In 1989 the Hokule’a sailed to American Samoa. I was one of the paddlers that escorted them into the harbour. It was amazing to see these guys, they looked like warriors of the sea. I wanted to be part of that crew as soon as I saw them. Hearing their stories about their voyage and of navigating with the stars, I thought how can I do something like that which must be so fun…I wanted to sail so bad with the Hokule’a. I read about my people, tagata folau o le vasa. I read stories about these va’as in the days of the va’atele and so on, but still I wanted to see it for myself.
Thirty odd years later here I am, not on the Hokule’a, but my own Gaualofa, which makes it much more fun. Sailing with your own people, speaking the same language, singing the same song and sharing stories about our Samoan people when they sailed from island to island ages ago gives me great pride. My dream came true. It’s amazing how beautiful it is at night to sail with the stars and the moon. Some of the guys in the core crew have been teaching us to sail with the stars. Our Captain is always concerned about how much we know about the va’as safety and our own sailing experience, which I love so much. I thank God for this opportunity to see and learn about the ocean and also our people from the past.
Ia Manuia le Tapuiga Samoa,