YAP NAVIGATORS PLAN HISTORIC VOYAGE TO GUAM

News Release

Yap State Government Colonia, Yap April 8, 2010

Yap Traditional Navigation Society has finalized plans for a historical journey between the islands of Lamotrek and Guam that will take place in April.

The trip is set to depart within two to three days after the crew’s arrival in Lamotrek on April 19.

The original plan was for the crew and their canoes to arrive in Lamotrek before the 19th so they could set out on the journey a bit earlier.

Organizers for the Yap Day celebration on Guam had arranged for the canoes to reach Guam just in time for their celebration on April 24 and 25 but because of a little delay on their departure from Lamotrek, the organizers in Guam may have to reschedule the events at a later time.

The Traditional Navigation Society will be sending two canoes to Lamotrek along with the crews on board the MS. Caroline Voyager when it departs from Yap on the 14th to conduct service in the neighboring islands.

The two canoes that will be involved in the historical trip to Guam are the same canoes that sailed to Palau for the inauguration of the new capital in Melekeok in Babeldaub in 2009.

The Mathawmaram will have 10 crewmen on board while the Hokule’a will have 12.

The Hokule’a will be under the guidance of traditional navigator Ali Helayalur while the Mathawmaram will be under canoe builder and chief Bruno Tharngan.

Eric Metzgar, a filmmaker and writer from the Triton Film Company in California, will be traveling on board the Hokule’a to make a complete documentation on the Guam trip.

The film-maker is not new to Yap. He has been producing films about Yap since the 1980’s including experimental films on the affect of global warming in this region.

A copy of his production from the trip to Guam will be sent to TNS for file and safekeeping for the future.

Metzgar worked with Navigator Haleyalur as an apprentice of his late father and master navigator Urupiy to document Haleyalur’s initiation "Pwo" ceremony to become a member of the "weriyang" traditional school of navigation.

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