24 Jul 2008

Cook Islands canoe heads for Festival of Pacific Arts

9:52 am on 24 July 2008

The Cook Islands' voyaging canoe, Vaka Te Au O Tonga, is expected to arrive in American Samoa later tonight or early tomorrow morning to join the 10th

Festival of Pacific Arts.

The festival organizing committee had hoped the Rarotonga voyaging canoe, which left Rarotonga on July 16th would arrive in Pago Pago in time for Monday's official opening.

A message from the canoe posted yesterday morning on the Cook Islands' Voyaging Society Web site said Te Au o Tonga was 180 miles southeast of

Pago Pago and getting closer.

The vaka 'Te Au o Tonga' was built by the Cook Islands Voyaging Society, under the leadership of the canoe builder and designer, Sir Thomas Davis, in 1994.

It is the only traditional ocean voyaging canoe now existing in the Cook Islands.