On Friday last week, the vaka departed Auckland for the Cook Islands, under the leadership of Te Toki Voyaging Trust captain John-Reid Willison and his crew of 13.
“We are fortunate that John has made himself available to deliver our vaka home,” said the Cook Islands Voyaging Society in a statement.
The port hull and undamaged components left Rarotonga in December and arrived in Auckland on January 9.
“Meitaki maata to Matsons Shipping for the safe transportation. Also thanks to Daryll Crooke at Atlas International, Ports of Auckland and our whanau from Ngati Whatua for performing a short blessing before being transported by Boat Haulage to Lloyd Stevenson Boat Builders in East Tamaki.
“We were blessed that Lloyd’s allowed our team of volunteers to work tirelessly at nights, during the week and on weekends to repair the existing hull and components while they built a new hull for Marumaru Atua.
On May 3, Marumaru Atua made a quiet return to Moana-nui-o-Kiva and has since undergone rigorous sea trials for the voyage home.
“On behalf of the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, we wish to thank our government, Nia Tero, Mr and Mrs Gordon, Matson Shipping, Okeanos Foundation for the Sea, Lloyd Stevenson and the many other generous donors for your financial support and in kind donations and of course to our vaka family for lending a hand for the much need work on our mama.”
- Cook Islands Voyaging Society/RK
Crew members – John-Reid Willison (captain), Maurai Villa, Sam Timoko, Helene Johnson (Cook Islands SIF grant recipient), Anna Bertram, Dickie Humphries, Dale Dice, Levi Ririnui, Shane Warren, Ngaroma Poa, Antony Vavia, Charlie Borrell, Marama Mariu, Tony Upu