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.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Va’a Hinemoana: day eight of Pacific Voyage
Wednesday, 28 April 2010 12:10

Talofa all, we are doing well here the sailing routine is coming slowly.
We may bring back some sailors at home... our international crew is coming along very well and we are learning from each other more and more every day.

We are catching a lot of fish. 15 minutes fishing for 10 to 20 kg of tuna... our Pacific ocean is still full of life
We met a huge group of dolphins this morning with the sun rising in front of us.

So far we are very lucky with the weather our average daily mileage is about 150... in the last five days we did a third of the southern latitude, trip and a quarter of the total trip to Rivave.

A mere 19 days have passed since leaving our tiny tropical island, and yet the multitude and variation of experiences our team of 9 have had are more than most of us experience in a year.

Our time in New Zealand was full of preparing both our boat and crew for the voyage that lay ahead. From the huge quantity of food to purchase (perhaps 500 kilograms in total) to the ton of water stored under our bunks it was a logistics problem to even just load our va’a. Van load upon van load, and check list after check list ensuring that the va’a “Hine Moana” with her crew of 15 (9 from Samoa, 5 from Vanuatu and 1 from Tonga) would have everything needed for up to one month.

We’ve now been at sea for a week (and haven’t forgotten too many things). Miles of ocean have flowed passed our hulls, and land has not been seen for days. We’ve had remarkably lucky weather for our passage so far, and were very fortunate young and

experience crew that the first few days were smooth sailing.

Not all days have been sunshine however. We’ve had a couple windy and rainy nights and days which have put both our sailing skills and sweaters to the test.
In the wee hours of this morning, after a few slightly stressful hours, our crew was greeted by a pod of dolphins swimming by.

Perhaps 100 in all crossed our path; a sight which more than makes up for any stress, cold weather or rainy days. Multiple Albatross have gracefully swooped in our skies, and one small land bird even made some of the trek with us (unfortunately this bird died sometime last night on the Fijian Va’a).
Everyday we’ve been fortunate to feast of freshly caught tuna (now if only we could catch a chicken out here somewhere, or some bananas). With varying sailing experience and skills amongst the crew, we have much to learn.

We are learning that everyday activities like bathing, chopping onions and even getting dressed are made much more difficult with rolling waves and wind and rain. We are learning that it’s not always easy to wake up at 1 am for your next shift only to head out into the rolling waves and wind and rain. We are learning that this journey will not always be easy.
We are, however, learning to better function as a team and as a family.
We are learning to sail. We are learning! and in this process we will learn more about ourselves.

It is the sunrises and the sunsets, the Dolphins and the birds, the laughter and the growing sense of communion between our crew that remind us why we’ve all come. Our Skipper Marc asked us all a fundamental question the other day “Why did we decide to Sail?”. It is a question. While every response is sure to be different, I am sure our response to this pivotal question at the beginning of this project, our answer today, and our answer after arriving safely home to Samoan shores will be (like us) sure to change. Sincerely Hine Moana crew.

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