Sailor on mission to revive sailing traditions

Sanakoli John is a co-founder of Pasana Group, Papua New Guinea's first canoe building school. He is on a mission to revive the sailing traditions of Milne Bay and promote PNG culture globally.

As a master sailor from Milne Bay, John joined a delegation of West Pacific voyagers and canoe builders on a speaking tour to Canada, Germany, and the United Kingdom. 
The delegation spoke to scientists, politicians, and representatives from over 120 countries.
Five years ago, John led a circumnavigation of New Guinea in a traditional canoe, after which he and his brother Justin John founded Pasana Group. 
The school teaches traditional sailing skills and practices to young Papuans. John emphasizes that having a canoe enables people to fish and travel for free to the market, supporting themselves especially during fuel shortages.
The tour began in Vancouver, where John met with Modakula Kyonubu, Manager at Milne Bay Tourism Bureau, and leaders from voyaging societies in the Solomons, Fiji, Samoa, Hawai’i, and Micronesia. 
After attending the International Marine Protected Areas Congress (IMPAC), Kyonubu traveled home, and John and the delegation continued to Berlin, Germany, as key speakers at Te Ara Vaka Moana - Ancestral Voyaging Vessels and Navigation in Oceania, a convention hosted by Potsdam University.
In Berlin, John reunited with Danish Adventurer Thor F. Jensen and together they discussed their upcoming film SAILAU - The world's first circumnavigation of New Guinea in a canoe. 
The delegation then travelled to Greenwich in the UK to present at the prestigious Royal Institute of Navigation, where John presented his idea of building new canoes on the Trobriand Islands to re-establish the Kula Trade. He hopes the PNG government will support this project.
John is now returning home and reflects, "Meeting fellow sailors from the Pacific was very inspiring. We have been traveling like one big family. The ocean is not keeping us apart; it is what connects us Pacific islanders."
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