Posts Tagged With: Climate Challenger


The First Official Climate Challenger Voyage Film HD 10.30mins

This is the first official video (10.30min) of the Climate Challenger Voyage, and it is ready to watch online now! We will also be entering it into the Rare and The Nature Conservancy’s sponsored Solution Search competition. Please show your support by voting for us on the Solution Search website. We hope you all enjoy reliving our journey!

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Tears of Joy as Climate Challenger Returns Home

AFTER A THREE MONTH epic canoe voyage, Climate Challenger has finally returned home.
It was around 8am 5th of December, making a steady 10 knots with our sails well set, that we returned to Pere, our home, after a sometimes hazardous voyage that had taken us from Manus to the Solomon Islands and back to PNG again, hurrying north just ahead of the cyclone season.

Climate Challenger flying the Solomon Island flag, cruises into Pere village after their 3 month long distance voyage. (photo: taken as a still from video)

Climate Challenger flying the Solomon Island flag, cruises into Pere village after their 3 month long distance voyage. (photo: taken as a still from video)

On Pere we could see a crowd of waiting friends, families and loved ones who had flocked to the shore. Echoes of the steady rhythm of the garamut filtered to our ears as we sailed in through the reef. Nearby, four canoes decorated with sago palms waited to escort us to the beach front. They were the proud seafaring canoes performing a guard of honor. We, the crew of Climate Challenger, were also dressed in our traditional attire and danced to the beat of the garamut as we sailed in. I kept my video camera rolling, filming every action, it will be a big celebration, I thought to myself.

Villagers of Pere village wait on shore for the Climate Challenger and crew. (photo: still from video)

Villagers of Pere village wait on shore for the Climate Challenger and crew. (photo: still from video)

The garamut rocked Pere as traditional dancers danced in to meet us as the guard of honour escorted us ashore. The flower girls put wreaths around our neck and we proceeded to meet the village chiefs, councillors and church elders who had lined up to receive us. In every corner we could hear people shouting and cheering. Everyone was so proud and happy to see us back safe and sound. The crew members were rounded up by their immediate families – shaking hands, chatting, crying. I could see tears of joy everywhere. It was a proud moment of my life and indeed a relief to be on Pere, finally home and reunited with our families.

Pere villagers happy to see the Climate Challenger crew return home safely. (photo: still taken from video)

Pere villagers happy to see the Climate Challenger crew return home safely. (photo: still taken from video)

The challenges, the sleepless nights and stressful times were over but the voyage is not. There is far to go in making our Pacific an environmentally secure place.

Climate Challenger Voyage Documentary

I am in Brisbane Australia now working on editing all of our video footage with film maker, Kat Gawlik. We expect to complete the documentary about the voyage by early April, 2013.

Climate Challenger will commence its journey early next year once funding is secured. This year, the crews planned to build a bigger canoe where it will join Climate Challenger on the next epic voyage where the crews planned to sail from Manus to Palau then to Marshall Islands. Open Member for Manus Hon. Ronny Knight has already pledged his support to build the new canoe.

Thank you all for joining us and we hope to update you all soon on the progress of our preparation and what is forthcoming in regards to our fundraising and our Pacific voyage.

Captain Manuai Matawai

Manuai Matawai, Climate Challenger Captain

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Maintenance on Supizae Island

We are on Supizae Island working on the canoe but also took some time out fishing to support our daily meals. Last Friday, we caught some yellow fin tuna, skip jack and rainbow runner. We cut some into steak and cooked on barbecue. The rest of the fish were smoked. On Saturday, we had to rip timbers for the canoe. The work on canoe will be completed by tomorrow ready to set sail on Thursday to Isabel Province then to Honiara. While in Choiseul, we will be conducting a dry stone wall workshop and do more awareness on climate change and sea level rise. The PNG, Manus Community and the PNG High Commissioner are desperately looking forward to meeting us in Honiara. They will be staging a big welcome for us. We expect to arrive at Honiara by Friday next week. But on the way through, we will be making a stop over on Wagina and Kia in Isabel conducting awareness. Willie Atu from The Nature Conservancy, Honiara is expected to join the crew on climate challenger on Isabel province and sail to Honiara.

Good catch of tuna and rainbow runner by Climate Challenger crew – photo: Richard Pangop

Friend, Bradley Opo helping out ripping timber for Climate Challenger – Photo: Manuai Matawai

Molean Polin working on extension to cater for big swell – Photo: Manuai Matawai



Categories: Climate Challenger in the Solomon Islands | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bobo, Babase and Buka

We are now on Buka Island, well and in good health. It has been a risky, challenging and adventurous trip so far after completing almost 300 nautical miles (600 kilometres) from Manus to Buka before we leave home ground (water!) and head into international waters for the first time on this voyage.

New Crew Member

We left Lihir with an extra crew member – Bobo from Kavieng, whose parents are from Manus and Kavieng and who joined us for the Lihir to Buka leg of our journey. Sadly, he will be leaving us shortly to fly back to Lihir but wished to take up the challenge and travel with us on this adventurous voyage across the Pacific. You will find many of our photographs and videos were taken by Bobo.

Bobo joined the Climate Challenger from Lihir to Buka, Bougainville to experience the challenge of ocean voyaging life. Photo: Manuai Matawai, taken at Lif Island of the Tanga Islands group

Young Bobo getting some hands-on experience taking video. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Anir Island (Babase Island)

The journey to Anir (Babase) Island was rough, and we lost a box full of supplies containing axes and all cooking equipment overboard.

Molean Polin preparing sago for breakfast, a meal for a long journey to give us energy before setting sail from Tanga to Anir island. Photo by Manuai Matawai (taken before we lost all cooking equipment)

Climate Challenger crew enjoying our traditional Manus staples – sago and fish, for breakfast. Photo Manuai Matawai

We spent 2 nights at Anir (Babase) Island, and during that time, we played climate change awareness films, shared Mbuke Island’s climate change adaptation experience and of course performed our Manus dancing. Over 100 people came to watch and listen and villagers told us they have observed climate change impacts in their gardens.

The community of Babase had never seen a canoe as large as the Climate Challenger before, and several people wanted to buy it.  Manuai has promised to return at some stage after the trip and help them build their own one.

The young Anirians welcoming us to Anir (Babase) Island. The ocean looks deceivingly calm, but a day before it wasn’t so calm and we lost a box of supplies overboard in the rough sea. Photo: Bobo

Entertaining on Anir showing the Manus Way. Photo: Bobo

Matsungan Island, Buka Island, Bougainville

We arrived Matsungan island on Buka Island at 9 am on Tuesday. The team was greeted by the chief of Matsungan and welcomed to the island with the traditional practice of feet washing. Culturally, the washing of feet is supposed to bring luck to first time visitors to the island (and maybe wash away bad luck!). We had a short program in the evening where we gave awareness on climate change and showed off the Manus garamut dance.

Chief Tokome of Matsungan Island leads Climate Challenger crew to shore

A Matsungan woman washes the Climate Challenger crew’s feet as part of welcome initiation. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Crew welcomed by the Matsungan community. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Buka Town, Bougainville

We arrived Buka town at 11 am yesterday with a rousing welcome by the Manus community and Bougainvilleans. A refreshment was hosted by the Manus Community followed by a dinner hosted by Mrs. Josephine Manuai Nakin and family, a Manus long time business woman on Buka Island.

Young Bobo on Climate Challenger. Manus/Buka boat escorts Challenger to port. Background; vandalised Starship vessels. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Crew welcomed at Leta village, Buka Passage. Photo: Manuai Matawai

Bobo and Joseph testing out Buka’s giant sized betel nut. Photo: Manuai Matawai

We have been filming all of our adventures and encounters. It is really amazing to see the crew having no fear. Every day we strategise, reach consensus and act… The journey so far has made us more resilient, adaptive and innovative. It is a great experience for us. Sometimes, we give up hope when our prayers are not answered and we encounter rough seas, but then we have come to realise that it is all about testing our faith.

The challenge ahead is, ‘are we able to complete the voyage????’ Only the WIND will tell.

Categories: Climate Challenger in Bougainville | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Broken Rudder

Good morning all.  Our travel to Kavieng was slowed by rough seas over the past 24 hours and the fact that we broke our rudder.  We did some on the spot repairs, and one of the canoes oars is now serving as a makeshift rudder – we will replace it when we arrive in Kavieng.  We are currently about 10 km from Tingwon Island, where we plan to stop and do some awareness.  The sun has come out this morning.  The boys are relaxing and chewing lots of buai and we are eating some yellowfin tuna we caught yesterday afternoon. The rough weather meant we were also unable to communicate with the shore support team until this morning.  All is well, see you in Kavieng.


Currently about 10km from Tingwon Island…

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