12 Oct 2011

Young voyager prefers traditional navigation methods

12:45 pm on 12 October 2011

A young Maori waka voyager is praising the merits of traditional methods of navigation over high-tech gadgetry.

Turanga Barclay-Kerr, who's 17, helped crew the recent Pacific Vaka Voyage, raising international awareness about ocean pollution.

He says one of the new things he learnt while being part of the voyage was celestial navigation techniques passed down from the late Mau Piailug - the last of the master Micronesian navigators.

Mr Barclay-Kerr says the ancient maritime manoeuvres of his tipuna give him the confidence to survive out on the open water.

He says because of Mau Piailug, young seafarers like him have been able to re-learn the old ways of sailing a waka.

Mr Barclay-Kerr says one of the legacies Papa Mau left behind was to make sure the traditional knowledge is passed on for future generations.

He says navigating by the stars, the moon, and the sun keeps him in touch with his great seafaring ancestors.