The father of Palau Community College (PCC) Non-Instrumental Navigation Instructor Sesario Sewralur, Master Navigator Pius “Mau” Piailug, was recently honored by the Matson Navigation Company Inc. In recognition of his contribution to the revival of non-traditional navigation traditions in the Pacific islands, Matson named a vessel after Master Navigator Mau. A ceremony in celebration of the vessel being named was held at the Port Authority of Guam.


Members of the Yapese community on Guam honored Master Navigator Piailug’s memory with traditional performances as the vessel was officially blessed and named “Papa Mau.”

“Matson is proud to christen the newest vessel in its Guam/Micronesia service Papa Mau in honor of Mau Piailug’s singular influence in the perpetuation of traditional way-finding and celestial navigation,” said Bernadette Valencia, Matson General Manager for Guam and Micronesia. “As the Papa Mau navigates the islands in the Pacific for many years to come, we will be reminded of Mau’s far reaching legacy.”

Piailug, who passed away in 2010, was from the island of Satawal and widely known for sharing his knowledge with navigators throughout the Pacific. In 1976, he guided the crew of the Hawaii voyaging canoe Hokule?a on its historic  34-day voyage from Hawaii to Tahiti using nothing but traditional navigation methods.

Nainoa Thompson, Hokule’a Navigator, President of Polynesian Voyaging Society, and one of five Hawaii navigators upon whom Piailug bestowed the Traditional Master Navigator Title of Pwo in 2007, said of the ship naming, “It honors his name, his legacy and what he has done for all Pacific people.”

The naming of the vessel after Master Navigator Piailug was a part of Matson Navigation Company’s celebration of its twenty (20) years of service in the Pacific region. [/restrict]