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.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Heading for Nuku Hiva - 25th May 2011

Position: 113.9 Nautical Miles North of Takapoto and 72 Nautical Miles West of the Course Line, from Fakarava to Nuku Hiva in straight line; (estimated position only; we’re about 3-4 days away from Nuku Hiva)

Talofa lava,

Back on the moana sausau again, back into watch mode and back into simple realities of life. Not only are we graced with an additional crew member, Akenese from Samoa but also a brother, Brown, from the Va’atele Marumaru Atua, Cook Islands. The two new members, I’m pleased to state, are doing quite well. Since we’ve been out in open sea again, the weather has been good to us. Fairly good that is: small squalls, sunny skies, bit of rain now and again; sea state small wavelets, white horses, bit of swell from the East and wind state 13-16 knots from the E.

On this particular leg to the Marquesas we’re all learning how to actually use the Hawaiian Star Compass which was developed by Nainoa Thompson (and using the Hawaiian terms). Cap has placed a sticker over our GPS so we’re not able to read our heading, velocity made good, speed, wind direction nor our position. Every shift performs a speed check about 3 times during their watch; this is then noted down on the log and is then calculated on how many nautical miles we’ve done. Each evening, the watch captains plot out our estimated position with the aid of the star compass (our course steered), calculated mileage and dead reckoning. So far they’ve done a fine job, being off in less than 20 nautical miles west of the GPS position; this is basically due to the over calculation of leeway that is taken into consideration. Also note that it’s the largest body of water in the world, so 20 NM off is not so bad. But otherwise, for novices, they’re estimated position is satisfactory, just a little more fine tuning.

We’re undeniably honoured to have Tua Pittman on board Gaualofa for the first time. He was dropped off courtesy of the Evohe dinghy service just yesterday at noon, making quite an interesting picture: this statuesque bronze figure at the bow of the dinghy poised with such ease in rough rolling seas, his silver windblown hair sweeping off the nape of his golden bronze neck as he makes his approach towards Gaualofa. It was like watching a scene from an adventure film, sound effects could almost be heard in the background on his approach…actually Kalolo blew the conch in honour for his arrival. That evening, the whole deck was full of Samoans gazing up at the starry night, with Tua quietly and patiently indicating what stars to use and the like. Tua will be with us until the Marquesas, so we’ll be absorbing as much as we can while we are still in his presence.

The wind factor being due East and our course being NE we again have the task of sailing upwind. It affects a few on the va’a: the constant beat up but for others it’s just another challenge. We’re still laughing, playing the guitar, pulling pranks and figuring out ways of getting more treats out of the cooks. Everyone is healthy and smiling like loons at times.

And on this note... E fia momoli atu alofa’aga i aiga, uo ma e masani; e momoli atu fo’i le fa’afetai tele lava i le tapuaiga mamalu o le atunu’u.


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