The flotilla that was originally set to sail to Pagan in early 2018 finally left for the Northern Islands yesterday and will be joined by international vessels.
Upon the arrival of the Okeanos Marianas back in October 2017, Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport LTD managing director Emma Perez had a vision to sail the flotilla to the Northern Islands.
The flotilla was set to leave Saipan in the first quarter of 2018, but the voyage was postponed due to uncontrollable circumstances but now a date has been set.
The small flotilla left for Pagan from Smiling Cove yesterday at 9am. The flotilla consists of local and international sailing vessels.
500 Sails’ 26-foot Chamorro canoe Neni is sailed by master navigator Ali Haleyalur, Jerry Joseph, and Leo Pangelinan. Pangelinan was one of the crewmembers that sailed on Neni on her first open ocean sail to Tinian during the Pika Festival.
Okeanos Marianas is skippered by captain Cecilio Raiukiulipiy with the Okeanos Marianas crew. The crew is be joined by Okeanos Foundation for the Sea chair Deiter Paulmann, and Okeanos Foundation for the Sea director Dena Seidel.
Ron Smith captains the international vessel Aoba, a western sailboat. Aboard the Aoba are Deirdre Golani, who was on the Okeanos Marianas voyage from New Zealand to Saipan, and chef Zenn Tomokane, who has a deep interest in cooking with local foods in a traditional manner.
Neni will be the first Chamorro canoe to travel north in modern history and having Okeanos Marianas as escort vessel is making it possible.
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