Over the weekend members of the Pacific Voyage community have been flying from all over the South Pacific to reunite and continue the journey that we started in March 2011. Crewmembers for all 5 vaa’s, which included experienced and rookies broke bread for the first time since the winter break in September 2011 before officially starting Day One of the Voyage. This is solely dedicated to preparing the vaa for sail, anything from rigging sails to scrubbing down the hulls & polishing solar panels, everything that needs to be done before provisions and gear come on board.
For the Gaualofa Crew it was something more than just diving straight into the hard work. Before we had arrived in San Diego our captain Nick Henry insisted that the Gaualofa be off limits until we blessed her. It is custom that we bless the voyage with its vital message, the crew who will be embarking on this important journey most importantly bless the Gaualofa and to respect her as our “Mother” so that she in turn will take care of us when we are at sea.
Pastor Vincent Mauga from EFKS San Diego honored us with his kind words of encouragement and wisdom. “ There are only three words that you should remember, Courage – Do not fear the past, the present and the future, embrace the experience and learn as much as you can. Strength – Have the strength to continue on to soldier through when faced with difficult weather or situations and lastly Victory – this journey itself is a victory as you are all taking with you teachings from our ancestors and you will be planting vital seeds in the minds and hearts of everyone you will meet on this voyage especially the future generation in all the communities that you will visit”.
With such humbling beginnings to kick-start our voyage the crew are united and ready to tackle the journey ahead. We are a diverse bunch in ages, background, and origins with members flying in from San Francisco, New Zealand, Samoa and Cook Islands however we all have blood ties to Samoa, a place we call our home and we are all proud to be given this opportunity of a lifetime.
Gaualofa Crew 2012 + Friends at Shelter Island Marina, San Diego on Day One of Te Mana O Te Moana Voyage