The Samoa Voyaging Socety (SVS) works to promote positive Samoan cultural values, respect for the ocean and nature, individual and social responsibility, discipline and integrity.
The SVS considers that the reintroduction of traditional sailing in Samoa will provide opportunities for youth development (sports, leadership), environmental awareness, cultural development and, potentially, tourism opportunities such as whale watching and adventure tours.
SVS is developing hands-on educational and training programmes in traditional sailing and navigation. The programmes will target young Samoan youth including school children, school leavers and other interested groups. The task of learning traditional sailing and navigation skills also develops leadership and discipline among the youth, leading to well-rounded young people capable of contributing positively to the growth of this nation.
Friday, October 3, 2014
My humble apologies for being quiet in more than year due to lots of works that needed done on land in maintenance of Gaualofa, preparing crew, awareness programs and much more into sustaining our mission.
She's returned home proudly flying her five stars again into foreign seas.
It's a very hot Thursday afternoon, October 2nd 2014, when Samoa's Vaatele Gaualofa, raises her sails again for another open ocean voyage.
Her sister Canoe, Marumaru Atua from the Cook Islands accompanies her.
Before their departure, both crews receive traditional blessings from His Highness the Head of State, Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi. His Highness is the Patron for the Aiga Folau o Samoa (Samoa Voyaging Society).
while her Highness Filifilia Tamasese prepares a hearty breakfast to remember.
Galumalemana Steve Percival takes photos inside and outside their Highness's residence, Tuaefu in remembrance of the event.
In his farewell address, His Highness, acknowledges the contribution of Dieter and Hanna Pullman of Germany to our Pacific people. The canoes remind him of their (Pullman's) commitments to preserving our oceans, our environments and the future of our people.
The two vans on standby take voyagers back to the beach.
There, the crew of Samoas Vaatele Gaualofa, receives a briefing on their environmental duties at sea from James Atherton Environment Consultant. He reminds them on the importance in logging all necessary things they observe. South Pacific Regional Environment Program ( SPREP) sponsors this part of their mission together with Conservation International (CI)
It was time for them to leave the city of Apia, when they all gathered under the nearest shade on the beach for a cultural prayer from the father figure on Gaualofa, Chief, Lavata'i Mailagi.
Traditionally, the land crew, families, and friends of Samoa's Vaatele Gaualofa, present, each of the crew members on both canoes, with the most popular fragrance mosooi lei.
Marumaru Atua is ten minutes ahead of her sister Gaualofa, now heading to Fiji.
Faafetai i lau tapua'iga,
Ma ia manuteleina le tatou folauga.
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Andrew Banse and Gaualofa crew
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
We are now two weeks into our journey home to Samoa, and have yet to see any land. The captain says that we might reach our next stop by the end of the week, and all on board are eager to re-acquaint themselves with the solid earth for a few days. Meanwhile, on board we are living Life at Sea: we read, we write; some study while others entertain themselves and each other with songs and other musical antics. We bake in the midday sun while praying for a cooling respite of rain, and we hope for clear stars and a warming breeze at night. We fish, we eat; we sit back and watch as our belly’s grow softer. We wash dishes, bathe, and swab the deck in salt water. We talk sometimes of base things such as what delicacies might next emerge from Lole's magical fry pan for dinner; and we converse at other times on elevated themes such as how to improve the lives of our people, and what noble purpose might our lives serve upon completing our current sojourn upon our mother Gaualofa. Thus we sail on...
At the moment it is 3am, my watch shift is done, and the moon sets upon our stern while Orion slowly rises from beyond our bow. Perhaps we should enjoy one more peanut butter cracker and another 'ukulele singalong before bed...or maybe just bed.
Saturday, July 28, 2012
Good morning from roughly 435nm East of Tuvalu.
Today is day 15 on the ocean, 3 days longer than first anticipated. Such is the case with voyaging. I have to say, I kinda prefer how our ancestors did it … sail ‘til you see land or run out of stuff to eat. None of this ETA and sailplan stuff. It takes the anticipation out of the equation.
Last night was a quiet night on Gaualofa, after a squally Friday night. Looking at our sail path over the last 48 hours, I noticed a couple of loop-de-loops on the screen – the first being from Friday night when the squalls won 3-1 over our shift’s attempts at tacking (our lone point comes from collecting a little over 50 litres of rainwater, a hard-won bonus). The second loop happened yesterday afternoon when we took the opportunity to re-patch a sail while the winds were light. Andrew and I took turns at sewing the relatively long tear, and I have to admit that Andrew’s stitches were much neater than mine. The only person who would be more horrified than my Form 2 Home Economics teacher at the state of my sewing skills, would be my mum (when we were growing up she could sew a dress perfectly, blindfolded). In any case we slapped on a length of sail tape over the sewed up bits. You know, just to be safe.
Like I said, last night was pretty quiet on board, with most people disappearing below deck after dinner. I guess the wind got taken out of our sails, both literally and figuratively. Nick, our fearless leader, posted up daily Easting targets on the whiteboard, putting our arrival to Tuvalu at this coming Friday (hopefully, with fingers crossed, and a multitude of prayers muttered into the wind). So, it’s understandable that people would need a little time to recharge and adjust to the new ETA. Sure, Gaualofa has done longer stints at sea, but it might have something to do with being homeward bound and the painfully slow progress we’ve made up to this point.
To other news, story time continues to be a daily hit. Since Jordan‘s post, we’ve had French language lessons, a couple of singalongs, a fitness demonstration (Kalolo’s attempt at getting the crew involved in more physical activity), and a fair bit of sharing. The other day, we turned our minds and memories to the people that have touched our lives at the various stops we’ve made - strangers who have opened up their homes to this ragtag bunch of voyagers. We’ll always be grateful to the people that made this voyage possible – Dieter and Hanna Paulmann, their hardworking logistics team, the Voyaging Societies, and many, many more. But, there are also those people who, at every stop we’ve made, have made each port feel that much more like home by their kindness and generosity. We each shared memories of total strangers who had, by their actions, forever earned a place in our individual voyaging stories. And, there were so many. There are so many. People that we can’t always put a name to, but can picture in our minds, with sincere gratitude.
A hearty handshake,
a welcome embrace,
a hot shower,
a place to sleep,
the chance to kick back amongst homey surroundings.
A meal here,
a drink or two there,
a token gift to remember a person and place by.
Strangers who have become friends,
friends who have grown into family.
Eager listeners who soak up our so-called adventures,
curious and in awe of our day-to-day lives on the va’a.
People who dream of what we do.
People who accept us as something we often lose sight of – voyagers from afar.
People who, through their kindness and generosity, have given us a place to call home so far away from our own.
People to whom we are most thankful.
Fa’afetai, fa’afetai tele lava.
Collectively, we can only hope to one day return the kindness that has been shown to us, if not pay it forward.
And with that, breakfast beckons. Lole has baked some delicious smelling bread to go with coffee, perfect for the drizzle and overcast weather that seems to be the order of the day.
Wishing you all a peaceful Sunday, and an awesome week ahead at work and school.
Much love from somewhere along 7 degrees South and 171 degrees East.
Anama Solofa & the Gaualofa crew.
Friday, July 27, 2012
Aiga folau a Samoa. My current family here on board Gaualofa. As the days draw on, I can feel us all growing closer and closer just like our canoe inches closer to Tuvalu. Every day for the past couple of days we have been having story time just before we eat dinner. We each take turns telling stories, giving demonstrations, and teaching one another a little more about ourselves. We have laughed, cried, argued, been scolded, and grown just like any other family. We have heard triumphant stories of survival in horrid situations, learned how to make toffee, give foot massages, and today I taught the crew how to start dreadlocks by giving Taleni one! I am learning more Samoan everyday and learning more about where my mother’s family comes from.
We passed the half way point to Tuvalu recently and are praying for more wind to blow us in the right direction to get to Tuvalu in a timely manner. We are currently creeping along going about 2-3kts and with the wind sometimes straight from the east, we have to tack north and south struggling to keep us going somewhat in the right direction. The refreshing squalls come in everyone once in a while giving Gaualofa and her crew a nice fresh water rinse and replenishing our water supplies.
It’s a beautiful clear night tonight, with the moon and stars shining down on us. There is a nice breeze coming in, and the boys are playing their ukuleles and guitars and singing songs from back home. I think it’s time I get off the computer and join them. I just want to send my love to all my aiga ma uo back home in the South Bay of LA and in Arizona.
Miss you all, talk to you guys soon!
Blessing from somewhere in the south Pacific,
Jordan Suyeto and the Gaualofa Crew
Wednesday, July 25, 2012
It's been seven days now since we left the Solomon Islands, and for most of that time we have been fighting very strong sea and wind conditions; not to mention having been constantly wet from the squalls and the waves that have been breaking over the va'a. At night, it is so dark in these conditions and the wind so strong, that the wind-driven rain is hurting when it hits you in the face. Up till now, we are still fighting upwind, tacking our way to Tuvalu.
Tuesday, July 24, 2012
|Looks like the crew got what they were hoping for :)|