Have you started your journey yet?
From the Uto ni Yalo way south of Vanua Levu and passing north of Koro Island. Bula vinaka Viti kei Rotuma, the Uto ni Yalo is home and with it come the intrepid travelers that so ably represented Fiji all these months. Most of them will carry our banner beyond our shores and north to Vanuatu and the Solomons. Come out this weekend and wish them well. They would like to share their message with you.
Do you want to know more about traditional navigation? Ask for Seta, he’s the youngest and smartest in the fleet!
Want to know how to prepare tasty and nutritious meals while rocking and rolling at sea? Ask for Ben the cook with a difference!
Want to learn more about the wonderful carvings you’ll find on board the Uto? Ask for Tuks. He can demonstrate his techniques while mixing yaqona at the same time!
Want to learn about the Rotuman diaspora? Those many Rotumans that left their fair shores to seek adventure and plant biscuits elsewhere? Ask for “Master” – Mausio. Not only is he an expert and silent social surfer, but he’s practicing what his forefathers once did!
Want to learn how an experienced sea captain leads what once was a group of newbies and pirates and turnd them into sailors? Ask for the Skipper – Captain Johnathan Smith. He may even sing you a song!
Want to learn how a national basketball rep can become an accomplished seafarer and an environment advocate? Just ask Aggie Sokosoko! She hasn’t been home to Ovalau since she was 5 years old!
Want to learn more about drua fishing and trolling? Ask Vili. He’s had personal bouts with many a fish and lived to tell the tale!
Want to learn how to laugh and wake up the entire crew? Ask Iva our happiest crew member. Her smile even beats Seta’s!
Want to learn how to become an “awesome guy” and be Uto’s spokesperson par excellance? Ask Seru from Kubulau. He’s a master of charm with his guileless smile. Some say he’s Mausio’s understudy and drua son! He may even take you for a SCUBA dive at the famous Namena reef!
Want to learn what it means to be a sea going rugby player? Ask Peni how he’s done it!
Want to know about anything to do with Fijian culture and history; rugby; international and local politics; military life; New York City; pig farming; the Browne family diaspora or life in general???? We have the man!!! He’s none other than “Joltin Joe” Browne! Part of that not so holy trinity of mataus aboard. Bet you can’t beat him in kava swiping!
You might not want to get this next guy talking. He’s been pretty quiet except for those blogs! Don’t mention sea birds; coral reef fish; anything to do with marine conservation and especially NOT basketball! He might talk til the cowfish swim home. Yes, that’s Bob!
We have Fiji crew on several vakas. I’m sure by now they have made their positive presence known. We are proud to have sailed with all of them. We have also had “guests” visit us from other vakas. At present we have Anna from Hinemoana. We have also hosted Hanna and Johann from the Evohe and David, Kaltafan and Johnnywell from Hinemoana. We consider them part of our crew. Many more joined us in port to relax around the tanoa. Seems like the Uto ni Yalo was the social capitol of the fleet at times!
Our special guest, now tried and true crew member, Anglican Archbishop and lecturer at Auckland University, Winston Halapua has adapted to drua life admirably. We thank him for his good spirit and willingness to experience a new [old] concept in living. Vinaka saka vaka levu. Please remember us in your prayers.
All those that have been mentioned plus many more have had the groundbreaking experience of living a rarified and enriching life for many months. We all have been changed as a result of becoming a Pacific Voyager. It might even be said that in reference to an earlier article where we discussed learning areas that we had all our domains affected.
Cognitive – Who can’t say they haven’t learned more about sailing, oceanography and marine biology and so much more.
Psycho-motor – If we think back when each of us began, how many of us could quickly tie all those nautical knots under at sea pressure? Even more relevant think about using the uli [steering paddle]. Some took to it like a whale in Bahia Magdalena, while others laboured and mastered it with pride.
Affective – How many of us now take offense to seeing plastic floating at sea? How many of us will now speak for and defend every marine creature we encounter? Once attitude is changed can environmental advocacy be far behind?
Fiji will be a return home for us. For the remainder of the fleet it will an opportunity to grow even further as they experience all that is good in Fiji. The Solomons will provide a wonderful way to end this incredible journey. A place where Pacific island cultures will meet – exchange ideas – share the joys of entertainment, art and craft AND where the PV will have an excellent opportunity to disseminate the messages of hope they have been living.
tabu soro Viti kei Rotuma………….have you started or restarted your journey yet?