News from Gaualofa on her way to Tuvalu
21st July 2012
GAUALOFA:TACKING HER WAY TO TUVALU
It’s been seven days now since we left the Solomon Islands, and for most of that time we have been fighting very strong sea and wind conditions; not to mention having been constantly wet from the squalls and the waves that have been breaking over the va’a. At night, it is so dark in these conditions and the wind so strong, that the wind-driven rain is hurting when it hits you in the face. Up till now, we are still fighting upwind, tacking our way to Tuvalu.
In the last two days the winds have eased off, bringing Gaualofa to a crawling speed of just 2.5 knots. Slow as it is, it’s given us time to recover and regain our strength, and enjoy a much needed rest.
Late yesterday evening, to lift our spirits, I landed a massive yellowfin tuna. It was a good fight on the the hand line; everyone crowded to see what was on the end of the line, and when it was landed there was a great shout of “cheeeehoooo!”. It weighted 60 plus kilos cheeeehoooo! We had a feast – a tuna feast. You name it, we had it: curried tuna, sashimi, oka, poke, fried fish, flaked tuna with onion and mayo on crackers – all washed down with a nice ice-cold Vailima……. now there’s a thought for when we arrive in Samoa! It’s strange how a cup of coffee can taste out here. As always, it was amazing as to how Lole, our cook, made that tuna taste different in so many ways. With still 667 nautical miles to go, tacking our way to Tuvalu, we are asking you to keep us in your prayers for a favourable wind as we on Gaualofa endeavour to make Samoa proud.
Tofa soifua, John Misky & the Gaualofa crew.
22nd July 2012
Talofa lava from the open ocean on another lovely moonlit night. Today’s sunset was another picture-perfect ending to a day of light winds and much searching for shade on the Gaualofa. It seems that no matter how many gorgeous sunsets our more-weathered crew members have seen, the beauty is in no way diminished and people still run for cameras to capture the moment for posterity (sorry, mum, my camera kinda died, so you’ll just have to take my word for it – it was breathtaking!).
At crew meeting today, we were told we may reach Tuvalu by the weekend. The winds have dropped quite a bit in the last couple of days, so much so that in the last 24hrs we’ve covered a mere 30nm. Not so hard to swallow on starry nights like tonight, but it does weigh a bit on the mind in the heat of the day. Winds are expected to pick up a bit come Tuesday, so all watch crews have been cautioned about paying attention while on the foe, lest an opportunity to make good ground is missed. Other than that, all is well on board, with lots of opportunities for doing laundry, brushing up on knot skills, guitar and singing lessons, or even the odd television show or movie. [A quick aside: Kim & I have graduated from Kalolo’s school of hard knots, and are now on to handling the head sail on our own … and I’ve got a whopper of a bruise to show for it]
Our watch tonight has live entertainment in the form of Taleni & Koleni’s va’a travelling act. As thoughts turn to home, the last couple of hours have been spent listening to their live version of the breakfast show as heard on local stations of home … complete with news updates every half hour, celebrity interviews, and songs played by request. The two boys are so good that their audience listened, captivated, throughout their broadcast. 2AP on the Gaualofa, whoever would have guessed?
And with that, this is the Gaualofa crew signing out for another Sunday on the sea. Wishing all our families, friends, and loved ones, the best for the week ahead. Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers, just as we do you all in ours.
Maniua le po.
Anama Solofa & the Gaualofa crew.
25th July 2012
Aiga folau a Samoa. My current family here on board Gaualofa. As the days draw on, I can feel us all growing closer and closer just like our canoe inches closer to Tuvalu. Every day for the past couple of days we have been having story time just before we eat dinner. We each take turns telling stories, giving demonstrations, and teaching one another a little more about ourselves. We have laughed, cried, argued, been scolded, and grown just like any other family. We have heard triumphant stories of survival in horrid situations, learned how to make toffee, give foot massages, and today I taught the crew how to start dreadlocks by giving Taleni one! I am learning more Samoan everyday and learning more about where my mother’s family comes from. We passed the half way point to Tuvalu recently and are praying for more wind to blow us in the right direction to get to Tuvalu in a timely manner. We are currently creeping along going about 2-3kts and with the wind sometimes straight from the east, we have to tack north and south struggling to keep us going somewhat in the right direction. The refreshing squalls come in everyone once in a while giving Gaualofa and her crew a nice fresh water rinse and replenishing our water supplies.
It’s a beautiful clear night tonight, with the moon and stars shining down on us. There is a nice breeze coming in, and the boys are playing their ukuleles and guitars and singing songs from back home. I think it’s time I get off the computer and join them. I just want to send my love to all my aiga ma uo back home in the South Bay of LA and in Arizona. Miss you all, talk to you guys soon!
Blessing from somewhere in the south Pacific,
Jordan Suyeto and the Gaualofa Crew