F.S.M. canoe to stop-over in Apia on the way to Cook Islands
Samoa Voyaging Society is preparing to welcome an ocean-going canoe from the Federated State of Micronesia (F.S.M.) this weekend, who are stopping over in Apia on their way to the Cook Islands.
The S.V.S. President Memea Lyvia Black said they will be welcoming the Okeanos Waa'Qab Va'atele with its crew of seven, who are making a brief three-day stopover in Apia for the crew to refresh themselves and get provisions enroute to their Cook Islands destination.
"Aiga Folau o Samoa or Samoa Voyaging Society is preparing to welcome the Okeanos Waa'Qab Va'atele expected to arrive in Apia this weekend," she said.
"The three day stopover in Apia, expected this weekend Saturday 1st October will give the crew a much needed rest and re-provision for the final leg to Rarotonga.
"Aiga Folau or Samoa Voyaging Society is preparing a brief welcome with an ava o le Feiloa'iga formality and a hosted dinner at the Aiga Folau fale at the S.T.A. Cultural Village, dependent on arrival."
According to Capt. Karl Steffany of Gaualofa, they are elated with the visit and look forward to welcoming the Okeanos Waa’Qab crew to Samoa.
"We are excited to welcome Okeanos Waa’Qab to Samoa. It's always a joy for us, as voyagers, as sailors, to welcome our family of voyagers," he said.
"We are also mindful that they have been at sea for almost four weeks and they will be ready for a short rest. Yes, me and our Aiga Folau are standing by to welcome Vaka Motu Okeanos Waa’Qab to Samoa."
The Gaualofa was gifted to Samoa by Okeanos Foundation in 2012 during the country's 50th Independence anniversary celebrations.
Mr. Steffany said when the public see the arrival of the F.S.M. crew with their long-voyaging canoe, they must acknowledge that they used traditional navigation to sail over.
"When you see the Okeanos Waa'Qab Va'atele arrive in Apia, we hope people will know and appreciate that this canoe and crew have traveled over to Samoa by traditional navigation.
"Where they are using the sun, the stars, the waves, to navigate their canoe to Samoa as our great ancestors used to travel the vast ocean.
"Our hope is that our people especially the youth will be inspired to come and join us, learn about folauga a tagata Samoa."
Memea added that Samoans are ancient navigators and are voyaging people.
"O tagata Samoa, o tagata folau o le vavau. Samoan people are ancient navigators," she said. "O folauga, na "tagata" ai Samoa ! Voyaging peopled Samoa.
"O folauga, o se tasi o measina a Samoa. Voyaging is one of Samoa's treasures.
"Here's our Pasefika voyaging family arriving in Apia voyaging 3,000 nautical miles to their final destination, retaining and reviving Pacific ancestral traditional navigation knowledge.
"It is up to us to preserve 'ia taofi' and revive 'toe faaolaola', our ancestor's incredible traditional ocean voyaging knowledge and skills.
"It is not too late, the arrival of the Okeanos Waa'Qab is a reminder from our ancestors o se faamanatu, mai o tatou Tua'ā - ia aua ne’i tatou fa'atamala ma faagaloina lenei tomai - tau folauga a tagata Samoa o le vavau.
"Let us not forget and be ignorant of our ancestral traditional ocean voyaging and navigation knowledge and skills, use it or lose it.
"We Aiga Folau or Samoa Voyaging Society look forward to welcoming our Pasefika voyaging family and Okeanos Waa'Qab."
To know more about the event, the public can call Memea Lyvia Black who is the President of Aiga Folau o Samoa or Samoa Voyaging Society on number 760 5251 or Captain Karl Steffany on number 7600 907.
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