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.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Wednesday 6th June 2012

20 Miles until our first stop, Ovalau, Fiji. It is incredibly hard to believe that just over a mere week has passed since our seven canoes were happily docked at the Samoan marina. It definitely feels a lot longer. It almost feels like an amazing dream I had, but it was real, and I am now back on board Samoa’s canoe, my canoe, sailing closer and closer to our next port, Fiji.

I would like to start by saying a big fa’afetai tele lava to the Samoan Voyaging Society and all the family and friends who assisted and helped organise the arrival and stay of the seven canoes in our country. I can confidently say everybody had an incredible and unforgettable time. To be in Samoa for her 50th Independence Anniversary is something that I will never forget, something I will reminisce on and I’m sure will still be talking about it when I march at the 100th Anniversary!

When I found out earlier on in the voyage that I had the opportunity to sail all the way to Samoa, it was an opportunity I didn’t want to miss, I was excited to be a part of Gaualofa’s crew to bring her back home. But I never could have expected the overwhelming feeling I had the moment we could see a small speck of land as we came closer to home. Maybe it was the joy of knowing that I would soon see my family and friends, maybe it was the pride of sailing so many miles or maybe just the relief of knowing soon we’d be home. Whichever it was, it was a strong feeling and the beginning of a beautiful and truly memorable time in Samoa.

As we sail on to our next port, on a canoe we can now truly call our own; I would like to thank Dieter Paulmann and his wife Hannah for the generous gift of Gaualofa. The future of our canoe lies when we finish our current voyage to the Solomon Islands. We end one leg, but then a whole new life for the canoe will begin. I am excited to be involved in this inspirational project and hope that the integrity of our canoe stays true and we can continue our amazing journey connecting our heritage and our environment, connecting our past and our present for a better future.

‘E leai se gaumata’u na’o le Gaualofa’ - The things we do out of love will last forever

Jayde Leota

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