The Vaka Taumako Project of Solomon Islands is preparing for a voyage from Taumako to Vanuatu in November, 2016. The aim of this voyage is to reunite the families who have been separated for over 70 years by a closed border. There are family members on both sides who have not seen each other all this time, and they plan to do it before they die. When this border re-opens for local residents then there will be a revival of regional community and people from both sides can visit and help each other once again. The ancient searoad will be open again!
The route from Taumako is about 400 nautical miles as the crow flies. But the prevailing winds and seas only provide a small window of opportunity for this voyage. A wind that comes from “Te Palapu” – the north north west in magnetic compass terms – is the only wind that is safe to take from Taumako. That safe Palapu wind only blows in November. When it blows it must be recognised as the safe wind and the canoe must sail immediately, because it only blows for a matter of a few days. For the traditional voyaging canoes of Taumako this is enough time to voyage successfully to Vanualava Island in TORBA Province of Vanuatu.
Right now the Vaka Taumako Project of Solomon Islands (VTPSI) is building a Te Puke voyaging canoe for this voyage. If there are no more big interruptions, such as Cyclone Pam that destroyed both of their voyaging canoes a year ago, then they will complete this Te Puke by June. This will give the crews time to train by sailing around the Duff Islands.
Right now the crew members must acquire passports, and then apply for visas. There must be funding for the airfares for them to return home after their arrival in Vanuatu. They must wait until August 2017 for the right seasonal winds to return home. So they must have return airfares to go back to Vanuatu and make the return voyage.
The Te Puke is the only operational of all the ancient Polynesian voyaging canoes… the only one that living Polynesian people still know how to build and sail… the only one made of completely authentic materials, designs, and methods. The only one made with only hand tools.
Any questions? Please write to us. We are happy to respond and explain all. VTPSI is a charitable org in Solomon Islands. VTP is a project of Pacific Traditions Society, a charitable org (501c3) in Hawaii, USA. Tax deductible as allowed by law!
Can you help us to make this historic voyage? We’re grateful for secure paypal donations, or you can send a check to:
Pacific Traditions Society, PO Box 189, Anahola, HI 96703