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Vaka Paikea launched, ready to set sail

Saturday 22 April 2023 | Written by Melina Etches | Published in Local, National

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Vaka Paikea launched, ready to set sail
Vaka Paikea makes its first splash at Avatiu Harbour on Thursday. MELINA ETCHES/23042010

After months of being on dry dock for intensive maintenance work and the recent renaming and blessing ceremony, Vaka Paikea was launched into the water on Thursday afternoon at Avatiu Harbour.

The delicate transportation of the vaka from the Punanga Nui Market seaside to the harbour went pretty smoothly with the expertise of Cook Islands General Transport staff who led the moving operation.

Master navigator and captain of Vaka Paikea, Peia Patai was happy to see the vaka finally in the ocean.

“Weather pending, the vaka will sail to the island of Mauke early next week,” he said.

The vaka will sail to Avana Harbour where it will berth before sailing to Mauke.

Last week Robin Williams, a ship surveyor from Aotearoa New Zealand, conducted Vaka Paikea’s “out of water survey” – like an annual warrant of fitness – to ensure International Maritime safety standards are met.

Williams checked the integrity of the hulls, masts and booms, the lifesaving equipment and communication devices to ensure they were all current and in working order.

He has overseen the build of the vaka and has surveyed the Vaka Moana and Motu’s for over five years including the rebuild of Vaka Marumaru Atua in 2019.

Te Puna Marama Voyaging Foundation owns and manages Vaka Paikea. The Foundation’s group of trustees would like to acknowledge the Moana Sands Group and Te Toki Voyaging Trust – Waka Hourua for their support.