Smiles and waves from cruise ship passengers. Photo: Joel Bowman
The WAM crews take good care of the cruise ship passengers. Photo: Joel Bowman
WAM’s Binton Daniel gives visitors a talk on the traditional canoes. Photo: Joel Bowman
Louis Justin, the expedition leader of the cruise ship Silver Discoverer, said the passengers who took rides on Waan Aelon in Majel canoes Saturday (December 5) told him it was the highlight of their time in Majuro.
WAM had three canoes with captains and crew ready to go when the ship’s passengers arrived at 2pm, according to WAM Associate Director Tamir Bowman. “They were much later than planned,” Tamie said, “but that worked out well because earlier on the lhe low tide would have made it difficult to launch the canoes.”
The ship had book 40 rides, but they ended up ;taking 46 people on on the lagoon. “The rides were quite short, about 20 minutes, but everyone seemed to have a great time. Our guys did such a good job with the visitors, keeping them safe and helping them on and off the boats.” A number of passengers took their big cameras with them. “I couldn’t believe it,” Tamie said. “I asked one guy if he was sure and he told me it was worth the risk to get the shots.
“Louis said to me at the end that ‘this was the best part of our trip to the island. If we ever come again, you’ll be at the top of our list.'”
Footnote: This article first appeared in the Marshall Islands Journal on December 4, 2015. To see more news from the Journal, check out their site at www.marshallislandsjournal.com.
US Embassy folk and their friends set sail on WAM canoes. Photo: WAM
On Saturday, January 17, friends of WAM from the US Embassy and their visiting guests from Minnesota, US, went on a canoe ride between torrential rain-squalls and had the time of their lives! They sent kudos to these spirited sailors and their skillful crew with the words: “Should have done this months ago! Great sail, great sailors.”
‘Our sail guides were very skilled and the ride was very smooth.’
Olli-Pekka and Auli Ollila take their grandson Gideon for a smooth ride on a WAM canoe. Photo: Karen Earnshaw
Four years ago, Mikko and JoAnn Ollila, who live in Seattle, came to Majuro to adopt their son Gideon. In the four weeks that they spent in Majuro, Mikko said that “aside from Gideon, sailing the lagoon with WAM was my most enduring and fun memory of the Marshall Islands.”
In late 2014, the couple returned with their two children and Mikko’s parents from Kangasala, Finland. Mikko said: “When we had a chance to return today, I told my parents that sailing the canoe with WAM was a must-do. I was so excited that they could do that with my son Gideon. It was really special for us.”
Here’s what his parents had to say:
Captain Linton Baso with the Ollila family. Photo: Karen Earnshaw
Olli-Pekka: “Our son Mikko told us that the canoe sail was wonderful. And it was. It was a great day out on the water – and a great way to see the island and enjoy the weather and waters of the Marshall Islands”
Auli: “Our sail guides were very skilled and the ride was very smooth. It was so smooth that our grandson Gideon even fell asleep for a few minutes! We loved it.”
The Coordinator of the Micronesian Challenge*, Lesley Vick, thoroughly enjoyed her ride on a traditional Marshallese canoe (September, 2014), despite the fact there wasn’t an abundance of wind. “I’m used to the rowing canoes they have where I live in Palau, so I wanted to see how the Marshallese canoes went. They are famed for their speed and agility.” Lesley’s skipper was long-time WAM employee and carpentry instructor Linton Baso. “We got a few gusts, when I really got the fell of how fast they can go. Plus, it was nice to get out onto the water and get a perspective of how large the lagoon in Majuro is.”
*The Micronesia Challenge is a western Pacific regional initiative to improve the conservation of marine and land resources. In late 2005, Palau President Tommy Remengesau called on his peers to join him in the Challenge, which hopes to see the conservation of 30 percent of near shore coastal waters and 20 percent of forest land by 2020. Signatories of the Challenge are Palau, the Marshall Islands, the Federated States of Micronesia, and the US territories Guam and Northern Mariana Islands.