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


  1. i'm wobbling with jelly !!!

  2. Talofa Gaualofa.

    You all look so much older and wiser.
    The journey has treated you well.
    I would love to be with you for the celebrations.
    Keep those photos and writings coming.
    I would also love to see some Samoan writing coming through from the Gaualofa blog.
    Our language is also in danger.
    Tusi mai i le gagana pele. Ou te faasalaau i le tatou tagata ma aoga samoa i Niu Sila.
    Big hugs to everyone.