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Arrival of Okeanos Marianas in Rota and Guam

(Press Release) — On Sunday, Nov. 12, sometime before sunset, the Okeanos Marianas, a traditional Polynesian double-hulled, 50-foot open ocean sailing canoe was scheduled to arrive in Rota from Saipan.   It will depart Rota early on the morning of Nov. 14 and is anticipated to arrive in Guam’s Hagåtña Boat Basin at approximately 8:30 a.m. that same morning.

The canoe started its journey from New Zealand on Sept. 20, stopping briefly at New Caledonia, the Solomon Islands, and Chuuk. It arrived on Saipan (its new home) on Oct. 30.

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Okeanos Marianas sails to Saipan.  Contributed photoOkeanos Marianas sails to Saipan. Contributed photo

Of the eight crew that were on board for the New Zealand-Saipan voyage, three are Saipan residents, including Andrea Carr, Devin Noisom, and John M. Sablan. Also included were voyagers from Fiji, France, and Tahiti. The captain of the New Zealand-Saipan voyage was Master Navigator Peia Petai of the Cook Islands, one of Grand Master Navigator Mau Piailug’s students.

The captain of the Saipan-Rota-Guam voyage is Cecilio Raikiulipiy, a nephew of Grand Master Navigator Mau Piailug. Instruments will not be used for this trip, but rather traditional methods of navigation.

The crew includes the Saipan residents from the New Zealand-Saipan voyage, as well as crew from Tahiti and Fiji who will be remaining in Saipan for the next six months to train additional crew.

New to the crew for the Saipan-Rota-Guam voyage are Emma and Pete J. Perez, both Guam’s familian Gollo, now residents of Saipan.

This vessel is provided by the Okeanos Foundation for the Sea for the purpose of transporting people and cargo between Saipan and neighboring islands in the Northern Marianas. This is being done by creating a commercial entity. Okeanos Sustainable Sea Transport or OSST. OSST was founded by Emma Perez, managing director; Ray Tebuteb, operations director; and Pete J. Perez, board member, in conjunction with the Okeanos Foundation.

The Okeanos Foundation for the Sea is dedicated to facilitating sustainable, fossil fuel-free sea transportation by building traditional Polynesian canoes or Vaka Motus, applying modern materials to traditional boat-building techniques. Okeanos’ Vaka Motus are internationally certified for open ocean commercial use and equipped with solar panels and coconut oil engines. In addition to the vessels, Okeanos provides wages, crew training, operations, insurance, and other services foundational to establishing a local, community-led business model that generates revenue for the people of the commonwealth while restoring indigenous maritime traditions.

Questions? Check for updates on the Okeanos Marianas facebook page or contact

Here is the url for a short video about the arrival on Saipan from New Zealand: