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

22nd July 2011 - Wind on our Back

Position: 42°36.8’ N / 151°04.9’ W
Heading: 096° True (heading for San Francisco!)
Speed: 7 knots

Talofa lava,

We finally have wind! After two days of light winds or no wind at all and glass-like ocean, we have a reprieve and received ca. + 10 knots of wind from the west. That’s something after bobbing around and just trying to point the va’a back on course.

We are currently running with our genniker, with the wind on our back and ‘butterfly’ style as our crew fondly dubs the set of sails- main on starboard and mizzen on the port. We’ve been running like this since John’s shift early this morn at sunrise and we’ve covered good ground which is quite a relief, the bobbing around is very relaxing but you don’t go anywhere. This whole week due to the calm weather we’ve been taking advantage of it by learning new siva routines, jamming and just catching up with the latest jokes on board.

We actually had company in the last day and a half where we bobbed: the Cookie va’a, Marumaru Atua was close to us which was nice. We were so close that we could’ve gone over to borrow sugar.

During one of my watches with my crew, we decided to paddle towards the Cookies (about 400 meters away) using our dinghy paddles. That only lasted until we were about 300 meters away from them then we were done.

Imagine! A 14 ton va’a being paddled by four Samoans with puny light weight wooden dinghy paddles? Let’s say we received a good work out and had fun passing time.

Yesterday we had a small flock of albatross following us on our stern during the evening and this morning we had a great sperm whale coming from the north heading south east. It was pretty awesome. The whale came along on our port side and was about 15 meters away. It was just cruising on by.

Though it’s still overcast, the rays of sunlight that break through during sunrise and sunset are literally silver linings for our crew.

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