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Sailing Itinerary
 
Suva* Totoya Island in the Lau Province* Lautoka: 3 weeks (June 29th—July 19th)

We will begin in Suva with orientation, Kava ceremony, preliminary sailing training, visits with community partners and a village visit with the traditional sailors. The Alvei will depart Suva within 3 days to sail to Totoya Island, following traditional protocol. (Allow for approximately 3 days sailing time). Totoya is a triangular shaped, volcanic island, hollowed by a caldera, situated in the Moala subgroup of Fiji's Lau archipelago. The Lau Province is made up of over a hundred islands and atolls scattered across a 188 square mile expanse of deep ocean linking Fiji and Tonga. The region contains significant marine biodiversity.  The remoteness of the archipelago flourishes with uniquely evolved flora and fauna. The presiding Chief of Totoya Island declared part of their coral reefs sacred in honor of World Oceans Day, June 8th, 2011 and established a Marine Protected Area (MPA). Last year was the first time the Lau Islands opened their region to tourists, thus this is a unique experience to travel to a place that few outsiders have gone.
 
There are four villages on Totoya occupying approximately 130 households. Most residents are farmers or fishers. We will anchor off shore from the chief’s village, Tovu. Relations will begin with a Kava ceremony and feast. Roko Sau, the traditional warlord of Totoya Island in Fiji’s eastern province of Lau is our island contact along with our community partner, The Pacific Blue Foundation. The Pacific Blue Foundation is dedicated to conserving cultural and biological diversity in South Pacific Island Nations and other coastal region. http://www.pacificbluefoundation.org/
 
Volunteer crew will be engaged in numerous projects, cultural events along side villagers. These projects have come at the request of Roko Sau. Details are being arranged, however, thus far will include: training and conducting coral reef health surveys in their Marine Protected Area; planting vegetable gardens, and fruit trees, as well as Hybrid coconut saplings for coconut oil production. We are working with the Ministry Agriculture to identify the plants and crops most suitable and most needed on the island. In addition, we will be providing basic materials and training on bee-keeping and honey production. Knowledge on how to create a sustainable level of honey production for export to mainland would be a great contribution to income generation and youth engagement. There will also be a construction project. We have been asked to assist with the building of bridge that traverses over a stream. The present one is aged and falling apart. Academic support and volunteer service will be available for interested individuals. Our University of the South Pacific partners, the Econesian Society, will lead in the educational campaign to protect Fiji’s sharks. Lastly we will be transporting goods to the island and helping with disposal of items to the mainland. 
 
Throughout the entire journey, volunteers will assist the Econesian Society with the video documentation of our expedition. The Lau Islanders are known as the boat builders. This traditional knowledge along with their ancestral sailing skills and navigation are being revived. We will interview elders regarding this resurgence along with their traditional marine management practices, and cultural stories. For centuries, Fijians like other Pacific island societies regulated resource use over the land and sea through customary management practices such as temporary harvesting closures, access restrictions, seasonal bans, and catch limits. These customs still remain strong in the outer islands. Another focus of the documentary will be on traditional weather predication.

Activities will include swimming off shore of white sandy beaches, snorkeling, and hiking. We will stay approximately 10 days before departing for Lautoka (again figure from 3-4 sailing days). 

Week Break, July 20nd-July 26th for individual exploration of Fiji.

Lautoka * The Yasawas to include Yasawa I-Rawa  * Back to Lautoka
3 weeks (July 27th—August 16th)

Resume project with orientation for new volunteers and further sailing training. Depart Lautoka by June 24th and follow the ancient chain of volcanic islands to the remote end of the archipelago for delivery of supplies to areas affected by Hurricane Evan. These stunning islands, extending across the sea for 80 km in clear blue shallow water, have been compared to a string of pearls. The villages that make up the Yasawa Islands are traditional and the people uphold their cultural legacy. Villagers maintain a living through tropical agriculture, fishing, supplemented by some members working on the mainland or at some of the recent grass-roots and foreign operated resorts.
 
Our main focus will be to assist communities still recovering from the devastation of the hurricane. A category four cyclone, Hurricane Evan, struck Fiji with the brunt of the storm in the western area, including the Yasawas late in 2012, bearing down with 150 mph winds and torrential rains. Homes were flattened, farms destroyed, crops ruined, trees uprooted and vital infrastructure on the mainland torn down. GVI has identified the northern islands, such as Yasawa I-Rawa of needing the most support. As we near closer to the date, additional areas that have not received resources and support will be assessed. We will concentrate our efforts on home construction and polyculture gardens, which are more resistant to storms. Damage to their main source of food supply is the essence of the problem.  We will also include a marine ecology project (to be determined) and will plant Vesi wood saplings. School volunteer support will also be available in the Yasawas.  The video documentation will continue with a focus on island stories of origin and other cultural exploration. Return to Lautoka, August 16th ending the Honour Fiji Journey then. Activities will also include Kava ceremony and feast, swimming, snorkeling, island exploration, and fishing.



HOME | HONOUR FIJI JOURNEY | SACRED WATERS HONOR JOURNEY | SUSQUEHANNA RIVER HONOR JOURNEY
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