Okeanos Vanuatu – Real life Moana, with a marine conservation message
Sustainable transportation is often seen as elitist and unaffordable. Not for Okeanos. For them, transportation has to be sustainable ecologically as well as financially. This is the challenge of the Okeanos Vanuatu, a fossil-fuel free vessel, mixing sustainable transportation, ocean conservation and tradition revival. And what is more, it’s not any vessel, it’s a Vaka, a sailing canoe built according to traditional Polynesian design. This one runs only on solar panels and has a coconut oil-powered engine: built to make a difference.
The Okeanos Foundation was created by Dieter Paulmann. Passionated by the sea, he order the construction of seven Vaka which then sailed across the Pacific and came back. Over the course of two years, hundreds of sailors navigated from Aotearoa to Hawai’i to the US West Coast with a historic arrival at San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge in August 2011. Our journey home began January 2012 with stops at Cocos Islands, Galapagos, Tahiti, Cook Islands, Samoa, Fiji and Vanuatu concluding at the Festival of Pacific Arts in the Solomon Islands, August 2012. The aim was to revive celestial navigation and carry a message of stewardship for the ocean. Collectively they safely sailed 210,000 nautical miles of open sea and showed the world the great power and potential of the Vaka. The Okeanos Vanuatu join for the last leg of the journey, up to the Solomon Island Pacific art festival. It came back to Vanuatu in order to serve as disaster relief after PAM. The Vaka and its crew were able to sail to very remote island groups and provide urgently needed help, mainly delivering sustainable food sources like crops and seedlings.
As 2017 is the international year of sustainable tourism and development, hand-in-hand with local communities, the Okeanos team is launching their eco-tours in Vanuatu; a good way to pass on their message.
« All of this goes with strict guidelines that we are happy to respect, it’s our kaupapa, the purpose and philosophy of our voyages. Consume locally, reuse, avoid plastic, beef and pork; in other words, be sustainable and respectful. The traditional lifestyles were already sustainable, it is an inspiration for our daily routines.
When you think about it, every plastic bottle that has ever been created, if it hasn’t been burned, is still here, somewhere on the planet. Realizing things like this makes us aim at reducing our carbon/plastic footprint. »
-Team Okeanos Vanuatu
The Okeanos Vanuatu is now ready to start its new mission. Prove the world that « green » is viable from any point of view.