Samoa V - Riding the Granola bar

Pacific Bliss
Colin Price
Wed 8 Aug 2012 03:26
The Vaka Project  - and s/v Gaualofa
“15 Nations; 7 Canoes.  One People, One voice. The Pacific Needs our Help.  For our children; For our Future. Environmental Consciousness”
The friend we met, Faumuina, who we met whilst hitching around also introduced us to a another great organisation, The Vaca.  It’s a project funded by a wonderful philanthropist who had a vision to give back to the Polynesian cultures there history of sailing.  He funded the building of 7 traditional looking vaca sailing vessels and donated them to 15 Polynesian Nations.  These vessels are amazing but it’s the young folk who man them how are outstanding.  With only a small solar powered motor these boats have travelled from one side of the Pacific to the other.  Having handled the enormous tiller just a few seconds this is no mean feat. 
We luck out again and are given the opportunity to travel on the Vaca belonging to Samoa.  Not only that we’re on a photo shoot with Celebrity chief ‘Robert Oliver’.  Stangely enough we’ve heard about this guy from our pearl farming friend in Manahiki.  Rangi had contributed to his first book that has recently been awarded ‘best cookery book of the world’ in Paris.   It’s a strange old life, ‘cos Rangi was a wee bit disappointed because after her contribution she never heard from the guy again, not even a free copy of said award winning book that she contributed 4 recipes too.   So I’m not feeling particularly friendly and he’s not either.......
The experience of being on this boat, however is magic and the crew are wonderful.  These are the guys who will shape the new Samoa, which without a doubt is a very wonderful thing to know. 
Through out the short voyage we are played guitar and Ukalali , by a few older guys who have been very involved with the whole project.  It’s all a rather surreal experience.
IMG_6617[3]Liz with ‘the book’ and our friend Rangi       
Some of the food prepared for the primadonna, or should I say ‘celebrity chef’ IMG_6627[3]
local instruments and people made the trip really special