YAP, MICRONESIA (KHNL) - A message from Kathy Muneno of the Polynesian Voyaging Society about the latest sail track for the voyaging canoes:
"Hokule'a, Alingano Maisu and escort boat Kama Hele left the dock at Colonia, Yap at about 2:00 this afternoon Yap time, which is Friday March 30th (6pm Thursday Hawai'i time). Hokule'a is taking the lead on this leg, with Nainoa Thompson as captain and navigator along with 13 crewmembers, including the president of Palau, a doctor from the Aloha Medical Mission, 2 high school students from Hawai'i - Waimea McKeague 11th grade at Nanakuli High and Aaron Akina a senior at Kamehameha Schools - and three from The Nature Conservancy.
The focus in Palau is our environment and caring for one's island home. Thompson says the world's environment is in trouble and although "we can't change the world, we have a place called home. When our oceans are at risk, we're at risk. The debate should be about what we value. I think Palau is a place where we can learn from and get ideas from. We want to tell their story. Their story is about people making the right choices. It's about our relationship
to our environment."
The Alingano Maisu left Yap with an all-Micronesian crew for the first time, as the Hawai'i contingency who built, sailed and gifted the canoe to master Navigator Mau Piailug, completed the gifting in Mau's home island of Satawal. Mau's son Sesario is now in charge of the canoe. He is the captain and navigator on the Maisu for the sail to Palau and back to Yap.
His family hosted a beautiful dinner near the vessels on Wednesday night, the night before the Hawai'i group, from Na Kalai Wa'a Moku o Hawai'i, had to fly home.
As the group left the gathering they stood by the Alingano Maisu, sang, and said a tearful good-bye as they acknowledged the completion of the circle and their labor-of-love for the last five years. It was very hard to say good-bye but the hopes and dreams are that the Maisu will help inspire the young and perpetuate the voyaging and navigational tradition in Micronesia, which had helped to rescue the same in Hawai'i. This voyage to Palau should take two days, arriving Sunday, Palau time. Depending on weather, the vessels will leave Palau around April 5th.