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.
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
16th May 2011
I stood there beneath the deck hatch in thought: should I change into my foul-weather gear, or no? It had been raining earlier and we had all enjoyed running the genniker while bathing in only our shorts and skins. I was sure the deck would still be wet, but the moon now beamed down upon me; I looked up to see her bright shape, boldly filling what I could see of the dark night sky through the hatchway. No, tonight would be lava-lava and t-shirt.
I clambered up to the deck for the midnight shift to find the previous watch team in a relaxed state: one man on the foe, one on the guitar, and two more with a piece of the banana & walnut chocolate cake that was our night time snack in their hands, and bright smiles on their faces.
"Watch out for that rain cloud", one cautions, pointing to the NE beyond Gaualofa's bow. 'Drat', I thought to myself, and reached into the hatch to pull out my foul-gear after all. As I wriggled into it, tucking away my lava-lava, the drizzle set in. It didn't last long; just long enough to ensure that any topside sitting spot would require waterproofed pants to enjoy.
The moon beamed on, however, and we cruised into the early hours of the morning...
As the next watch now emerges from the dark recesses of our twin hulls, someone is again strumming the guitar, someone else is steering the foe, and I sit here enjoying this lovely piece of banana & walnut chocolate cake, watching the moon-shadows change shape, and the great Fish-hook of Maui (or scorpion's tail) move slowly across the starry patch of sky above.
It has been a long journey, and rumours have it that we may finally make landfall tomorrow. After a month at sea, what will it be like to stand on earth once more? Undoubtedly, it will be a good feeling, but also perhaps an unfamiliar one. The wide spaces, the different faces, the cultural experience; and just imagine the ability to bathe in fresh water, rather than sea!
It is exciting to think about, but the time for that is tomorrow. Right now, at quarter past 3am, it's time for bed, and dreams of loved ones at home.