The people of Manus and all honorary guests gathered together yesterday on the 29th August at Lorengau town’s NBC Beach to farewell and wish us well before our long and risky journey around the Pacific.
It started out as a fine and sunny morning with a mix of traditional and contemporary entertainment. 2 Degrees, an electronic 6 piece band played upbeat island style reggae, the Mix Mates String Band played their acoustic guitars, and traditional dance team Green Frog, a mixture of young men and women danced to the traditional garamut drum beat.
We decorated our canoe, raised the Win Neisen flag and sailed in to the beach where everyone was waiting. There we were welcomed and heard speeches from Piwen Langarap of MECCN (Manus Environment Community Conservation Network), Theresa Kas and Robyn James from The Nature Conservancy and The Governor of Manus; the Honorary Charlie Benjamin.
During the speeches, although the rain came, support for the crew did not waver. All of the speakers and people gathered showed their utmost support and gave their blessings to us for our voyage before Governor Charlie Benjamin officially cut the ribbon signifying the beginning of the voyage.
The honorary guests were taken for a short sail on the Climate Challenger before being returned to the beach before we set off. The wind picked up, and even blew the guest’s tent down – a good omen. We’ll be seeing all you Pacific brothers soon!
Climate Challenger Crew