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 2, 2011

Oahu, Hawai'i - 29th July 2011

Although there was plenty to do, it seemed that much of the day today was spent working hard to eat! After the usual huge a la carte breakfast, we set in to cleaning up and reorganizing the va’a. There was plenty to clear out, clean out, and even throw out (not too much interest in the lettuce on board!), and we all settled into a good morning of reggae and deck cleaning to prepare for another linseed oil coating. After a bit of scrubbing and singing we were greeted by Live who is a local Samoan here in Oahu, and a massive feed for Gaualofa! So big was his generosity, that we needed help from the other crews to make a dent in everything! We were very grateful, especially the other va’a, and just when we finished it was time to get cleaned up for the fiafia on the west side of the island that evening. And what a fiafia it was!

Chief Sielu Avea, who earlier greeted us at Kualoa with his performance group, does shows at Ko Olina twice a week for the tourists, but this one was special. In perfectly manicured surroundings the Chief - who incidentally has starred in a 20 minute short film (fittingly called ‘Chief’) that has won heaps of awards including Sundance Film Festival honours - began his show by warming up the crowd and paying tribute to the crew of the Gaualofa. His humble and skilful mastery of performance was sharp straight through, from honouring Samoan traditions of ‘ava to paying respects to those before us. With a break to enjoy a traditional luau with roast pork cooked underground and fresh poi, everyone was well fed once again. The performers were especially happy to pay tribute to the voyage by doing their best, and it was nothing short of fantastic. They jumped from island to island doing impressions of the cultural traditions of the pacific from Aotearoa, Tonga, Rarotonga, Tahiti, Hawai’i, and finally Samoa. There was singing, dancing, haka, the whole lot all in one show. Everything was so entertaining; his humour especially cracked us off! They even organized a perfect sunset over the lagoon.

With a final Tau’alunga and the entire crew joining in on the outdoor stage, everyone roared applause at the ailao afi finale to conclude a very special fiafia evening. People were very kind and offered donations and even requests to come visit the crew, not only here but also in California when we arrive! With a final prayer after the show, we bid our farewells to the performers and Chief Sielu Avea, just in case they were not able to come out for a sail this weekend, and then headed back to the va’a. It was a beautiful night, and with warm hearts we went to sleep smiling.

The community here has truly shown what hospitality and kindness is all about. Their generosity and support has rivalled even the Hawai’ian hosts at times. We have been blessed by their assistance of food, fundraising, and alofa, and the pride they fill us with is immeasurable. To Siaosi, Live, Chief Sielu Avea, and High Chief Afimutasi Gus Hannemann, e kore e mutu nga mihi ki a koutou katoa nga whaanau whaanui o Gaualofa, fa’afetai tele atu.

Jef Ikenn



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  2. malo lava Marc and your awesome crew! we are follwing your journey via here and wishing guys the best for the rest of the voyage!
    alofas from NZ,

    Jody, Guillaume and family (: