Channelling Ancestral Paths

Sailors on the Pacific Voyagers project steered a fleet of seven ocean-voyaging traditional Polynesian sailing canoes or vaka moanas from New Zealand to San Francisco — guided only by the stars that once helped their ancestors settle the Pacific Islands. Crew from islands across the Pacific came together on the five-month, 15, nautical-mile journey to put a human face on those most impacted by growing problems like overfishing, pollution, and ocean acidification that confront some 3 billion people in the Pacific Rim nations and Pan Pacific islands who depend on the ocean. Peia Patai, from the Cook Islands, is the captain of the vaka Te Marumaru Atua and a patrol boat navigator with the Rarotongan police. Patai said the biggest surprise of the journey was the rubbish the fleet came upon during the journey. “We passed floating debris, plastics, ropes, bottles. I don’t know where it all comes from but it seems that there is always rubbish passing by,” he said. Our Blue Canoe is the film about the journey.

Tags: National Geographic  New Zealand  Pacific Voyagers  San Francisco  vaka