The Cook Islands Voyaging Society’s vaka Te Au O Tonga left Avarua harbour at about 5.30pm on Saturday evening, headed for Atiu with a crew of nine on board. Captain Tua Pittman is joined by experienced crewmen Ian Karika, Nick Henry, Harry Goodwin, Peia Patai, Brown Apera-Makea and John Engu. Sarah Moreland and Patrick Arona are students of the society’s voyaging programme. The vaka should reach Atiu on Sunday. The plan is that on Monday it will transfer a National Geographic film crew to Mitiaro then head for Aitutaki where the Manea Games (sports competitions for the southern group islands excluding Rarotonga) are in progress. Te Au O Tonga should reach Aitutaki on Wednesday afternoon. To follow the voyage online go to www.voyaging.co.ck The vaka’s last trip was to American Samoa for the South Pacific Arts Festival in August this year.