Okeanos flotilla returns from Pagan


The Okeanos Marianas and its flotilla returned from their voyage to the Northern Islands over the weekend and brought back stories to share.

The Okeanos Marianas and 500 Sails’ Neni set sail for Pagan last Sunday. The vessels returned on Friday and aims to organize more trips as part of Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport LTD.’s mission to provide transportation from Saipan to neighboring islands.

According to Leo Pangelinan, a crewmember aboard the Okeanos Marianas and Neni, the trip was unforgettable.

In one instance, the unforgiving weather they encountered forced the disassembly of Neni. Pangelinan said that, as Neni neared Anatahan, about 41 miles from Saipan, the crew encountered rough waters and strong winds. The waters were too much for crew to maneuver Neni so it was necessary to disassemble the vessel and carry her on the Okeanos Marianas. The Okeanos Marianas itself withstood the rigors of the ocean.

Although things did not work out for Neni, 500 Sails, the organizer of the flotilla, has already come up with plans to improve the vessel so it can withstand rough waters.

Okeanos Marianas finally arrived on Pagan after 41 hours of sailing and, according to Pangelinan, the greeting he and the crew received was nothing but warm.

Pangelinan said that the three inhabitants of Pagan were happy to share their resources and the Okeanos Marianas’ crew was happy to share theirs as well.

“We all ate together with the Pagan residents, both days that we were there. It was very nice,” he said

Even though their stay on Pagan was brief, Pangelinan said it was still memorable. One of the things that stood out most about Pagan was the respect its inhabitants had for the land they lived on.

The journey from Pagan to Saipan was smoother, taking the crew about 37 hours. On the way back, Pangelinan said the crew made the most out of their time together with music sessions and by concocting new recipes from the fresh catch they made out at sea.

Pangelinan said he was grateful to be given the opportunity to sail with two master ocean navigators who shared their seafaring wisdom and traditions that ensured the crew and the vessels’ safety.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.

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