging possible.
Turns out it takes a community to make a vaka voyage possible and The Taua e Moana land-based crew consists of volunteers made up of families, friends, and members from each of the three Rarotonga-based organisations with people onboard. Korero O te Orau, Te Ipukarea Society and the Cook Islands Voyaging Society.
It has been three weeks now since our fathers, sons, sisters, daughters, family and friends began this voyage. This means home life here is significantly different for the 16 different families of each of the crew back here on Rarotonga. Prior to the voyage, land-based crews will plan and obtain 3 meals per day for 16 people that can fit into small spaces and keep unrefrigerated for 51 days. A miraculous feat! Once they’re on the water, land-based crew will track them daily and work to get onto social media and into the paper all of the photos and posts from crew that you read everyday. While our voyagers are away, this means that school drop offs, work shifts and family responsibilities to their loved ones are put on hold temporarily as many families operate minus a key figure in their family unit. But, this is a sacrifice that many families and partners of voyagers accept, understand and support. As Pacific people, vaka voyaging is also in the blood of even those of us on land. The role we all have to play, includes the sacrifice of being apart from our loved ones and praying for their safety so they can share the love of vaka voyaging with our people in the Pa Enua, share educational resources and undertake important research on this historical trip.
Tei Mua Tatou! from the Land-based crew of the Taua e Moana Voyage