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.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Charlie - 9th April 2012

Position: S 15°11.084’, W 123°29.305’

There are 15 of us currently on the Gaualofa Crew, 6 females and 8 males.  Our Voyage started out from San Diego, California, on Jan. 24, 2012 to Ensenada, Mexico, which took us one day with 60Nm.  We stayed for one day to get our immigration clearance so that we can enter Mexican waters. 

On Jan. 26th we left Ensenada, Mexico, for Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.  It took us 13 days to travel roughly 750Nm.  What a place that was where we anchored!  We could hear loud music and people all over the place!  There were a lot of rich Americans with nice yachts, lots of movie stars and the whole town parties all night long to use US dollars (which was good for us).  Their beaches and waters are so clean and there are a lot of nice places to swim and sight see.

We left Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on Feb. 15th and headed to Cocos Island, Costa Rica, and that’s about 1,750Nm, which took us 19 days of hardly any wind and nowhere to hide from the hot sun.  A nice can of cold Coke or even ice water was what we were all dreaming of! 
Cocos Island was so beautiful.  It’s a National Park for Costa Rica, several Rangers live there on the Island.  They were nice people and very good to us.  There was one moment I can’t forget…as we were ready to throw anchor a twenty foot shark swam up right next to our va’a!  There was no way I was jumping over for a swim.

The rangers told us the sharks are so friendly and have a lot of food in the area and they don’t bother anybody.  I found that hard to believe until I saw some of our guys start jumping in and swimming to shore.  I stayed on the va’a all day waiting for the rubber raft to come get me.  After a while the shark was no issue, we were swimming back and forth.  It is true there’s so much fish and lobster in the area, even kuikui are so big…you name it, it’s all there! 

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to touch marine life or fish in the area.  The drinking water was so clean and sweet and they had lots of water falls…it was such a treat after being at sea for so long!  Cocos Island truly was so beautiful.

From Cocos Island, Costa Rica, we sailed to Santa Cruz, Galapagos which was 450Nm and took us 16 days.  Galapagos is another very interesting Island.   There were so many rare animals (tortoises, marine iguanas, penguins to name a few) and lots of marine life and fresh seafood.  We stayed for five days and then we sailed to Isabela, Galapagos, which was much less developed and populated than Santa Cruz.  The people were very friendly.  We felt like we took over the island with the large fleet of Voyagers arriving on 7 va’as…we crowded the island!  It only took us one day to get to Isabela, which was about 60Nm away from Santa Cruz.  We stayed for three days and now we are on our way to Tahiti. 

We left Isabela, Galapagos on March 24th and started off real slow to Tahiti, but after five days we started to pick-up some good wind.  It’s about 3,500Nm to Tahiti and we are doing real good.  We are down to 1,300Nm left to go, after two weeks into the leg!  Unfortunately, just today we ripped open our sail (the Gennaker) but that didn’t slow us down.  Thank God nobody got hurt.  Everybody is doing fine except we are slowly running out of food. But, Lole, our cook, works magic to make our pumpkin taste like lamb chops.  It’s been 14 days and we haven’t caught a single fish.  So please, we need your prayers. 

All the best to all of our families waiting at home and may the Lord bless all of us.  So far we have done 3,070Nm from San Diego, California to Galapagos Islands and after we reach Tahiti we will have a total of about 6,570Nm…that’s a lot of miles for a single va’a! 
Malo to Gaualofa and the crew!  Job well done.

Charlie Uhrle


  1. With lots of prayers & blessings for you all I'm glad to know that your crews are enjoying the luxury of the different countries that you are conquering during your voyage. What an experience that will live on for life and pass down to generations to generations of our "Samoan" community. Only you and the crews will have that opportunity to share & educate our younger generations and al of us with your experience and experiments.

    I'm glad to know that everyone is safe and sound and are all on-board on your way to Tahiti. Thank you to everyone for sharing your stories and your thoughts with us. Thank you for including us on your voyage with sharing of your stories.

    May "God" continue to pour his blessings and protection to our "Aiga Folau" on "Gaualofa" and to all of the Pacific Voyagers.

    Please send my alofas to captain Nick & to the "Gaualofa" crews. We continue to remember all of you on our prayers and thoughts. Please take care of each other & much respect for your captain.

    Alofa atu lava mo oe le tuagane male tatou aiga atoa! Sina!

  2. Love you, Dad! My prayers are with you & your crew. So proud of you!!

    Safe travels & God bless you.


  3. Hi dad! I pray for you all out there everyday. We all miss you but know that you are having lots of fun doing things that people only federal about. I hope you are taking lots of pictures. Stay safe and can't wait to see you!

    Love you lots,

  4. Hey dad just read uR blog happy to be able to hear how ur doing
    Pray for you and ur crew and the vaa always..miss u -chance

  5. Siale my brotha, malo lava le faiva. Glad to hear you all safe and well. Your voyaging has taken you to places you never would have thought to go and what a different perspective you must have now on so many different levels. So happy for you. Alofa tele atu..