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.

Friday, March 2, 2012

2 March 2012

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,
Charlie Uhrle


  1. Malo le soifua Siale... good to see you on here. Those were our Alo Paopao days in Pago - good times! I am following the Vakas journey and so appreciate all of the blogs, photos and tweets, through them I get be a part of your experiences. More photos is always appreciated... Stay well, safe and healthy -- know that many of us are with you in spirit, praying, cheering and supporting your efforts from San Diego. Give my alofas to the crew of Gaualofa, safe travels to all, until we meet again. Soifua, Tania Huff Farley

  2. Hi dad! I miss you, I hope that you're having fun out there! We have all been keeping track of the voyage and reading your posts. Sounds like so much fun! We are all proud of you and miss you a lot. Don't know if you've been checking your email but we are writing so I hope you are reading your emails when you have the time! Stay safe. Love you!!!