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, November 12, 2010
Discovering Tokelau by the stars.
24 August 10 Since our last trip the crew of Gaualofa set a heading for Tokelau but this trip has a twist. We set sail without the use of a compass, GPS, maps or a watch to tell time. It’s the next step towards personal development for each crew member into the chapter of sailing, traditional navigation.
There was two parts to the training;
The first part was to prepare in chronological order the stars and planets we will be using to arrive into Tokelau. We were fortunate to have on board a traditional navigator from Tokelau but the entire crew required the skills to identify the key stars and planets to have a clear understanding of the navigators choice of heading.
The second part of the training was to determine the va’a speed in order to estimate distance travelled this is called a “speed check”.
We measured a point from the bow of the va’a to astern of the va’a. With that distance we use the white wash from the breaking waves at the bow of the va’a to count how many seconds it take to reach the point astern. With that we broke each second into estimated knots to determine speed, for example a 6 second speed check would establish that we are travelling at an average speed of 8 knots.
Each voyage is broken down in shifts by three watch teams. Each team works three hours with the two remaining teams on six hour rest. Each watch group is lead by a watch captain who is in-charge of performing speed checks every hour of their shift.
We collate the information collected to keep us on our heading to our final destination. How smart were our ancestors aye! It is an important piece of knowledge that is vital to our culture. How cool is that? We didnt use electronic instruments.