Position: N11 59.945 W97 01.067
Its taking a considerable amount of time to formulate and write concise thoughts on paper. It’s a bit sad to admit that perhaps my thoughts rely heavily on my fingers touching a keyboard. Fact is: It is what it is so bear with me while I attempt to scribble and slash at the page!
For a newbie voyager leaping into the great unknown, one has to jot down a few goals and expectations as an attempt to visualize the situation that you have thrown yourself into. Many of these goals are common across the board such as learning traditional sailing practices & celestial navigation... One that was unknown to me before boarding Gaualofa over a month ago, a goal that was quite evident a couple of days out at sea was the need to remove oneself from technologies and the distractions of modern life. To make a conscious decision to not spend ones day in front of the laptop, not to surf online for hours, not to watch TV, not to play with the new mobile phone, and instead gain patience to sit quietly and observe nature and somehow decipher what it is saying or just enjoy the presence of it.
The splashing of the waves, the gentle or abrupt rocking of the va’a which could signify calm waters/less winds (or just the lack of skill on the foe). The feel of the wind in your face, the fluttering of the Samoan flag as the winds pick up, the luffing of the genneker when the vaa is angled incorrectly. For all of us, it is our life’s goal on the va’a to master the art of the genneker. Late nights star gazing and identifying constellations which in turn can reveal various things like our position or where the sun will rise or even the time. All these minute things, plus your everyday activities of eating, sleeping, singing, bathing or swimming manage to fill our days on the canoe quite effortlessly.
Thus far this journey has been many things: exciting and adventurous to sail 1000s of miles on a 22mx6m canoe YIKES!! To be involved and get a chance to be featured in a documentary Our Blue Canoe YEEAH! It is also a proud and humbling moment in one’s life to have the opportunity to learn and practice the traditions and ways of our ancestors and to stand strong in asserting the message of Saving of our Pacific Ocean. We must first have the courage to change within before attempting to change anything else.
For the technology hungry geek I must admit (whether with trepidation or appreciation) that I am not missing the technological conveniences I am reliant upon on land and I am not rushing home to get lost in it as well. And with mornings like these who would want to rush anywhere.
Natasha Fabricius and Gaualofa Crew