Marumaru Atua Blog: Rarotonga – Aitutaki, May 29, 2015
Eo Te Manava Vaka…
Kia Orana everyone…
Well our fleet is back on Te Moana Nui A Kiva and our Marae Moana heading towards Ararau Enua O Ru Ki Te Moana (Aitutaki).
Right now all the crew are reflecting on the last 5 days in Rarotonga. A time of celebration in the name of Vaka traditions. Much happened while the fleet were in Rarotonga. Firstly the arrival into Avatiu Thursday, Friday, Saturday. Being hosted by Arorangi CICC for a church service on Sunday.
Presentation of the film ‘Te Mana O Te Moana’ and then sailing out of Avatiu on Sunday night into a wet and squally night heading to Avana, Ngatangiia. Monday morning the fleet passed through Te Ava Tapu of Avana, Te Ava Rau greeted by Pa Ma Kainuku and Manavaroa Mataiapo and not forgetting the children of Rarotonga, waiting patiently in the torrential downpour during the whole welcome.
The festival was all about connecting the past with the future (our children) through the children. On Monday afternoon we opened the Te Manava Vaka Art exihibition at the Are Karioi National Museum. Monday night we were hosted by Te Ui Ariki, Ui Mataiapo, Ui Rangatira and people of Takitumu in Avana. Tuesday we were hosted by the Government of the Cook Islands to Government house to a Kaikai where we witnessed the launching of the Cook Islands new $5 dollar coin which has etched in its gold Vaka Marumaru Atua. Wednesday we had the Circle Island Tour sponsored by CITC with a twist organised by Alex Olah and his committee, which was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
So much to see and do and so little time… I’m sure most of these events have been covered on our FB page and website through blogs and photos. Many memories of a great Festival, thanks to all who made this happen.
We left Avatiu at 7:30pm, all 5 vaka heading on a course of Haka – Ngareo Maoake (NNE) on our traditional star compass. The winds were from the ENE 10-12 knots. A perfect night for sailing, goods winds, moderate seas with many stars in the sky to guide us.
Southern cross was on our stern, the big Dipper on our bow, Te Matau a Maui or Scorpio rising on our starboard and Orions belt setting on our port, a navigators dream. The moon was high above us illuminating the ocean with its glory as we settled for a good nights sailing.
We are fortunate to have on board with us our Voyaging Society Patron Makea Vakatini Ariki. He will be joined in Aituatki by the Kaumaiti (President) of the House of Ariki, Tou Ariki and they both will be gracing us with their presence to Ngaputoru when we departure Aitutaki on Monday.
So who do we have on board this trip…
We welcome back Captain and Pwo navigator Peia Patai. Emily Taulu, one of our young and upcoming voyagers has joined us…she already has a good feeling for ocean being one of the Cook Islands Oe vaka champions and now she sets sail on her first vaka voyage away from sight of land.
A great warrior of the Cook Islands, Pare Rongokea has joined us, bringing his strong cultural background to the vaka. It’s great to see him in this role, holding the oe and steering us to our destination. Pare and Katu Teiti together composed the Te Manava festival chant and tutored the school children who performed it at the official welcome on Monday.
Te Rawhitiroa Bosch from Aotearoa has joined us on this leg to document as a photographer and crew member on this voyage. Rawhitiroa is an avid photographer who has donated his photos to the Te Manava Vaka Art exhibition which will be auctioned at a later date. A big thanks to him and Danee Hazama for their great contribution to the cause.
The rest of the crew are James, Saki, Leiohu, India, Therese, Papa Steve, Tua, Milton, Haimona, Pererika,Tetini.
This morning we caught a Mahimahi which we had for lunch and we will finish off for dinner. The crew are in good spirits and why wouldnt we. It is warmer, we are wearing less clothing and the ocean is blue. All around us are our brother and sister vaka, Haunui, Gaualofa, Faafaite and Te Matau a Maui.
At the time of writing this blog Pwo Navigators Tua and Peia who have been navigating through the night and day have estimated us to be approximatly 19nm from Aitutaki and we should be there in the next few hours as we are averaging around 5knots. We have reduced our sail area as we are not in a rush to arrive too early. The Island council have advised that we will have to hold off outside until Friday morning to be welcomed ashore traditionally.
Early this morning the navigators estimated that we had held a good course all night keeping well east of the island so now we have changed our course to Ngareo Tokerau NNW on a straight line to the island… We should begin to see the reflection of the Aitutakis turquoise lagoon on the clouds.
Again a big Kia Orana to all Cook Islander everywhere in the world and not forgetting our voyaging families of every Pacific island.
One Voice, One Ocean, One Vaka….
Blog and pictures by Cook Islands Voyaging Society, May 29, 2015