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.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Knots, sunrises and fish!

We’ve been a little light on blog entries of late. I put it down to post-Festival of Pacific Arts exhaustion. But things are well on their way to getting back to normal on Gaualofa. A few of us left Honiara with sniffles and slight ‘flu, most of which have cleared thanks to Lole’s intuitive cooking of soups and belly-warming stews. The sometimes squally weather we’ve encountered so far ain’t got nothin’ on Lole’s ability to keep the crew well-fed and heart healthy. So far this leg, we’ve covered roughly 360 nautical miles since leaving Point Cruz Yacht Club on Saturday. At this rate, we hope to arrive in Funafuti before the end of next week.

Sailing has sometimes been changeable, almost as frequent as the change of watch crews. On the first night out, John’s watch weathered a storm that caused a slight tear in one of our sails. By the time our watch came up, all was calm on deck. But then again, we’ve had our fair share of squalls and rain showers that the next watch happily avoid. Such is life on the watch merry-go-round. Yesterday afternoon, with the sails set just so and the winds holding steady, we were able to tie down the foe and enjoy auto-foe for the rest of the day. A productive afternoon in the sun saw pretty much the whole crew on deck practicing knots. Kim and I are being put through Kalolo’s school of hard knots after our skills were found to be a little, shall we say, untidy. Our bowline exam was set for yesterday, but I think there may be a few resits, what with Kalolo relishing his role as school teacher/taskmaster (maybe a little too much?).

As I write this entry, dawn is breaking on the horizon. The 3-6am shift is, I find, the hardest and the best shift – hard because it’s the second shift our watch crew has done in one night, but best because we get to see the transition from pitch black night to the start of another day on the ocean. Kalolo has just set our fishing lines for the first time since setting out for Tuvalu. Here’s hoping we catch some fish soon, I’ve got a craving for sashimi. We’ve had a few flying fish land on the deck the past couple of nights, but their small sizes meant they were returned unharmed to the sea … if somewhat regretfully by the boys. Another flying fish has just been discovered near the bow, a decent sized one this time, but again discarded because it seems to have lain undiscovered overnight. Oh well, the oka-cravers will just have to wait a little longer.

I wonder how the other vakas are doing. It’s been a little over a week since we said our goodbyes on Ranadi Beach in Honiara and we hear they’ve had a rough time of it so far. I hope the winds and weather are kinder to them as they set out for their respective destinations. While still in Honiara someone said to me ‘in a few weeks this will all be a dream’. Thinking back, the last two weeks in Honiara alone were like an activity-filled, multi-cultural, technicolour dream. I’ve been on Gaualofa going on 6 weeks now and have collected so many awesome memories already … and we’ve still got Tuvalu and Tokelau to go!

Well, that’s it from us this Friday. Lole has started on breakfast, my favourite meal of the day, so I’m off to wash up and see if I can get some bowline practice in before Kalolo remembers that Kim bore the brunt of much of his ‘lecturing’ yesterday, and decides that today is to be my turn.

Manuia lava feau ole aso.
Alofaaga mai le auvaa ole Gaualofa.
Anama Solofa

Looks like the crew got what they were hoping for :)

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