The Okeanos Marianas crew recently arrived back on Saipan after a weeklong voyage to Guam.
The crew of nine aboard the Okeanos Marianas set out for their voyage to Guam nearly three weeks ago and returned to Saipan last Friday.
According to Emma Perez, managing director of Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport LTD., the company that runs the Okeanos Marianas, this was her first open-ocean voyage.
Perez and the rest of the Okeanos Marianas crew first journeyed to Rota last Wednesday in time to deliver bikes for the Rota Blue Triathlon. Perez said it took approximately 12 hours for them to reach Rota where they stayed the night before heading on to Guam.
Perez said they were greeted with a warm welcome on Rota. “It was a really nice trip. We got there and we were welcomed with food and dancers,” she said.
The crew then set off for Guam the next day. Perez said the trip from Rota to Guam took approximately 10 hours and they were welcomed with an emotional ceremony. “Guam was really emotionally touched,” said Perez.
When they arrived in Guam’s Hagatna Boat Basin, a chorus of Culus greeted them. “As we were coming in from the harbor, at least six big shells were being blown and many people came out to meet us and told me there wasn’t a dry eye on the shore,” she said.
Upon arriving in Guam, their first interaction was when Perez’s uncle sailed out to meet her with his own boat called Kerida, which brought Perez to tears. “He came out to look for me,” she said.
After Perez and her crew accomplished what they had set out to do in Guam, which was to bring home lumber to refurbish another vessel, the Roberta L., they made their way back to Saipan.
According to Perez, the only struggle they faced that delayed their trip back home was the direction of the winds but it was not anything they couldn’t handle.
Perez said their next trip would probably be a voyage to the Northern Islands before their big flotilla.
Perez said her takeaway from her first voyage experience would have to be the realization that the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam are not as far apart from one another as it may seem.
“It was really interesting how you could see one island from the next. We think we’re really isolated but when you’re out in the water, we’re not,” she said.