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VOYAGER’S DIARY: ‘WE CAN SMELL THE ISLAND’ Canoes arrive at Rarotonga

APIA, Samoa (Samoa Observer, May 30, 2010) – On May 27, we saw three whales just before sunset, they were jumping but they stayed away from us.

And now as I write two more just jumped 200m from the va’a.

The helmsmen altered our course to try to get closer but the whales disappeared.

We could see Raro since sunrise. It is always a nice feeling to spot an island and to slowly approach. As we draw closer and closer details appear and as we pass on the leeward side we definitely can smell the island - it is a distinctive change in the air. The welcoming ceremony is prepared for our arrival.

We will spend the night drifting in front of the channel, waiting for Customs who will come on board before we enter the lagoon. Then we will follow the protocol for landing.

It’s a big moment every time for the people who have been preparing on land and for us to discover a new place.

Each time we have been treated like heroes crossing oceans, but we have the nice role in the story - for us it is such an honour to be received like that.

There is a very good point about our journey. Each stop is an opportunity for local people to talk about traditions, about old beliefs, about their own roots as people of the Pacific.

The Aiga Folau o Samoa Society plans a welcoming ceremony for the arrival of the Pacific Voyagers on about June 8 if weather permits. Keep an eye on your Samoa Observer for the exact day of arrival.

Daily routines continue below


Another bright and beautiful day on the southern side of Raiatea . After last night’s ava and movie session the aftermath could be seen on both va’as (Hine Moana and Uto Ni Yalo).

There were sleeping bodies all over the place. Breakfast was quickly set up as everyone

was looking forward to be out to sea again. After a thorough scrub down of the deck we set sail.

The fleet is to sail to the Cook Islands with the traditional rig (Marquis rig). As we sailed out the wonderful people who have helped and supported us during this Tahitian leg came out in their fishing boats wishing us safe passage.

Faafaite did a little ceremony before we headed out. We caught a nice size masimasi right before dinner. Marc switched the watch teams as Aunty Mareva, Brynne and Kalo are to be included. Nice change.

Though there was a point where a few were vying for Kalolo. Very popular this guy.

We’ve been doing an average of 9 knots, which will mean arriving earlier then expected.

The crew of Hine Moana would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to the people of Reivavae, Moorea, Tahit and Raiatea. Malo aupito, thank you tumas, faafetai tele lava and maruuru. Anytime you’re in our waters don’t hesitate to visit us.


The ocean has welcomed us back and has actually allowed us to sail this time...hooray!

The winds have allowed us to keep a good speed so we should arrive to Rarotonga with plenty of time to spare. Once again we are reminded that life at sea is a little more challenging than life on land.

Combining our heading with the swell and the wind has made for a couple of green faces. As we were in yet another glorious sunset at sea last night we caught a beautiful Masimasi which was great today in sushi rolls and soya.

With Evohe (one of the support vessels) and Te Matau a Maui just off of our port side and the others not far from us it’s nice to have our fleet together for this next leg. Happy Sailing!


We are keeping a good speed , Maru maru atua is leading the fleet.

They have traditional navigators on board who are giving advice about stars or planets to follow.

First part of the night we have Venus 22 degrees forward of the beam

Then we use the southern cross on our port side 45 degrees forward of the beam.

Every night it is the same movie above our heads

We will arrive in Rarotonga tomorrow.

We will be received by the prime minister...

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