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Learn traditional seafaring and navigation

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TRADITIONAL navigator Mario Benito of 500 Sails Inc. is inviting members of the community to learn seafaring and navigational skills.

Benito said every Sunday, at  Guma Sakman in Susupe, 500 Sails conducts free demonstrations on sailing, swimming, and other ocean-related subjects.

“500 Sails [is] inviting everyone interested in learning traditional seafaring to come in and join us, no pre-registration is necessary,”  Benito said.

“We want to motivate the younger generation, in particular, to have an interest in reviving traditional seafaring skills,” he added.

Benito said he learned seafaring skills from his great-grandfather, father and uncles in Polowat Atoll in Chuuk.

 

Master navigator Mario Benito stands beside a 500 Sails canoe used in an outreach program.

In 2016, a pwo ceremony was held on Guam where Benito was one of the five individuals ordained as master navigator. To be named a master navigator, one has to have at least 30 years of sailing experience. A grandmaster navigator determines if one is qualified for the master title.

500 Sails, Inc. is a non-profit organization that aims to reclaim the maritime tradition in the Marianas by getting 500 traditional Chamorro and Carolinian proas on the water in the Marianas again.

“Our goal is to bring back the indigenous Chamorro and Carolinian sailing tradition,” 500 Sails president Arthur de Oro said.

For more information, call 285-4268, 322-4268 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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