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.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Samoa Voyaging Society crew faces mountains of waves on Day 13 of their Pacific Oceans Journey.

Samoa Voyaging Society crew faces mountains of waves on Day 13 of their Pacific Oceans Journey.

Day 13 010510
Daily run: 201M
The day began smooth and we had hope that we would be able to dry out the waka (vaa). But the wind and swell pick up around eleven. Everything is wet from the last days. Wet weather gear, clothes down to the underwear and our bunks. All the hatches down into the hulls where we sleep are leaking from the locking mechanism. During the heavy weather when most of the deck was covered in foot deep water now and again, it pours down into the hatchway and occasionally, when the waka is on an angle it targets a the sleeping faces of the off watch crew. Worst is of course when we open a hatch to
climb out and start our watch, especially on the windward side. More often than not you are welcomed with a wave breaking over just when you peak out to see if the coast is clear and you start your watch by being wet and to bail out the hatch way. The air vents in the hatch ways below we use for drying wet gear and boots. Unfortunately the rough seas finds gaps in the air vents and water drips down and creat puddles in the bottom of boots. It does not bring a smile to your face by starting your watch with wet feet in the cold weather. All the waka seems to have problem with leaks in the bow. Every day we pump out three buckets of water from each sail locker in the bow. On Hine Moana they bailed out eight buckets! We haven't been able to find the leaks so far.
Humor aboard Te Matau a Maui is however drier than ever. Pranks and hilarious stories entertain us into the small hours of the night, not to mention lightening the intensity after a high pressure situation. Laughter has certainly been abundant. After a few days of eating crackers the mention of fry bread snuck into conversation. The thought lingered and this morning Mama Liz decided to make it a reality, by enlisting the assistance of the entire watch at different points; one to help find ingredients, another to help mix and another yet to fry, all whilst still managing to maintain a perfect course and a reasonable speed. We managed to make enough for the entire crew. Word got out that fry bread and porridge were hot and ready. Some of the off watch crew turned up on deck in singlet and shorts in the rough weather in fear of missing out. Mama Liz had to put on more porridge for hungry crew and served herself last. You could hear her say, 'it is good to have a happy crew!'.
All four canoes have steadily tracked north fairly close together. 20-25kn ENE gives us a good push but the sea in very confused with a two meter chop from the east and south swell we inevitably drift to the west. But for now we have decided that we can loose a little ground to the west for gaining north. The canoes are doing 8-9kn and more in the gusts. It is a very bumpy ride with most of the canoe airborne some of the time. Not good for the sleep but good for the milage and we are keen to get north to getmore favorable winds. Raivavae is only 425M away. But almost right in the direction of the wind!
Nga Mihi
Te Matau a Maui
010510 Time Postion
Te Matau a Maui 0600 28'56S 153'20W
Hine Moana 0600 28'54S 153'18W
Uto Ni Yalo 0600 28'54S 152'35W
Marumaru Atua 0600 28'57S 152'12W

Friday, April 30, 2010 7:16 PM
News from the South for Samoa Voyaging Society’s crew.
Last week I spoke of rolling waves and wind and rain and yada yada yada
blah blah blah blah. This week we have actually learned what rolling
waves and wind and rain are. We've pretty much been battered, beaten up and smashed by mother nature for the past week. We've been through her washing machine, and so far we haven't seen much of a gentle cycle.
As I sit in our tiny galley writing this, the occasional splash of water coming over the roof and into this not-so-waterproof space I hear our Skipper, Marc, explaining to one of our watch captains, John, to expect the occasional squall for the next 24hrs. Hooray! More fun. "It might be a bit hard during the night" was one of the latest comments overheard on the VHF radio between the boats we're with. Again- Hooray! While the next 24hrs might not be full of sunshine and lollipops, I'm sure they will not compare to some of the fun we had 3 or 4 days ago. For pretty much all of our crew (except our captain), the seas experienced during this week were the largest we'd been in. It's quite impressive (and occasionally quite unnerving) to see the giant mountains of water some of these weather systems can generate. To see the blue rise up high above the person your talking to, and to feel your boat slowly climbing the face of this water is quite something. It's reassuring to realize how well our boat (which at times begins to feel like not much more than a raft) can handle them. With a couple of repairs amongst the fleet, some minor bailing and our deck developing a rather unsettling slide between the two hulls, all va'as remain floating and moving (slowly at times) towards Raivave and Tahiti. Ok... so it sucks to be wet for a week, it sucks to be pounded and slammed around for a week (I have bruises in places which have never been bruised before), and it sucks to not be able to have a fresh water shower for a week (or more). All that being said, I certainly wouldn't change this experience for the world.
Our crews spirits remain high, and pretty much every time we're unexpectedly doused by some surprise slap of water, you hear laughter rather than cries. All in, everyone is still getting along well, and having a pretty good time too.
On another note, did you know that over 100,000 albatross's are killed each year by fishing boats? The only reason I mention this is as I have a confession to make as last week we made this 100,001 Albatross killed. Hungrily this beautiful bird went for one of our fishing lures. We tried our best to save it, but had no luck. This isn't the real confession though, the real confession is that we made Albatross stew.
Perhaps this is one of those things I am supposed to take to my grave, but I just had to let it out. The worst part- it was kind of good. If a chicken and a cow were to have a baby it may taste like Albatross. We voted on what to do with the bird, and figured in the end that it would be best to eat it. I'm sure we crossed a whole bunch of lines by eating this beautiful bird, but- what our ancestors would have done?
All of that being said, we're all still well (if not a little soggy) out here on the sea. Still learning heaps, with much more on our horizon.
Picturing warm Tahiti (in our hopefully not to distant future), sand
between our toes and sun on our face makes everything all right!
Brynne gives you a perfect picture. “it is a very very very hard sailing i'm impressed by my brothers and sisters on the va'a, they doing rely good. i want to get out of this storm but there is no stop button... according to the weather forecast we still have to handle it for at list 48 hrs. All the best from
Hine moana crew

1 comment:

  1. Talofa lava,

    My name is Christina Kwauk, and I am a PhD student from the University of Minnesota.

    I am currently in Samoa for a few months studying Samoan, and was hoping that I might be able to meet with someone involved with Aiga Folau o Samoa to talk about the role of voyaging in the sustainable development of the Pacific, as well as to learn more about the organization itself.

    I can be reached at or by phone at 725-5212.

    I look forward to hearing from you.

    Fa’afetai tele lava.