Public gets an eyeful of Okeanos Marianas

The Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport opened the Okeanos Marianas canoe to the public last Friday, giving people a chance to tour the double-hulled, 50-foot open ocean sailing canoe

The Okeanos Marianas, a traditional Polynesian canoe, or vaka motu, arrived on Saipan on Oct. 30 after traveling from New Zealand.

Emma Perez, managing director of Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport, has been working on getting community members aboard the Okeanos Marianas for them to gain a knowledge on how the vessel works and how it will serve the Marianas.

According to Perez, over 100 individuals came out to the Okeanos Marianas open house last Friday and were taught the basics of the canoe. They were briefed about all of the canoe’s components and mechanics.

Noah Deleon Guerrero, who visited the Okeanos Marianas with his family, was quite excited about the canoe. His one take away was how cool the cabins within the canoe were and how interesting the knots tied by the sailors were.

Perez said she took great joy in showing people the canoe’s interior like its kitchen, sleeping quarters, and more.

“I think everyone was impressed and amazed at how wonderful the canoe is,” she said.

The most enjoyable part for her was seeing how interested the public was with the vessel, especially children. “Seeing them touch the nets and touch the rudder, run up and down the ladders, for me that was the most enjoyable,” said Perez.

The Okeanos Marianas would next travel to Rota for a triathlon and would be transporting gear from Saipan to Rota. Afterwards, the vessel and its crew will be travelling to Guam to get supplies that will be brought back to the Commonwealth. The last stop before arriving back on Saipan would be Tinian.

According to Perez, after they arrived back on Saipan from their trip, they will either make a trip to the Northern Islands or will offer more free introductory sails.

The Okeanos Marianas will not be making its trip to the Northern Islands until January next year. This is so that more crewmembers are trained for the voyage.

Perez is encouraging individuals who are passionate about the ocean to consider taking up a job as a sailor with the Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport. “We need more crew,” said Perez.

Perez is looking for individuals willing to take the opportunity to be trained by two seasoned ocean navigators.

The only requirement would be to know how to swim. The basis of passing the swim program is the ability to swim 300 meters, untimed.

For additional information, individuals can visit the Okeanos Marianas Facebook page or email Perez at emma.perez@Okeanos-marianas.com

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Kimberly Bautista Bautista
Kimberly Bautista is the youngest in the stable of Saipan Tribune reporters. She has covered a wide range of beats, including the community, housing, crime, and education, for the Saipan Tribune.

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