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, August 8, 2012

7th August 2012

“You must be dreaming. Are you joking? Get that idea out of your head and get back to what you were doing.”

Have you heard this somewhere before? Sometimes the seed of the idea, the beginning of the dream, ends right there. But then maybe it could sound like “hang on a minute I can do that”. I could go to the library; I could look on the internet; I can talk or mix with people who know; I can ready myself or do some training; I can advertise myself to the right people.

Listening to some of the crew in the fleet and here on Gaualofa has been humbling in this respect. Both similar and different. Similar because whether intentional or not most of us voyagers started with a dream then tried real hard to make it a reality. Different is , our separate journeys and reasons, which could be: to travel, to find our heritage, to experience life on a traditional canoe, traditional navigation, ocean conservation, to be an example for family….. Your reason is yours and so is your dream. Fight for it.

We are really looking forward to arriving in Tuvalu (just 150 nm to go) and meeting with the people. Also having our first land wish. Mine is to drink a coconut. Anama says she can’t wait to have a snowflake. Lole says his is pavlova , John wants a coconut crab, Bruce wants fruit like maybe an orange, Kim wants a freshly baked chocolate chippie and cold milk, Jordan wants green tea ice cream with whipped cream and chocolate drizzle. Taleni wants pig ears. Senio wants ufi.

Andrew Banse and Gaualofa  crew

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Life onboard

A warm breeze caresses the deck of our va'a as we cruise steadily across calm seas. Praise God that for the first time in a while the wind is allowing us to sail almost directly toward our destination of Tuvalu, after awkward gusts and sudden wind shifts had had us literally sailing in circles over the past few days. Someone's prayers have obviously been answered on our behalf! And we are grateful.
We are now two weeks into our journey home to Samoa, and have yet to see any land. The captain says that we might reach our next stop by the end of the week, and all on board are eager to re-acquaint themselves with the solid earth for a few days. Meanwhile, on board we are living Life at Sea: we read, we write; some study while others entertain themselves and each other with songs and other musical antics. We bake in the midday sun while praying for a cooling respite of rain, and we hope for clear stars and a warming breeze at night. We fish, we eat; we sit back and watch as our belly’s grow softer. We wash dishes, bathe, and swab the deck in salt water. We talk sometimes of base things such as what delicacies might next emerge from Lole's magical fry pan for dinner; and we converse at other times on elevated themes such as how to improve the lives of our people, and what noble purpose might our lives serve upon completing our current sojourn upon our mother Gaualofa. Thus we sail on...

 At the moment it is 3am, my watch shift is done, and the moon sets upon our stern while Orion slowly rises from beyond our bow. Perhaps we should enjoy one more peanut butter cracker and another 'ukulele singalong before bed...or maybe just bed.
Sending love to you all.

Bruce and Gaualofa crew.