The Gifting of Vaka Moana 'Uto Ni Yalo'
Kia ora Voyagers,
Yesterday marked the true end of the voyage of the seven canoes that started five years ago, Te Mana o Te Moana. The last of the canoes, Uto Ni Yalo, have found her home with Uto Ni Yalo Trust in Fiji.
Uto Ni Yalo is currently moored in Lautoka and lot of the Uto Ni Yalo crew from her long voyages came from all over Fiji to attend the gifting ceremony. The first glimpse of the canoe shows her dressed up in garlands and beautiful coloured cloth. And all the crew is onboard. To be among them is like coming back to a big family. And now a family that extends throughout the South Pacific.
The president of UNYT, Ratu Manoa Rasigatale was leading the ceremony. After opening prayer, a qaloqalovi, a traditional exchange of a tabua, whale tooth, between chiefs started the ceremonies. After that, the kava ceremony, sevusevu and speeches. The happiness and excitement in the speeches from Joe Brown and Ratu Manoa were reflected amongst all the crew, especially the gratefulness towards Dieter Paulmann who made Uto Ni Yalo and the whole project possible.
Now, the future for Uto Ni Yalo cannot be anything other than bright with so many fantastic people involved. UNYT will play an important role amongst the voyaging societies and with Pacific Voyagers. We are excited to find out what we can do together to protect our ocean and make our world a better place!
We want to wish the very best to Uto Ni Yalo Trust for the future and we are looking forward to all the things we will do together!