Blog - Voyage to Rarotonga

May 2015 Rarotonga update

July 2015 Rarotonga update

Wednesday 15/07 @ 2030

Our beautiful waka arrived home, thank you everybody who followed the journey and supported the kaupapa. Nga mihi nui ki a koutou!

Wednesday 15/07

Te Matau a Maui Position @ 0800

S 38 58.3', E 178 39.5', spd 7kt, 235hdn


Here we are again. 50 miles from Mahia and another 50 again from Ahuriri. Possibly the last 24 hours (more or less) of a over 2 month long voyage taking our Te Matau a Maui whanau

along with us to the whenua our tupuna departed on waka not too different from Te Matau a Maui a thousand years before reaching Aotearoa.

The benefits that we as a waka, as a whanau but also as individuals have reaped are far beyond the expected benefits that any of us had predicted 6 or so months ago. But hey,i don't want to ruin any of the stories that all of the kaumoana will be sharing once we arrive back home. WEe promise not too longer now.

We are now heading straight to Mahia before we reach Te Matau a Maui and turn West into Ahuriri. We estimate to reach Ahuriri early tomorrow morning and clear customs/immigration before reaching Te Karaka point and finally placing our feet on solid ground in the Ahuriri channel.

Te Matau standing by - up to date updates on te matau a maui facebook.


Tuesday 14/07 - day 20

Te Matau a Maui Position @ 0600

S 36 59.7', E 179 51.6', spd 3kt, 220hdn

Day 12

Chur double reef to main and mizzen throughout the night, fully geared up from head to toe. Life jackets over wet weathers and gumboots over socks.

Every 2-5minutes buckets of water over our protected selves with 35 knot winds in the face, hence the reason of a double reef. but other than the usuals, fishing is great, methods of

cooking fish is always improving, ideas are always brought to the table thanks to our "brothers and sisters" throughout the pacific. Throughout the day is cruisy, guitar tends to come out every now and then and yeah waiata is practiced when the time is right, unless the UE boombox is in control. hahahah


Turoa,Tuirirangi, Shaia and Kaips "The Domination Crew"

Te Matau a Maui out


Position @ 1800

S 30 31.6', E 179 58.6', spd 3.5kt, hdn 175

Day 9 - 03/07

Position @ 1800

S 26 06.4', W 177 57.7', spd 6.5kt, hdn 275

I started the day with a nice cold shower, and got ready for watch. During watch Tu, Tawh, Pou, Turoa and I had a conversation about life, with everyone putting in their different perspectives. It was an amazing discussion.

After the discussion was lunch, got to give it to Hana for the mean fried bread and stir fry. We finished watch, so i went to bed. When suddenly I heard all of this commotion on the deck, we had caught a fish on the wakas lure. I have to name it and i have yet to name it.

The sun was a couple minutes from setting and Pounamu with her very enthusiastic vibes got a few people very exited to see the green flash. Although it didn't happen everyone got up for it witch was awesome. After that i cleaned my bunk and came up for tea, credit to Shaia it was so good. All is good but starting to miss home, but aye. soldier on!

Tanira signing out & Te Matau Standing by!


Position @ 1800
S 25 36.0', W 175 58.1', spd 5kt, hdn 260
So far so good this leg has been.The day started off at midday for me, waking up to the crew getting ready for a swim seeing their wasn't much wind. Everyone jumped in and had a mean swim around, I finally cracked a back flip off the waka, stoked. The rest of the day was a chill day with the crew, most playing cards and the rest either catching up on sleep or on watch. We

just finished dinner and just been going over whats we should expect the coming days, by the sounds of it the mahi is going to pick up and the relaxed attitude we have had the last week is not gonna be around, we have a mean crew so we're ready, I say bring it on!

Signing out, Tuirirangi Kereama
Te Matau standing by. E'O!

Position @ 0600

S 22 26.9', W 168 07.6', spd 8.5kt, hdn 260 X X X
Morena whanau,

squally night last night, head sail changing throughout the night.

Te Matau a Maui

Position @ 1800
S 21 46.6', W 166 56.1', spd 6.5kt, hdn 225
Another fish on the line today, this time a Wahu, just in time for late afternoon ika mata.

Lots of card games, from Presidents to Stop The Bus, with the fickle wind changing and dying several times today and then coming back full force. On the horizon tonight we see the possibility of squalls with lots of light wind changes, but that's all in the life of a voyager.
Te Matau a Maui

kia ora
leaving Rarotonga was emotionally hard for me and am sure the rest of the crew felt the same, bonding and making so many connections with the people of Rarotonga, for me it was harder to leave Rarotonga than it was to leave home. Putting that aside we are on our 4th day. It's hot and almost everyone had a wash today. We averaged about 6.5 knots and heading in a good course line to the Kermadecs. The girls, Shaia and Hana, made a banana cake and it was the bomb. I am very privileged to be doing the full voyage. Me and Neha learnt the basics of trimming the sails properly today. Can't wait to get home and see the whanau and have a mean feed of maccas.
Tanira Tamanui Nepia 

25 06 2015

Tena ra koutou katoa e nga rangatira ki uta e hapai nei i te kaupapa o toku waka ko Te Matau a Maui.

Kua tuku matau ki tai, kua tuku matau kia hoki atu ki Hawaiki Tahutahu, i runga i nga ara a o tatau tupuna ki te whenua i karangahia he ao... he aotea... ko Aotearoa!

The sky opened this morning to a beautiful sunrise signaling for us the right time to depart and to leave our whanau behind once more, to leave our whenua tupuna behind and head on to our

whenua tipuranga. Te Matau a Maui has sewing one more thread between our two whenua and our two whanau to bring them closer once more. Although we are sad to be leaving our 'anau in the Kuki Airani we are happy to be returning to our whanau in Aotearoa... Taihoa mai koutou, kua puta atu ki tai, kare e roa ka rongo i nga hau matao ka kitea i nga puke o te kainga.


Te Matau a Maui

@ 1800

S 21 32.0', W 160 37.5', spd 8kt, hdn 250

17 06 2015

Since we arrived back at Avatiu harbour in Rarotonga on the 12th we have been busy relaxing for a few days then back into it. We have visited the local schools for the last couple of days and shared our stories with the tamariki of visiting the outer motu of the Cook Islands, it’s been a privilege to visit these kura.

Tua & Cecile have been spoiling us we had a day out with Tua on the motu at Muri yesterday, he packed a chilly bin and did bbq lunch and we all spent most of the day swimming and snorkeling while the "senior crew" did some work around the waka.  Sam Napa took us out for a kaikai at Cocoputt. Im still thinking about the kai, yum yum give me some more. We have also been hosted for dinner most night’s with local vaka fanau. Still more mahi to do on our waka before we plan to sail home Friday weather permitting. Movie night tonight and tomorrow night a farewell kai kai for our crew flying home.

12 06 2015
E'O Te Matau! Back in Rarotonga today! Getting Te Matau ready for the voyage back home, maybe here a week if necessary. Hold tight whanau, wont be to long now. Arohanui Tawhana &


10 06 2015
Poowhiri soon in Mitiaro. Heading back to Rarotonga tonight, hopefully just an overnighter sail. Arohanui

Awesome day yesterday at Mauke sharing Paikea and Takitimu korero all day. Spent most of the day taking the kids of Mauke around on the vaka doing bombs and explaining a bit about our

lives on here and the message that we are trying to spread across the world. Mauke hospitality surpassed expectations of us all as we were hosted by singing mamas and mapu then presented with a feast not once but twice!
Mauke is a beautiful island and we are very blessed to have set foot upon it. Thank you to the beautiful people of Mauke.  Your hospitality and blessings will be remembered and passed on in our stories.

09 06 2015
@ 0600 TMAM was: s020 11.2', w157 23.3' just chillin
Morena e hoa ma!

Here we drifting with the current outside the home land of our tipuna Paikea - Mauke. Late afternoon yesterday we sailed past his former village and the place he left from all those centuries

ago. Now we, his descendants, have voyaged all this way back to pay homage to the feats he accomplished and to hear the stories and reconnect with our relations who still live on this small piece of land.

Everyone is excited to go on land today, and to also have a group of rangatahi come out and spend some time with us on our waka. Same as on Atiu, a barge will come out from Mauke and pick up most of the crew and they'll go on for the welcoming ceremony while the others stay on board and host the rangatahi. The two crews will then swap out around midday. Again it is only a short stay, with there not being any anchorage, moorings, or beaching spots here. Like Atiu and Mitiaro these islands rise steeply from the ocean floor - with depths in the thousands of meters only hundreds of meters from the shore.

Awesome to be here with our big sister Marumaru Atua. We swam across to them yesterday evening and i was lucky enough to have a short sail with the cuzzies and stay for a delicious feed made by Mama Liz, Sammy, and the captain himself. Nga mihi nui.

Right, i better put some porridge on for the next watch... Rai

Tuorooro ia mai ki Taunganui i o Enuamanu.

Enuamanu (ancient name for Atiu Island) welcomed us on Saturday morning in true Atiu warrior style.

Te Moana Nui A Kiva came to life as the Te Manava vaka fleet of four sailed to the reefs edge of Taunganui. Te Matau A Maui, Haunui, Faafaite and Marumaru Atua looked as if they were smiling at each other as they came within reaching distance, well one thing for sure was the crew were very happy to be reunited, after farewelling each other 5 days earlier in Aitutaki... the

frustrations of not having wind for that period were gone however, as we could hear the drums and the singing of the children of Atiu on the beach.

The Atiu barge parted the calm rich blue waters as the sun rose in the east, their mission was to transport all crew ashore for an official welcome by the Ariki and people of Atiu.

The swells were rolling into the harbour entrance making it very challenging for those of us watching the entry from on the barge, but our barge Captain Rouru handled every turn with ease and a big Atiuan grin on his face. The response from our Aotearoa crew was a quick Churr bro, that was mean!!! Meanwhile lining the cliffs and harbour was virtually of Atiu islands population, young and old. The drums had stopped but the songs of Atiu were bouncing off the cliffs as the her people sang and laughed and some had tears as we were laden with flowers eis.

For the first time in many years, Atiu was witnessing an event they had only heard of in legends and stories but on this day they could see the reawakening of a Voyaging tradition they had treasured since the stories of Mataatua, Kurahaupo and Te Arawa vakas leaving their shore heading to Aotearoa.

Te Manava Vaka festival was organised as a part of the 50th Anniversary of our Cook Islands Self Government and today through these vaka we have taken this celebration to our sister islands.

Rongomatane, Ngamaru Arikis and representatives for Parua Ariki were present to receive Kaumaiti tou Ariki and Vakatini Ariki. We acknowledge Parua Ariki who was present in Auckland to farewell us at a kaikai at the Takitumu hall.

We were lead up a pathway to a guard of honour of approximately 140 children of all ages chanting and singing. Marumaru Atua was welcomed first in Cook Islands Maori, the Faafaite in Tahitian and finally a karanga was performed for the Haunui and Te Matau a Maui from Aotearoa.

After the official welcome of speeches from the island council and aronga mana and responses from Tou Ariki, Tua and Hoturoa, the crew were entertained by the children as they were treated to a succulent feast of Atiu delicacies ( I'll leave it to your imagination, what to workout what was on the table)

Following the feast and entertainment, the crew were taken on a tour of the island to all the areas of interest.  While this was happening the school children of Atiu college were taken out to spend time on each vaka and to share with the crew members who had remained on board to care for the vakas. Atiu college had been conducting studies of traditional voyaging and to gain credits it was a requirement that they spent some time on a vaka, practicing what they had studied. It was an absolute thrill to have these kids on board opening sails, steering and sailing our vaka.

Te Manava Vaka is about sharing our culture of voyaging with our children, our future and this was achieved today.

The children were brought back to shore as the crew on shore swapped with the crew on the vaka so they could see the island too. On their return a departure ceremony was held where gifts of fresh produce and foods where given to each vaka. 

The children of Te Manava vaka are completely overwhelmed at the hospitality of the people of Atiu, the sharing, the caring and love shown to us will never be forgotten.  To the Ui Ariki of Enaumanu, To Mayor Ina Mokoroa and your council, to Mr Apii Porio meitaki maata for all your support.

We were later told that once the people of the island had heard that the vakas had arrived on Friday night, they went to the harbour and cliffs above and camped the night watching the vakas tacking up and down the coast in preparation for the days events.

As the sun set to the west all the vakaa sailed past the harbour on a last farewell to the Atiu people. This was also a sad moment for the Te Manava Vaka fleet as Faafaite bid everyone farewell as they set there sails for their destination Tahiti. Haunui vaka also bid farewell as they had to head straight back to Rarotonga.

Our next stop is Akatoka Manava - Mauke Island, Te Matau a Maui and Marumaru Atua will continue to carry the message of celebration for our 50th anniversary and Te Manava Vaka.

Turou e Akatokamanava to aere atu nei te anau... iiieeekoko!!!!

07 06 2015


perfect night for tack training last night, cracking the 2 man tack this morning..

Good to be back with the whanau and looking forward to going ashore together soon onto Atui!

@ 0600 TMAM was fluffing on the south west side of Atiu: s020 20.4', w158 11.5'

Peace Rai

07 06 2015
This morning Marumaru Atua, Haunui, Te Matau a Maui and Faafaite will be welcomed into Atiu by the Children, Island people and the Aronga Mana of the island.

But before I touch on what we will experience on the island of Atiu, we would like to thank the people of Aitutaki for their never ending hospitality.The Mayor and your council, the many families that hosted us for Breakfast and Dinner, we want to say meitaki atupaka.... Mike Henry and your team thanks again for always being there. On behalf of Te Manava Vaka Fleet, Haunui, Te Matau a Maui, Faafaite, Gaualofa and Marumaru Atua we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

After leaving Aitutaki on Tuesday we have finally arrived outside Taunganui landing on the westside of Atiu. For four days we have been battling very very light winds to get to Atiu. The ocean has been beautifully calm and night sky brilliant filled with stars and a bright moon, but to be able to sail on these craft, we have to have wind, which was nonexistent.

On Marumaru Atua we have been fortunate to have a mixture of crew, firstly we have the presence of elders Kamaiti Tou Ariki, Vakatini Ariki and Ports Authority CEO Mr Bim Tou. We also have 3 youth from Te Matau a Maui sharing the experience of Marumaru Atua, 16 yr old Pounamu Tipiwai-Chambers, 15yr old Tanera Nepia and Tuirirangi Kereama... they have a been a thrill to have on board a great mixture of young and old sharing stories and laughter and songs.

We look forward to having on board all vaka our children from Atiu island. We are being welcomed onto the island at 8:00am all being transported ashore by the island barge. An official welcome ceremony will be held at Taunganui landing followed by an island feast then a tour of the island. Once this is completed children will be brought on board our vaka, where they will be assessed for studies they have completed on vaka traditions.

Vaka crew are excited about meeting the Atiu people and the Atiu people are waiting for this historical visit, this will be the first time that 4 vaka have arrived together from the different families of the Pacific.

We are honoured to be here... Te Manava Vaka lives through the stories, songs and dance that the children of Atiu will share with us...

We look forward to this day...

Ka Kite
Marumaru Atua Vaka crew... Tua Pitman

05 06 2015

Kia ora tatau!

not quite as hot today and def not slow enough to stop for a swim :( it's been all about the card games on the deck of Te Matau today. the only mention of Atiu have been in our less than

frequent jokes, although we are sailing out here alone at the moment hoping someones still coming with us - since we lost sight of Maru a few hours ago, just after Fa'afaite tacked back south. i'm sure all will be revealed after the next call we make..

.in the mean time its sausages (thanks sausage) and noodles for dinner mmm :)

Arohanui ki a koutou katoa!

Rai, TMAM, & Crew

Arohamai whanau, forgot our position: s19 42.5', w158 47.6'


04 06 2015
Te Matau Position
Kia ora whanau!
Hope everyone's happy out there. Chops here for tea, thanks Marumaru..and thanks to Fa'afaite for dinner last night.

We've just had a slight wind change here and holding 2-3 knots @ 155.
1800 Pos: 20 17.8's, 159 15.5'w
Faafaite has to come south before it can tack back to Tahiti because of the wind direction.
We most probably won't be in Atiu tomorrow unless the winds pick up. We are hoping for winds to pick up from the South tonight.  So far looks like Friday Atiu, Saturday Mauke and Monday Mitiaro, Tuesday Raro... That's all wind depending so we cant confirm any of this.  
Korou ora!

03 06 2015

Te Matau Position @ 0600 

Morena tatau!

Heaps to be thankful for this morning: having our crew experience voyaging at its best, epic sailing, beautiful island stays with the best hospitality, and now possibly the most emotional

part of voyaging...the farewell and departure. There's always mixed emotions, we're sad we're leaving our Aitutaki whanau and brothers & sisters of Gaualofa and Fa'afaite but really happy we got to connect and spend time. All the best to you two on your voyages home! and give our love to Cuddles please. 

Always good to be back on the water. It's voyaging 101 for our new crew with active learning taking place at all levels with special attention being paid to the steering which of course is critical when pinching as we are. Our lines been pretty good over night with only one small hiccup. In spite of that, this young crew is soaking up the lessons real fast. I hope our crew on Haunui and Maru are enjoying their experience and making us proud.

Stoked to have the wind shift more to the north this morning. @0630 Te Matau was: 19 49's, 159 33.5'w heading: 118 Speed: 4 knts

Nga manaakitanga,


Arohamai for the late post, only just got internet. E'O Te Matau arrived safely, crew happy into Rarotonga on Friday.

21/05/2015 - Day 14

EO Te Matau! @ 0600






20/05/2015 - Day 13

EO Te Matau! @ 1800



We getting warmer & closer.

Everybody all good.


19 05 2015

Kia ora whanau

EO Te Matau Position @ 1800



Sailing strong!


EO Te Matau! Han

19 05 2015

Morena whanau

EO Te Matau Position @ 0600



Everybody is happy!


EO Te Matau! Han

18 05 2015


EO Te Matau Position @ 0600



Having a bit of a surf

Hope all is well.


EO Te Matau! Han

17 05 2015

EO Te Matau Position @ 1800



Beautiful night @7knts.

EO Te Matau! Han

16 05 2015

EO Te Matau Position @ 0600



Headin Ra ki Tokerau @8knts.

Crew working hard steering & eating lots!

EO Te Matau! Han

15 05 2015

EO Te Matau Position @ 0600



Beautiful sunrise & karakia this morning.

Prepping for some strong winds this weekend to make us go!

EO Te Matau

14 05 2015

Te Matau Position @ 0600


S33'48.4 W171'38.11

Heading Raki/Haka Ki Tokerau @ 8 knots.

Trying to boost as far north as possible before tomorrow

Han & TMM

13 05 2015

Ata marie

Pos 0600



Heading kainga @ 9kts.

Had a good night of gains.

Crew harty as always.


E'O Han

12 05 2015
Ata marie
Pos 0600
Heading kainga ki Tokerau.
Calm sea & winds still light.
Crew all good.
Sending big love to the whanau.

11 05 2015


Pos @ 0630



Has been a very windless night & morning.

Plenty of stars for navigation!

EO Te Matau.


Te Matau Pos @ 1800



Been a mean day of drying gears, catching fish, kapa haka practice & most importantly traditional navigation.

Crew all good, sending big love. EO Te Matau.

10 05 2015

Ata marie whanau,

Beautiful morning.

Pos @ 0800



Heading Ngoio ki Tokerau

@ 3 kts

Clear sky, light winds

Arohanui Te Matau


09 05 2015

Evening Whanau

Pos @ 1800



Heading Ngareo ki Tokerau

@ 2knts.

1hr timechange on sunset.

Much love from crew EO TeMatau


Kia ora whanau 07/05/2015

Position @ 1800

S39'20.72 E177'38.412 Speed 10kts heading 090' (AKA Straight for Waikawa) The seed of anticipation for this voyage, sown last year by our Cook Island whanau and steadily nurtured through months of korero, training, coastal voyages, preparation, and more sailing assured we’d be ready for this day.

A crowd of whanau and friends gathered for karakia today at lunch time, karakia lead by our Matua Haami and 30 knot north westerly winds turning the blue sea white translated to a crew ready to peak. And peak we did as Tawhirimatea welcomed us out of the channel with open arms and strong lungs.

Safe to say we passed our first test. Now @ 1630 we’re cruising out of The Bay at a steady 8 knots, keeping Waikawa (Portland Island) on our port bow and the setting sun to our backs.

The crew is focused and one of the strongest I’ve ever sailed with. As I sit in the whare with our Captain Hana-Te-Ri, my watch captain Ruiha Toitehuatahi, and my bro Tawhanawhana Pooro, the crew settle in to waka life. Teina’s dancing to the sounds playing on our new speaker, Tuirirangi’s keeping our course loyal, Henare’s finishing off our dishes, and Piripi’s helping Te Kaha prepare for traditional navigation which will start in earnest when we lose sight of land.

I don’t think waka and crew could be any better prepared for what promises to be an epic voyage which will take us to Rarotonga, Aitutaki, Atiu, Ma’uke, back to Raro before the return home.

Massive thanks to all of our waka whanau who continue to work tirelessly for the kaupapa we love most and for our beautiful canoe Te Matau a Maui!

(Fyi: Hana-Lee just said “no” to my enthusiastic “shall we put the lines out” lol) We’d also all like to send our love and best wishes to our brother and sister waka, whether sailing back to Hawaiki with us or chilling at home. To all waka and crews, aroha ki a koutou katoa!

This is Raihania Tipoki signing out for Te Matau, eo Te Manava Vaka!

Standing by 77.

Kia ora whanau, wishing you all the best fair winds and weather.

Te Matau is moving along nicely, crew settling in. We are 7miles from Waikawa where we will begin Traditional Navigation

Position @ 1800

S39'20.63 E177'39.84 Spd 10kt Heading 090


Hana and crew


Morena whanau,

Pos 0500



Heading Ra ki Tokerau at spd 5.0kt double reef N storm gyb.

Hope every is safe & well. Han

E'O TeMatau

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