Our vaka moana are a fleet of seven open ocean sailing canoes, intricately carved and voyaging majestically by the wind and sun. We are a group of Pacific Islanders who have come together from many nations, sailing as one across the Pacific Ocean. We are voyaging to strengthen our ties with the sea, renew our commitment to healthy ecosystems for future generations, and to honor our ancestors who have sailed before us. As we sail our vaka across the Pacific, we are respectful and gentle, always remembering our voyage motto: “Move your paddle silently through the water.”
The vaka moana is an island, a floating island. It combines ancient wisdom with modern, alternative energy. It speaks to our heart, it creates the wish and longing for solidarity, cooperation, and kinship. By sailing over the ocean we learn to see with new eyes, proving what we can accomplish, that we have new possibilities, and that the “Island of Hope” will soon appear on the horizon.
As Pacific Islanders, we cannot separate ourselves from this Ocean. The salt water that flows through our veins runs deep, connecting us spiritually to the sea. Its life force strengthens our bodies and shapes our identities. Sailing together, we are combining the traditional wisdom of our ancestors with modern scientific knowledge to both broaden our understanding of the ocean, as well as to share our message of stewardship with the world. The Pacific is our home, our breath, our future. We can only survive if we come together as cultures, as crew mates of our communities, to preserve the health of our ocean planet – Our Blue Canoe.