The safe return of Palau Okeanos and her crew from her second sojourn outside of Palau waters was celebrated in a welcoming ceremony held this week at Koror State Rangers Office in Malakal, Koror. Okeanos and her crew, made of up of Koror State Rangers and led by Okeanos Captain SamilBeouch, sailed on an 800-mile voyage to the island of Yap on February 26th and back.

Originally supposed to arrive on March 6th, the vessel suffered hardships from the weather conditions while out at sea. However, the crew did not give up and continued to work together, and finally arrived home on March 10th.

The crew members included Nolan Ringel, UlaiYaoch, Jazzmen Isaac, JaejaySadang Jeffrey, Salvi Kangichi, Tengeluk Ricky, Samrina Bemar, Erica Quinchocho, PhediasBrel, Robea Solomon, Jamos Andrew, and the Boat Captain Samil Beouch.

Awaiting their arrival are the important Koror State Government officials, staff from Koror State Government, and the families of those that set sail on Okeanos Palau.

Speaker of the 11th Koror State Legislature Alan Marbou gave opening remarks and commended the Okeanos Palau crew for representing Palau by traveling a great distance to the island of Yap.

Team Leader Phedias Brel said they have learned important things through this experience.  The first he mentioned was love, he talked about the love displayed from the people who showed up before the departure and never left until the Okeanos Palau crew set forth on their journey. They took the love with them as they went.

Another thing that they gained from sailing is the experience, the crew struggled to find their way to Yap, but still continued to learn and experience as they journeyed to find the island.

Lastly, they realized that there were a lot of people that were worried about them and they were also worried about the unpredictable forces of mother nature. However, they looked at Boat Captain Beouch’s experience of going to New Zealand for five months then realized that the crew is capable enough to make it to Yap.

Although not making it to Yap Day, Brel mentioned once they saw land all their troubles and fears went away.

The purpose of the trip is not only to set sail to Yap but to also conserve and preserve cultures along with traditions. Boat Captain Beouch thanked the Koror State Leadership for the opportunity and believes that this event with Koror State will lead to other events in the future.