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Warm welcome for Vaka Marumaru Atua crew back in Rarotonga

Monday 8 July 2024 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Features, Local, National, Weekend

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Warm welcome for Vaka Marumaru Atua crew back in Rarotonga
Vaka Marumaru Atua and the crew entering Avarua Harbour on Saturday. MELINA ETCHES/ 24070706

On Saturday, hundreds welcomed the voyaging crew at Avarua Harbour, led by a pe’e from Tuaine Unuia - Anautoa Rangatira and spokesperson for Makea Karika George Ariki, followed by speeches from Kaumaiti Nui – Travel Tou Ariki and Deputy Prime Minister Albert Nicholas.

A master navigator and captain of the voyage, Peia Patai commanded the Vaka from Rarotonga-Hawai’i-Rarotonga for the 13th Festival of Pacific Arts and Culture.

The Vaka departed Honolulu, Hawai’i on Saturday, June 15, at 10am for its sail back home.

Patai said the new and young crew who sailed on both voyages would return home as “adults”, better cooks, and different people altogether.

He was grateful for the prayers from people back home while at sea and the blessings from above.

Patai said he appreciated the “unbelievable” welcome, delicious pork, and kaikai the crew received from the people of Mauke.

Initially, it was intended to be just a quick stop-over to pick up things but the island wanted to host the crew with a hearty kaikai.

“Mauke always puts it out there, I was happy we made that stop,” said Patai.