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.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

18th July 2011, Monday

Position: 40°44.3’ N / 157°51.7’ W (still making our way north for that 42° N turn)

It’s been one week since we left the Hawaiian Islands to sail for San Francisco, one week out at sea.

Yesterday was our first impression on this leg of bad weather: small downpours with short gusts of 19 knots. We were in the process of having our weekly aiga meeting when it had to be cut short due to no one wanting be get caught in the chilly elements. But we did finalise and came to an accord before making a dash for warmer and dry areas.

Jeff (our captain), made dinner for the first time on this leg and since he’s a vegetarian we were kind on tenterhooks with regard to what the meal would be; It turned out to be a quite a satisfying and lovely meal.

The night itself soon turned out to be quite cloudy and overcast which was a first since we’ve left. We only had the wind, swell patterns and our watch captains who serve as our traditional navigator-in-training.

The weather is getting colder as we trek our way north. This is the highest latitude we’ve ever been and I should say, we Samoans are NOT built for the cold. I guess that’s why our ancestors stayed close to the equator, my heartfelt gratitude goes to them for that choice; note this is my theory.

Taking sea water baths while the water is 15° C with winds of 12° C takes its toll on a person. But then us Samoans are fastidious so being clean is very vital to us; else like on our va’a we would bully or tease each other for not taking a bath. There was this one time we were teasing Kalolo for not taking a bath for some time and his quick response was, “I’m saving the seawater, we’re here to preserve it not waste it.”

For those who are unaware of the water conditions on board: fresh water is only used to drink and for cooking. Seawater is used for everything else; fresh water is very precious. And with that note Jeff has announced movie night for this evening: premiering on Gaualofa- End of the Line, a documentary about our consumption habits leading to the collapse of fish stocks world-wide.

We’ve had the pleasure and fortune of observing two large pods of dolphins in one day; early today around the afternoon and later in the evening. It was quite an uplifting sight; after sighting and collecting so much rubbish the last 6 days it’s a great relief that sea life is still alive in these waters.

I haven’t introduced my watch team as of yet, as I normally do at the beginning of each leg; on this leg (Hawaii – San Francisco) I have Koleni, Faapa’u, Sala’i and myself. As I have two comedians on the watch, we’re always laughing our heads off; never a dull moment. Of course we don’t just crack jokes on our watch; we also make sure the va’a is secure, check our position, plotting on charts, navigate by the elements and yes at times eat.

Due to the huge amount of saimin (instant noodles) that was gifted to Gaualofa, we’re still munching our way through it and it’s much appreciative during the 0300 am shifts. Faafetai tele lava.

Everything and everyone on board is safe and healthy. The crew sends their alofa to their family, friends and supporters. Faafetai tele lava mo le taupuaiga, o lea e alolofa atu le au va’a uma o le Gaualofa mo le atunu’u atoa o Samoa faapea le Aiga Folau o Samoa.

Soifua, FB

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