Thursday, September 18, 2008

Caroline Islands Navigators

Pius Mau Piailug is a master navigator from the Island of Satawal in the Caroline Islands Group.
Lin, Lino M. Olopai, and Brian on the island of Saipan. Lino is a master navigator and a student of Mau's school and has completed many passages from Satawal island. Lino is quite a character. I once asked him what sort of protection the navigators and crew had in a storm? Lino reply was, "See that rope holding up the mast? We hide from the wind and rain behind that!"
Mau lived on Saipan for many years and is currently living on Satawal Island and still teaching the ancient navigation and sailing techniques.
Local Carolinian canoe getting a beach launch on Saipan. Managaha Island is in the background.
Arrival of six sailing canoes after completion of a 600 mile passage from Satawal to Saipan.
These sailing canoes are open boats and about 27 feet in length. No GPS is used only personal stars and visual information such as floating debris, water color,wave direction with wave types, and marine animals are used to determine position and direction. One is usually wet most of the passage. Food consumed is very traditional and consists of any fish caught on passage,drinking coconuts, water, yams, and breadfruit. I asked some crew members if they ever carried any cans of SPAM on board. Never did get an answer, but I detected a grin or two.

1 comment:

Harry Blalock said...

Hi Brian, thanks for the link to your site. I've thoroughly enjoyed looking through your pictures and reading your comments, especially about the wrecks in Vanuatu. Awesome information, thanks for sharing!