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.
Sunday, May 22, 2011
Position: Post Office, Fakarava, Tuamotu Islands, French Polynesia.
It's day three in port and it feels like the days are still merging. No sense or time or date, the last few days have just been taking it easy. Since we've arrived we're still going through our watches, but only from sunrise to sunset. This is to keep the routine and order going on the va'a. The people of Fakarava are endless in their generosity and beautiful smiles. The Tahitian and Samoan language sound similar enough that we're able to understand each other regardless of the language barrier. On Wednesday evening right after sunset the Faafaite te o Maohi Society held an ava ceremony. The ceremony was to celebrate the setting of the Matali'i stars which marks the start of the season of root food: taro, umala, manioca, etc. And giving thanks to the end of the season of above-ground crops: ulu and fa'i. Each va'a had two representatives at this ceremony - Koleni and Fealofani sat in for Gaualofa. Dieter Paulman was also present for the ceremony. Thursday morning and Cap informs us we're getting a treat of relaxation. We're to sail to a remote area called Orehara on the other side of the island with Hinemoana, Faafaite and Haunui to enjoy some downtime from the constant bustle of port. We are also given news by one of our crew members that he's needed at home and will leave us the following day, everyone at once hit him with WHYS?!!! The voyage has just started and a member of our aiga is leaving us. We understand and respect his decision and wish him a safe passage on all his endeavors. He will be greatly missed, and there will always be an available bunk for him when he is able to join again.
On the way to Orehara, we sailed through an underwater Tapuatea Marae. A marota (Tahitian word for gift/ offering) is left for the tufugas and gods of the past. This marae is related to the seven va'a that left French Polynesia in 207 AD; this is an estimated date according to the recorded genealogy of the families who settled in Fakarava. The Gaualofa crew chose a ma'a from the river of Tafitoala, in Upolu. This particular ma'a is significant as it's from a village that was named by voyagers of the old when they were sailing through. Koleni said a prayer acknowledging our tufuguas, praises to our fellow voyagers and expressing thanks to the Lord; afterwards Akenese released our marota into the lagoon. Each va'a also offered a marota ma’a for the marae. Afterwards we sailed to our destination and laid anchor for the night. Morning came and it was a relaxing day of swimming and much needed repairs. Siaosi and Fialelei went spear fishing and caught us lunch, while Salai, Akenese and our two local guests: Veronica and Vaia got us faisua. Lunch was up and we heaved anchor to return to the port of Fakarava to finalise the restocking and depart on Saturday.
Lunch Menu: oka pone and alogo, fried rice, fa’alefu fa’i, raw faisua in lime, garlic, chilli, coconut cream and onion.
Beverage: sweet niu.
Fa’afetai tele lava,