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, May 28, 2012

71 NM from Apia

I woke up to our boys jamming on the ukuleles, plates and anything handy. The songs were your typical welcome home songs accompanied by laughter. It’s time for lunch and for my shift. Lunch was served by our Chef Lole the Extraordinaire - everyone was present and it was swiftly consumed.

Not long into our shift and Kalolo and I spot cap clouds and the betting was on who would spot land first. We’ve sighted land, and still some 50nm to go until we hit the western side of Upolu. It was and still is just a silhouette in the distance. But for Gaualofa and her ‘Grew’ they’re returning home.

The ‘Grew’ is getting ready for the arrival, so the va’a is turned inside out in getting things dry and clean. The deck has everyone’s wet weather gear, sleeping bags, clothes, mattresses and whatnot out to dry. The sail locker is being tidied up, the dinghy locker is being dried out, the food locker is being emptied out of perishables (for quarantine, don’t want to arrive with any invasive species of any kind), maintenance locker is being organized and everyone’s personal areas are being cleaned out as well.

Averaging 6 knots now, different from the last couple of days where it was 9-10 knots. It felt like she (Gaualofa) is eager to come home. Being in Samoan waters feels surreal, not sure if we’re actually coming home though all the traditional navigation, elements and modern navigation tells us we are. It’s just been a while, and at times a challenge to take in. A few of us haven’t been home since early and late last year. It’s true that home is where the heart is and I guess with us, Samoa has our heart.

Gaualofa is accompanied by her six sisters in celebrating the 50th independence of Samoa, a huge accomplishment as Samoa was the first island in the South Pacific to be independent.
As I write this, John and Jayde are crooning away on the ukulele by the gangway of the galley and the boys are hanging out on the starboard side of the galley, cracking jokes exchanging what they’ll be eating or doing when they arrive. Faapau is on the foe and the wind has died down a bit and we’re down to 50 odd NM until we hit Samoa.
Attached are photos of the state of our deck and our watch at the moment. It consists of our Watch Captain the Bold Kalolo, the fearless Jayde, Mr Cool Koleni, skinnyboy Faaleaga and yours truly, The Dealer.

PS: both Kalolo and I spotted land at the same time, so not sure who’s going to shout the first round - we’ll figure it out when we land!

Faafetai tele lava mo tapuaiga ma alofa’aga. Ua fiafia lava uma le auva’a la’a taunu’u le Gaualofa.

Fani B ma le ‘Grew’ a Gaualofa

Sunday, May 27, 2012

100NM from Home!

Talofa Everyone,

Attention Olga:

We have just passed the 100Nm mark and are that much closer to Samoa which fills us all with butterflies of excitement at our arrival. We have just changed dates this morning which means we miss out on Sunday 26th and Taleni one of our crew members just missed out on his 22nd birthday. We will still celebrate on board Gaualofa and pretend it's not so.
It has been a pretty tough and miserable leg from Rarotonga but it has been well received as we were desperate to make it home in time for the Independence celebrations. We have had a cold front the whole way with strong winds and massive swells. I never thought I would have to pull out the warm weather gear for a sail to Samoa but that's just the way it is :) The sunny sky when I woke up this morning was a pleasant surprise and it sure feels good to be in home waters - evident by the singing and laughter outside and the stretched necks on board eager to sight land.
We are currently South West of Upolu and will probably sail between Apolima and Savaii as the winds are staying more West and will hopefully stick around to carry us straight to Apia. If we stay true to our course we could be home later on tonight otherwise it will be early tomorrow morning. So keep an eye out for us if you’re along the coast.
The preparations by our Samoa Voyaging Society committee, members and supporters back home has been fantastic and the whole fleet is looking forward to spending time in Samoa celebrating together and of course attending the UB40 concert. I sure hope we all get tickets? We are all looking forward to seeing family and friends on home ground. We are also excited to show our fellow voyagers a great time in Samoa and return the loving hospitality that they have all shown us when we were visitors on their shores.
For the public: Come down and visit us at the Matautu Marina, we will be in town from Tuesday 29th May to Sunday 2nd June. There is an Open Day scheduled for Wednesday 30th May so feel free to come down and visit, stay tuned on Radio Polynesia for more recent updates. We are 7 traditional canoes sailing together, crewed by Pacific Islanders from 15 different Island nations carrying an important message of care and love, of respect and reconnection with our people, traditions, oceans and land as all interconnected as one. 
Thank you for your continuous support and thoughts
From Tasha and Gaualofa crew

Storming to Samoa

Gaualofa is heading home.

Singing in the rain, The Black Washing Machine, and the Niue Ngoio. We will explore these statements later… first is an important message from our sponsors…

Va’a Gaualofa is sailing home to celebrate a 50 year milestone for one of the Pacific’s favourite nations, Samoa. Seven Polynesian Voyaging Va’a will make a grand entrance to Apia harbour on the eve of the celebration of Samoa independence.

Two historic events for modern Polynesia, one celebrates the journey of a nation, the other the physical journey across te moana nui o kiva.

Seven Va’a carrying a message to protect the future of all humankind, sounds surreal doesn’t it. Almost Hollywood scripted, sometimes nature or destiny “interferes” with all sorts of coincidence and our voyage feels that way. Scripted.

How did we know that 7 Vaka of a Tipairua design from Fakarava would complete the legend of Ta’aroa and his 7 sons. How could we know that a Samoa tear would be shed as a 30 year dream was fulfilled as Gaualofa sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge. How did we know that we had to be first alongside the dock so a 100 year old lady would step aboard Gaualofa in Aitutaki.

This is our destiny just as it is that we are here to share a message to protect our ocean from plastic waste, from noise pollution, to reduce acidification (google this one) to protect the fish on our reef, and to know that the largest ocean on earth filters every second breath for every human being. Phew there.. I have said it in a nut shell…but it is important.

So here we are sailing along south of Niue…no we are storming along, the weather is grey, the ocean is dark ,the night is ink black, there are no stars. In front of us somewhere is Niue, we are racing along, the sea spray shoots out green under our starboard light. I am in the warmth of the Captain’s cabin, outside it is raining. Filtering into the cabin are songs of Samoa, a large happy Samoan is on the fo’e. Taleni is singing in the rain, the wind blows his voice towards me, just behind his is another merrily singing In the rain, it is Salai. Two Samoa warriors of the ocean content in the knowledge they are heading home, despite the stormy weather, they sing to the wet heavens of good times soon to come.

I fill in for the crew on John’s shift, I haven’t been on the fo’e for quite some time, so I gotta get the feel back and do it quickly because astern a dark shadow approaches carrying wind and rain. Suddenly we are overtaken by wet blackness, the dark ocean rushes towards us from all directions, occasionally foaming white just before she slams into the hulls. It is dark and wet. I figure this is what my black jeans feel like in the washing machine, the lid goes down and its lights out. Sloshed around left and right, white wash the only light you see. Black jeans.

I peer ahead. Knowing the island is less than 10 miles away, we are surfing down the waves at 14 knots I am getting a little anxious to say the least. None of us wants to go bump in the night, not into a large rock (Niue) anyway. A Gogo (Ngoio) bird appears on our starboard side, her white under wings glowing in the green light. Showing me the way, then another joins in the parade, another sign of nature helping us along the way. If you take time to reflect …. when have you been lost in any sense or simply needed help and nature has come to lend a hand. Remember?

Mother nature has always been there for us, now it’s our watch, it’s our time to be there for her.


Friday, May 25, 2012

Riding Home on White Horses

Position: S 20*03.982’, W 169*27.003’

Currently on Gaualofa waves are splashing up on deck, the Main sail is on its first reef, the Mizzen is on its second reef and we’re still flying at 14 knots! According to the Beaufort Wind Scale the current wind conditions experienced by Gaualofa are in a range of force 5 to 7. Translated, this means we have winds gusting between 20 to 30 knots!! The sea state can be described as having wave heights between 2 to 4 metres, many white horses and white foam from breaking waves being blown in streaks along the direction of the wind! In Gaualofa crew terms, the ocean looks beautiful and is perfect for the 22 metre surfboard, Gaualofa!

I am writing this blog after just stepping off from the foe. The adrenaline is pumping! To stand at the foe and look around 360 degrees and see white horses and large swells rolling ahead of us and coming up from behind us is exhilarating. It’s a sight and a feeling I will never forget. Pure energy is all around us. On our current watch, the 9am to 12pm watch, we (John, Fa’apa’u, Titaua and I) are competing to see who can surf the longest while maintaining course! Fa’apa’u is winning; he just caught a 10 second run, leaving the rest of us yelling “Wooooohooooo!” and laughing as he surfed down the face of the wave. Gaualofa hummed with speed during that run, it’s a lovely sound to hear. I have a feeling those sleeping down below will join us up on deck soon, it must be hard to sleep through all our cheers and laughing (especially with lunch around the corner). We are excited to bring Gaualofa home riding on white horses!

As for the rest of the fleet, two va’as can be seen on the horizon around us. The fleet is trying it’s best to travel together so that we can arrive united for the festivities in Samoa. As stated in several of the other blogs, we are now being accompanied by Fa’afaite, our sister from Tahiti. It’s lovely to have the va’as united again.

It is amazing to know that we are only days away from Samoa, especially since Gaualofa has not been home in almost a year and a half. Our time in French Polynesia and the Cook Islands was rich in culture and heritage. We learned about the master navigator Tupaia who showed Captain Cook several islands in French Polynesia as well as a route to get to New Zealand. We had several workshops where we discussed the role of the va’a in the times of our ancestors and how the va’as can become an important part of our current society in bringing communities and people together and in preserving our environment by reducing carbon emissions. We spoke to both primary and secondary school kids to explain the purpose of the voyage and inspire interest in future sailors. We had ceremonies on several maraes in Tahiti, including Taputapuatea, where we left a stone carved by the Gaualofa crew. The islands, cultures and people of Polynesia are all so different, yet, so similar. We are happy to be back in Polynesia and are grateful for the hospitality shown by our families since our return. Fa’afetai tele lava.

Gaualofa is continuing to sail and surf her way home. We are looking forward to seeing family and friends and celebrating the 50th year of Independence from New Zealand. On a personal note, I can’t help but think of my grandmother, Salafa’aniusila Sale Fairholt, whom I was named after. She was born during a time when Samoa was in review of their laws under New Zealand rule, hence the name, “Salafa’aniusila”, or “Rules from New Zealand”. It gives me great pride to carry her name aboard Gaualofa with me into Samoa, and to celebrate independence. I know if she was here today, she too would be very proud of Samoa and how far it has come as an independent country. Malo le taumafai Samoa and we are happy and proud to be home in our Samoan Islands soon. We are 380Nm away.

Fa’afetai tele and Fa Soifua,
Salafa’aniusila McGuire

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Wednesday 23rd May 2012

As I write this, the wind is beginning to really howl. Taleni is on the foe and really concentrating on keeping our course line straight to Samoa. We just picked up about four knots of speed to help push us closer to home. Should the wind stay like this, no doubt we will make it home on time!!

Yesterday we departed from the Cook Islands. Aitutaki and Rarotonga to be precise. And now, Gaualofa and her six sisters are on their way to Samoa. It is said we should arrive in Apia on Tuesday 29th May (Only five days away if you include the date change!) Everybody on board is highly excited to be going home. To see our family and friends and to have 100 of our new friends on our home ground. I can imagine emotions will be flying when we finally arrive. To get to Samoa earlier than the said date would be absolutely awesome, later would be quite disappointing (not to mention the organizers on the ground may kill us, he he he), so its 110% concentration over the next few days!!

Now I believe there has been little blog updating on our behalf over the past week or so. Possibly nothing since reaching Aitutaki, so here is a small run down of the Gaualofa Gossip!
I will start with our arrival in to Aitutaki, our captain Nick’s home land. The girls turned Hine Moana into an all female crew (plus Magnus) and sailed together from Bora Bora to the Cooks. The sail went beautifully with us girls sighting land first! Sorry guys!

In Aitutaki we were greeted by what seemed to be the whole island! It was great to even see all the school kids in uniform awaiting us! It will surely be an image we won’t forget, and even better, a moment they surely won’t forget! We had a lovely welcoming ceremony and in the evening, we Voyagers put together our first small concert for the community. Each canoe had their chance to speak to the community on the Environmental issues we have seen and experienced during the voyage and perform a song or dance. For our first concert it was a huge success, and something we can work on in each port!

Our second day in Aitutaki started a little sad, Cousin Charlie had to go home early. (We miss you on the canoe Charlie, can’t wait to see you in Samoa!!) After our goodbye, it was a day sail to a motu that is apparently on the top beaches lists! One Foot Island is what it is called, or Tapu Ai Ta’i. And beautiful it was, although the road there and back was somewhat stressful! If you think navigating through some of Samoa’s roads can be tricky with the numerous speed humps and potholes, this was something of comparison! Coming home especially as we had the suns reflection over the water, it sure made finding the coral heads a challenge… even more so because we were supposed to be filming. It was definitely super hard work keeping the canoes in a line when everyone’s trying to dodge the coral!

For our final morning in Aitutaki, we had everybody from the canoe and numerous school kids bless Te Au o Tonga. The canoe that was the inspiration for all our canoes. Without her, there possibly wouldn’t even be a Voyage right now, so for that we are forever grateful, and hopefully one day soon she will be restored and back in the water!

So we left on Wednesday for what was supposed to be just an overnight voyage, to be in Rarotonga by around midday. Well let’s just say if we steer as well as we did on that leg… we may be a little late to Independence! It’s truly amazing how 3 hours can really change your course direction! Lesson I hope is learnt…

Luckily, we still weren’t the last canoes in port! While we were about 9 hours (plus) behind schedule, there were two canoes that we managed to overtake and beat to the island. With sailing, you never know what can happen! It was unfortunate though, that our Samoan community waiting for us had to be told not to wait for us, that we’d be too late.
So Gaualofa arrived in Rarotonga at about 1:30am, and was up and ready for the school kids to arrive that same morning at 9am! School kids of all ages came down to visit us, all very eager to find out about our voyage and to have a look around the canoes.

Our afternoon was filled with a march by the fleet through town and then another concert to follow. In honour of our country and the Samoan community living in Rarotonga, the Gaualofa girls thought it would be fitting to don our traditional wear and walk in our Siapo. What a treat it was the next day to see some of our smiling faces, together with the Fijian boys (also in traditional wear) on the front cover of the local newspaper!

Saturday morning was supposed to be short sails for the community but due to bad weather, we had an open day at the harbour instead. Once again there were kids everywhere! To be out sailing or not, these kids were just excited to be on the canoes! There was a big group from the local sailing club ready with life jackets even. The kids really are the future of the canoes so it’s great to see so much excitement amongst the youth!

It rained all day on the Sunday, so a few of us retreated away in Sala’s Aunty Anna’s house. It sure was lovely to be in a home, warm and dry while the rain was pouring down outside. Thanks Aunty Anna for having us.

The rest on Sunday gave us all a big burst of energy to return to the canoes and work towards getting Gaualofa ready for her voyage home. So Tuesday morning there were a few sad goodbyes. Some crew changes on the other canoes meant saying goodbye to quite a few of our friends. But the life of a Voyager means that we have to move on! Just the past hour we broke the 500 Nm mark on the road home!! A low pressure system nearby means that we have great winds… but rumour has it that as we get closer home and after the low passes, it may ease the wind of quite a lot. Hopefully it truly is a rumour… and the next weather report we get shows us good news!
Well there you go, the news from our end. I can’t wait until we sight land! Everybody’s talking about what they’re missing from home, and getting super excited for the UB40 concert!! Samoan 50th Independence is such an exciting time for us all to be coming home to.

So until our next blog, this is Jayde Leota signing out, and looking forward to coming home!

Lots of love to ALL my family and friends,

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Loimata o le Alofa (Tears of Love)

Position: S 20*47.776’ W 163*23.004’

Last year we celebrated with great joy and jubilation as we sailed under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Unbeknown to us, on the bridge, there stood a woman, whose tears fell silently as she watched Gaualofa sail beneath her. You might ask who was this woman, and why the tears. Were they because she saw a dream sail into a reality? Was it because of the joy she felt as a Samoan? Was it because of the thoughts of loved ones back in Samoa rekindled and brought to mind by the very sight of Gaualofa sailing beneath her? Or was it because of the young lives on board of Gaualofa, who by their own adventurous spirit have taken a piece of Samoa to say “O a’u o le Samoa - I am a Samoan”? There were many reasons for the tears that fell on the Golden Gate Bridge that day, but, by recalling a conversation that took place 30 years ago, this caused the first tears to flow. Auntie Sose, as she became affectionately known to the crew, was the woman who was standing on the bridge. As Sose Papaali’i put it, the tears were “Loimata o le alofa”. 

Recounting the conversation that took place 30 years ago was hard because “Tui”, she said, “is no longer here.” Tui is remembered with love and great respect throughout Samoa. Tui is the late wife of Tuatagaloa Joe Annandale; Joe is our voyaging president. One day, as Auntie Sose went on to tell her story, she got a phone call from Tui. Tui was so excited, and as the conversation went on, Tui said “we are going to build an alia, a double hulled canoe, and we are going to sail it to San Francisco”. Auntie Sose remembers her response, “uh, ok, I’ll be here, see you when you get here.” 30 years later, Gaualofa is sailing beneath her through the Golden Gate Bridge. Tui was sadly taken by the tsunami that hit Samoa in November of 2009 and that same year Gaualofa was launched in December. There was a great elation of emotion running through her mind, Auntie Sose said. Upon seeing Gaualofa sail beneath her, she could hear Tui say, “Auntie I am here” and so began the tears, loimata o le alofa.

The hopes and dreams of Joe and Tui Annandale came alive when Gaualofa sailed to San Francisco that year. And even though it took 30 years, Auntie Sose said, it was like I was talking with Tui yesterday when she saw Gaualofa sail by. Gaualofa has become in her own right a symbol of hope for those who dare to dream and believe for so long, even against adversity. Gaualofa has also become a symbol of strength and courage. Of his late wife Tui, Joe said “if it were not for her, I would not have attempted half the things I have done in life”. Tears fall for many reasons and for the silent tears that fell from the Golden Gate Bridge, they are silent no more for Auntie Sose, Gaualofa sailed by as if to say “I am here”. 

Upon reflection, this has been an amazing story of hope and courage and the strength to persevere and the faith to believe. And on that note, I want to express my deepest gratitude of sincere thanks to all our Samoan communities who have given so much to Gaualofa and her crew. Thank you for helping to make our dreams come true and giving us a sense of pride and achievement in our endeavours. We are now sailing towards Samoa, along with six other canoes in time to celebrate our 50th year of Independence from New Zealand. When we left Samoa, almost a year and a half ago, it was not in our sail plan to come back at this time. But, how amazing it is to be going back to Samoa as a fleet with seven canoes from the Pacific to celebrate our independence. We look forward to joining everyone in the celebrations.

Tofa Soifua,
John Misky

Monday, May 14, 2012

The Eight Vaka

Talofa e kia orana tatou katoatoa,

Hard to believe but since mid January we have travelled more than 7000 nautical miles across the Pacific, from San Diego to Cocos, to Galapagos through Tahiti an now to the Cook home. Six Tipairua vaka and now the 7th sister has joined us from Tahiti, now we are almost complete, tomorrow we will be Tavaru, tomorrow we will be together. 

It has been said many times, but I will say it again, thank you Dieter Paulmann! Meitaki Atupaka! 

Dieters vision and determination, in 3 years put 7 Vaka Moana on the ocean, trained 100s of Pacific men and women to sail, and journeyed collectively more than 100,000 miles of ocean. Some said it couldn't be done. On our journey we saw many Vaka projects in various stages, some still dreams, some in concept, many under construction but still to touch the water. I hope an pray our journey can be an inspiration to you to complete your Vaka, to sail and to join us to protect our Pacific Ocean.

Te Mana o te Moana, the spirit and awesome power of the Pacific Ocean has taught each of us many lessons along the journey. We have felt her might and her gentle caress, her ferocity and her healing, we have seen the beauty and the ugly polluted side of the Pacific ocean. And tomorrow I will be at home, my mother is waiting, my son and my brothers and sisters in Aitutaki and their families. Durng this journey two more have joined our immediate family, two brand new faces I am yet to see. Uncle Nick (or Nicholas as Mum calls me)is coming home.

I write the words a little in disbelief, I know it was on the sailplan but Aitutaki always seemed so far away in miles and in time, yet here I am on the night of the Sabbath a mere 40miles off the coast of Araura Enua, Aitutaki. The Island of two of our most legendary leaders in modern times, Sir Albert Henry and Sir Geoffrey Henry. Papa Arapati, our grandfather, was the father of the Cook Islands, in 1965 he brought us into independence and gradually year by year took the Kiwi spoon from our mouths and showed us how to stand on our own. 

Sir Geoffrey Arama Henry K.B.E. passed away last week, we send our aroa and prayers to Aunty Louisa and the family. Sir Geoffrey was a statesman for the Pacific, he was a family man, with a humble home in Takamoa, his dogs, pigs and chickens always nearby. Often when I would go to meet him, we would sit and talk on the verandah or under the mango tree, he was comfortable with a ukelele under his arm or in suit and tie addressing the UN. Uncle Geoff was a man of many talents, he was a Prime Minister Cook Islanders could be proud of, he is a man I am proud of. In our small forest the tallest tree has fallen. 

For Voyagers, Sir Geoffrey was a constant in the Voyaging society of the Cook Islands, he was our first and only Patron for more than 20 years. It was his vision with Sir Thomas Davis, another of our finest leaders, that in 1994-1995 led to the construction of Vaka Te au o Tonga, the Tipairua, the most efficient and effective voyaging Vaka design on the ocean today. This design which originates from the Island of Fakarava, Tuamotus is quick, safe and comfortable for the crew. He was in Avana, Rarotonga to welcome the 5 Vaka in 2010, I know he will be in Arutanga tomorrow.

So Tavaru, the eight...7 sisters and their mother, Vaka Te au o tonga will be together tomorrow, for the first time ever. This is history in the making, to use the words and advice of my friend and Hawaii navigator Kalepa (Chad) we will look around, we will look at the faces, we will look into their eyes and we will never forget this day.

Nicholas Royle Henry

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Beautiful Borabora, (food glorious food)

Talofa Voyagers, friends and family. 

It is in fact Porapora, one of the most majestic islands in "French occupied Polynesia". We had a first glimpse of this Island as we departed Uturoa, the main town of Raiatea and sailed around the Northern tip of the island. Tahaa was on our starboard side and in the distance magnificent peaks of Porapora rose above the waves. It was to be another night at sea before we would enter the main pass of Teavanui.

Almost all the promotional images you have seen of Tahiti and her islands include the abrupt mounts and bluest lagoons of Porapora. Here the welcome is warm and genuine, the smiles, the hei and the aroa come from a people surrounded by commercial tourism, yet the heart is still of the islands. What is the saying about taking a boy out of the islands...thankfully and surprisingly the island way is still very much alive in Porapora.

Like any small Island you get to meet the characters and personalities of the land. We were honoured to be welcomed by former President and current Mayor of Porapora, Mr Gaston Tang Song. The entire crew were whisked away for lunch at a beautiful motu, a magical introduction to the Island.

The following day the Captains are invited to lunch aboard the 6 star Cruise ship Paul Gauguin, we have a tour of the bridge and then a sumptuous lunch at La Grille on the 8th level around the pool. We lean over the portside rail and view the Va'a tied alongside at Vaitape, the main township. What a transition...from dining on the Va'a deck, eating out of a plastic bowl, trying to keep your salad from blowing away - to sitting at a table, with a table cloth, cloth napkin, selection of cutlery an a smorgasbord of food. Simply amazing. On behalf of the the Va'a Captains, thank you Captain Rajko. Now we all know there is no such thing as a free lunch, so I was pleased to have an hour presentation to the Paul Gauguin guests about the voyage and the environmental messages we are carrying.

The same company that operates this cruise boat also operates a hotel, the Intercontinental, on a motu on the other side of the island. Since 2006 this hotel has been using the cool waters from the ocean depths to operate their air conditioning system and in turn have reduced their oil (diesel) generated power consumption by almost 90%. It is this kind of forward thinking that is needed throughout the Pacific and indeed throughout the globe.

On the Vaka we sail using the wind and our electrical needs are supplied from solar. To use another’s words, we are no longer using the dark hellish liquid energy from the bowels of the earth, but the bright clean warm glow from the heavens. It seems entirely logical when put into this context doesn't it?

So here we are heading to my home Island Aitutaki, the Va'a is heavy with gifts of food from our friends in Porapora. We have pompelamous (sweet grapefruit), niu, tiporo lime, Vi Tahiti, Papaya, bananas galore, oranges, apples and some beautiful books from avid photographer Erwin Christian. Erwin was in fact Gaualofas' first contact with Porapora, he was out in his 20 year old 20ft runabout, (it has twin 90's) in his words. "You are late" he calls out "ze ozers are vaiting"...hmmmf... I reply, Gaualofa is never late, she just wishes to make an entrance". And there he was again to bid us farewell on the last day out of Porapora. An Island I must see again.

It’s lunchtime, so I must leave now to help reduce the pile of fruits we have, the remainder of which will have to be dumped at sea before arriving in Aitutaki sometime tomorrow evening.

ka kite apopo
Nick Henry