The Voyage

The Climate Challenger Voyage is a community initiative inspired by Climate Challenger captain/skipper; Manuai Matawai of Pere Village, Manus Island, Papua New Guinea, who 2 years ago had the dream to build a traditional long voyage canoe and sail around the Pacific ocean advocating on culture, climate change and conservation.

After 2 years of building the canoe, the dream has now come into fruition and the voyage will begin on the 29th August 2012 at Manus island, Papua New Guinea, home of the seafaring Titan people. Ten men – navigators, dancers and musicians from Pere, Baluan Island and Mbuke Island will crew a 48ft traditional style Pere outrigger canoe built locally from a mixture of local traditional and modern materials by the captain and crew themselves. From their homeplace they will sail alone from Melanesia to Micronesia stopping at New Ireland, Bougainville, Solomon Islands, Nauru, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Kosrae, Ponape, Truk Island, Puluwat, Sorol, Yap, Palau, Aua Wuvulu, Ninigo and Hermit Islands and return to Manus- a total distance of more than 10,000 kilometres over about 2 months.

Approximate Itinerary

Please click here for a calendar of an approximate detailed itinerary to see if the Climate Challenger is coming to your island!

There are many facets to this voyage. The main purpose is to raise awareness of climate change and inspire community-based adaptation action, including conservation and protection of marine resources. The impacts of climate change are already felt by Pacific island nations, yet we have contributed nothing to cause these changes. Because of climate change, one day perhaps the people of Pere may be in the same situation as other communities from low-lying atolls – will we be environmental refugees? We cannot just sit and wait, we must act now, collectively uniting the voices of the Pacific to let developed countries know how their incessant use of fossil fuels and environmentally damaging practises such as logging and mining are affecting our livelihoods and environment.

Another important aspect is to promote pride of culture and the importance of preserving indigenous knowledge in a time when modern lifestyles are slowly eroding cultural heritage. The voyage demonstrates how we are connected to ocean and the spirits.

The Titan people are a seafaring people whose tribe originated in Pere on Manus but has since migrated out to other small islands of Manus. It is believed that hundreds of years ago one group of Titan people sailed by traditional canoe to Micronesia and settled on Ponape. It is hoped that on this voyage the Titan people can be reconnected to their lost tribe.

We will be documenting our voyage on a video camera using participatory video methods with the aim to make a documentary which can be used to advocate and leverage financial support.


23 thoughts on “The Voyage

  1. Scotty Boy

    Exciting times. Good luck & stay safe.

    Is Hermit Island near the Purdy group?

    Any chance of The Climate Challenger ever making it to Sydney?

  2. jean kennedy

    bai gutpela win i karim yupela esi long ol narapela ailan!

    • Tapas Samol

      All crew ,
      what are challenge ahead of this historical journey. Bon voyage pe kamatulisi wa e PERE.


  3. Sangeeta Mangubhai

    What a wonderful ‘innovative’ idea – I am really enjoying reading the blogs and shall definitely be making a donation to this local environment group.

  4. Loriena LA

    Our prayers are with U and may our Heavenly Father take care of U through out ur journey.Safe trip guys!

    • This voyage is about connecting cultue, environment and climate change. Every creation has a spirit and only you know how to connect yourself to it, nature will guide you through. Cheers and thanks for supporting us through

  5. papson

    Wish the challenger crews safe trip and will meet you all when your team arrive to Lihir Island.I for one truly support the climate change voyage for the first of it’s kind by the Manus sailors.Mr Matawai ,it is your second voyage and the first one was to Vanimo . Wishing all of you best travel and do it the Manus way.

    Papson Papi

  6. papson

    The Manus community in lihir are looking forward to meet our sailors today to arrive to lihir and wishing them safe trip and we will have a bung kaiaki with all of you .


  7. jimmy matapi peter

    Great initiative and happy journey and thank you for your brave step in helping to make us aware of the fragility of our world. Happy journey Happy endings and tell us all about the beatiful sunsets in the Pacific..and the sunrises.

  8. papson

    Challenger voyage just sail in to Londolovit harbour and Manus community and public welcoming them with garamut and dance ,we have heavy rain ,but everthing went as planned.
    Meet and greet the crews ,Manus bung today ..


    • Thanks to all the Manus Community on Lihir Island. We have this honor to say wuroh for all your support and sparing your valuable time with us. It shows the Manus way! Special thanks to you Papson, PSC Michael Kereu and family, Judith Iru and the Lihir Electrical, Max and family, Paul Membup, Paul Pomoso and all the corpoorate businesses on Lihir island and also to all Manus on Lihir island.

      Time has come now for us to set sail with the wind! help us complete this journey

  9. papson

    We wish you SAFE TRIP and we the Manus Community at Lihir, Did our best to give what we have to support this voyage for a good cause to help our Province realise the changes and destruction nature will affect us in the future and Papua New Guinea as a whole . Your voyage to lihir and awareness was of great value to us .

  10. papson

    We wish yoU all SAFE TRIP and truly support the voyage for the good cause .The voyage will help us realise the effects and destruction to our province and country.. wuroh !

    • Judith Molong

      Manux, Any updates of where you are? Be strong and be not afraid. God is guiding you and your crew thru this journey. Have a blessed night.

  11. Relinda Iru

    Wish you guys are safe, may god bless all of you and look after you all. Safe trip and tokim bobs olsem mi missim em.

  12. Tapas Changol

    Hi Manux and team. Good to hear the updates. Keep them coming. Safe sailing!! I personally dedicate my last must-win soccer match of the regular season to you and your crew which we (Chauka Tabubil) will play this weekend – 29-Sep-2012

  13. Tapas Samol

    WIN bai kisim yupela igo na kambeck

  14. pomat mohe

    Good to see you manusians taking up this challenge to sail around the pacific. This is the first of its kind in png and i do hope that you will really achieve what you have been looking forward to. I wish you all happy sailing and hope to hear from you all soon.

  15. Kiliwi

    My family will be out in Honiara to welcome you all. We are very proud of you too

  16. papson

    Yupla kamap pinis long Manus ? mipla long Lihir sekim yupla sapos yupla kam SAFE long Manus..Tok amamas go long Captain na olgeta Crew blong Kanu , Wishim Yupla Merry Christmas ..

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