15 Jul 2010

Voyage planned to celebrate life of the Pacific's last master navigatorl

1:36 pm on 15 July 2010

A voyage through the Hawaiian islands is being planned to celebrate the life of the Micronesian master navigator, Mau Piailug.

Mr Piailug died at the age of 78 on his home island of Satawal in the Federated States of Micronesia over the weekend.

He is credited with reviving ancient Pacific navigation skills, with one of his major achievements coming in 1976 when he navigated the double-hulled voyaging canoe Hokule'a from Hawaii to Tahiti.

Nainoa Thompson, the president of the Polynesian Voyaging Society, says Mr Piailug was the last master navigator, who left his students simple instructions

"Keep your culture strong, keep your traditions strong, keep voyaging strong and the way to do that is very simple, you got to sail, you got to learn and you got to teach. So right now we are planning to get all the voyaging crews in Hawaii together and sail through the main eight Hawaiian islands in Hawaii to about 22 different communities that he loved and they loved him."

Nainoa Thompson says the voyage should begin on July 24 and be complete by the end of September.