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, January 28, 2012

Sailing to Ensenada - 24-27 January 2012

Spirits are high. We are finally departing. Leaving San Diego and sailing to Ensenada was a good start to the next chapter in our Pacific voyage. Good start in terms of easing into it as the sail down the coast through the night and into the next day was smooth with calm conditions. This is good as many crew members are new and many old crew have not sailed for some time. It’s nice to ease into things especially in a voyage of this magnitude. However, we are tinged with sadness to leave the onshore family we have made in San Diego. The Samoan community who have come out and helped us immensely during our extended time in San Diego as well as those that have helped us while getting the canoes prepped. Thank you all!

During the slow night sail we heard, and at times saw, blowing whales and barking seals. One outer harbour starboard buoy seemed to be a new home for as many as 10 seals, with some in the water still trying to clamber up and jostle for some resting space.

We arrive into Ensenada Harbour at 2pm. I am at the foe, steering us in and its quite an experience navigating the large 72 ft canoe with just a huge foe though the multitude of tight turns to get to our designated mooring spot. Thank goodness I don’t stuff anything up, and our mother canoe gets to its safe haven unscathed.

We are hopeful to get through Mexican customs clearance as soon as possible and depart again by nightfall…Haha but this is Mexico now - apparently they have the same watches as we do in the Pacific.

As hours tick away it is clear we are staying the night. Although we were all looking forward to sailing and getting in the voyaging rhythm while heading down to Los Barilles, having a day/night here to have a quick explore is nice. A good intro into Mexico.

The skippers have a dinner “meeting” scheduled and the rest of us are told we can go into town but be back by 9:30pm. So a few us go and find out where exactly we can also have a “meeting” of our own. Plus its John’s birthday in NZ time so there is something to celebrate. John, James, Sala, Tash, Jade and I go for a stroll and by complete chance are welcomed at the Marina gate by an old scraggly brown horse and just as old and scraggly cart. So Mexican. The friendly local offers us a ride into town for 12USD. We get if for 10. What a start to being on Mexican soil.

The ride into the touristy part of town near the marina is fun, more so after riding past the captains at one of the local bars on the main strip. Snapped! We enjoy a stroll, some local beers, a margarita or two and a few songs from one of the many local mariachi bands that seem to be so abundant in this part of town. Happy Birthday John.

The next morning is punctuated with more waiting. Everyone is anxious to leave. While waiting we complete last minute provisioning, last minute repairs and for me a last minute shave, as I was bored.

We finally set sail at 4:30pm. And again the weather seems to be treating us like cotton wool. There is not a breath of wind in the air. During all our shifts we experience the thickest fog I have ever seen. 15m visibility max. It’s like we are sailing in a cloud. The moisture is thick and everything is wet. The hope that this burns off in the morning sun is vaporized by noon that day. It’s still a little foggy and very overcast. As the day passes there is no more wind. There is just constant changing of sail direction to catch the temperamental slight wind shifts. Good practice but getting frustrating.

Todays highlights:

  • Lole’s cooking
  • Trashy gossip magazines the girls find.
  • Lole’s cooking
  • Dancing to “beat it”

From the crew of Gaualofa, Fa soifua from Mexico.


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