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Seafaring

April 30, 2010

Me working on an outrigger at TASI's Paseo Canoe House, Guam 2007

When I spent time on Guam in 2007 I was fortunate enough to meet Larry “Doc” Cunningham from the University of Guam.  Larry also works at the TASI Canoe House where they are trying to revive the Pacific Islander tradition of seafaring. Pacific Islanders have been master navigators since the first Austronesians set off from SE Asia to settle the islands of the Pacific.  TASI is trying to revive this dying tradition through educational activities based around traditional canoe building, song, stars, and voyages (among many other things).

Currently, there is a voyage from Yap to Guam.  I receive updates from Larry Cunningham and will share them as I get them.  Enjoy, and as alway share your comments below.
Yap Voyage to Guam
At 10 AM Friday, April 30th, Chief Bruno Tharngan contacted TASI President Frank Cruz by cell phone.  The two canoes are four miles West of Cocos Island (Southern Guam).  A strong current prevented them from sailing up the east side of Guam. If is difficult to say what time they will arrive at TASI’s Paseo Canoe House, Sahyan Tasi Fachemwan.  This will depend on the strength of the current and direction and strength of the wind.
Two Yap Traditional Navigation Society outrigger sailing canoes departed Lamotrek for Guam on Monday. The plan was to sail north and pass to the east of Guam.  Then they would have sailed west between Guam and Rota and approach the Hagatna Boat Basin Channel from the North.  Because of the strong current this plan has changed and they will come to the Paseo Boat Basin Channel from the Southwest.
The two canoes will anchor at the TASI (Traditions About Seafaring Islands) canoe house Sahyan Tasi Fachemwan.  The crews will stay at our canoe house, according to TASI President Frank Cruz.  The key organizer in Guam is Former Yap State Governor Robert Ruecho.  He is operating from the Office of Governor Felix Camacho.
Lamotrek Master Navigator, Ali Helayalur, is captain of the Simon Hokule’a, a canoe built on Satawal.  He will have a crew of 11.  Maap Master Canoe Builder, Chief Bruno Tharngan is captain of the Mathawmaram.  He will have a crew of nine.  Dr. Eric Metzgar is making a documentary film of this voyage from Lamotrek to Guam and then to Yap.  Metzgar was an apprentice of Halayalur’s late father, Master Navigator, Urupiy.  Metzgar has made several documentary films about Micronesia, including “Spirits of the Voyage.”
Larry Cunningham
TASI Historian
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