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, January 15, 2012

Leaving Samoa for the unknown

Time is quite a unique concept that we tend to just toss around without much thought, for the most we completely take it for granted but then again we are totally at its mercy when we least expect it.

Four enthusiastic Gaualofa Crew Members left Samoa bound for San Diego. It was only a hop away to Nadi, Fiji, then a huge skip to Los Angeles California and a quick sneeze down to San Diego. Our 4 Crew members James Atherton, Jayde Leota, Natasha Fabricius & Faapa’u Feluai made their way to Shelter Island Marina where the Gaualofa is currently resting for the Winter Break. Miraculously because of time and invisible date lines we can now travel over 1000 miles to visit 3 countries, enjoy 4 meals and a few movies later still arrive at your destination with 2 hours to spare on the same day.

Samoa Departure Date: Saturday 14th January 2:30pm

Los Angeles Arrival Date: Saturday 14th January 12:30pm

We didn’t realize what we had done until we actually warped through it. The common feeling amongst the crew was that of excitement! Faapa’u had been in San Diego last year before the Winter Break so he was quite excited to reunite with crewmembers already waiting. As for the rest of us, it was pure excitement of the unknown!

There is going to be a very long list of “firsts” for all of us. We all know the usual list of “firsts” when travelling to a new country, to experience new cultures/traditions, languages, cuisines and sights etc… This particular journey we will be adding to list a unique method of travelling. We will be sailing our vaa the Gaualofa together with 5 other vaa’s from San Deigo – Cabo San Lucas, Mexico on Tuesday 24th January, with estimated travel time to be one week. What is not an estimate is the morale and spirit of all of us from Samoa. Although we are plunging into the deep end, head first by the way, without much knowledge of what we are getting ourselves into, we are still all smiles and laughs.

We will be meeting and greeting the rest of the Gaualofa crew plus the rest of the fleet for the next couple of days. This will be followed by sheer determination and focus on the voyage ahead and most importantly the preparations required before departing San Diego.

Until the next installment, we would like to say Talofa to all our family and friends back home. Thank you for believing and for the continuous support. We know you are all living vicariously through us so we will try our best to send frequent updates :)

Gaualofa Crew Members: Natasha Fabricius, James Atherton, Jayde Leota, Faapa'u Feluai, Ana Pisila Fifita (HineMoana) at the Shelter Island Marina San Diego

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