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Vaka Marumaru Atua back home from Suwarrow trip

Wednesday 6 July 2022 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Vaka Marumaru Atua back home from Suwarrow trip
Vaka Marumaru Atua voyagers Pounamu Tipiwai-Chambers from Cook Islands Voyaging Society, Pareu Pera from Kōrero o te ‘Ōrau and Tuaineiti Ngamata from Te Puna Marama returned to Rarotonga late last week. Picture: JACKIE RONGO/22070409

Vaka Marumaru Atua and her crew arrived home in Rarotonga late Thursday night after 23 days away on a voyage to Suwarrow.

The Vaka remained docked at Avatiu wharf overnight before heading to Avarua wharf at first light the following day.

The Vaka had departed on June 7 with Cook Islands Voyaging Society (CIVS) crew and members of Te Ipukarea Society (TIS) on board to continue a two-week Rat Eradication programme on the island of Suwarrow (a bird sanctuary).

On its return to Rarotonga the Vaka detoured to Palmerston Island for a couple of days to wait out unfavourable weather conditions.

Due to the Covid-19 protocols, the vaka anchored off Palmerston and none of the crew disembarked.

The Vaka was met at sea by the mayor of Palmerston Bill Marsters and Caroline Marsters who is a member of Kōrero o te 'Ōrau and was part of the UNESCO Teretereanga Vaka programme that sailed from Rarotonga to Aitutaki last year.

CIVS said they were grateful to the Palmerston Island Council for allowing the Vaka to anchor and for the generous supply of fish, nu, akari and lime.

During the voyage one of the crew members Vavia Puapii celebrated his 16th birthday. This was his second voyage having participated in the UNESCO Aitutaki Teretereanga Vaka programme earlier this year.

Leaving Palmerston, the winds turned in their favour and the Vaka arrived here earlier than they initially expected.