“Uto ni Yalo” night-sailed to Dravuni

The “Uto ni Yalo” (Heart of Souls or Heart of the Spirit), a hand-crafted traditional ocean voyaging canoe, night-sailed to Dravuni from Suva, arriving at its destination on Saturday, 30 January 2010, at about 5pm. The oceanic visitor and its crew were greeted with traditional ‘cere’. It meant that the crew members, men and women, had to swim to the shore and run on the sandy beach to win their spoils in the forms of a ‘tabua’ (whale’s tooth), masi (tapa) and coconut oil.

First, the swim to the shore for the ‘cere’
Second, the chase on the beach for the ‘cere’ spoils

The beautiful craft was launched and blessed by H.E. Mr. Mac McLachlan, British High Commissioner, on 22 November 2009 at the National Canoe Centre, Laucala Bay, near Suva. The Centre is the brainchild of the recently formed Fiji Islands Voyaging Society, which is linked to the Pacific Voyages Foundation whose membership comprises American Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, NZ, Samoa, Tahiti and Tonga.

The night sail to Dravuni was a golden opportunity “for the new sailors on the crew to get a taste of night sailing under a full moon and clear skies”, according to the release following the short voyage.

The crew members thoroughly enjoyed their short visit to Dravuni. In return, the villagers were regaled beyond their wildest dreams by Manoa Rasigatale’s repertoire of Fijian stories and jokes.

A well-deserved swim at the end of the voyage at Dravuni

One thing is certain: when the “Uto ni Yalo” sets sail for Hawaii later in June, it will sail with Dravuni’s blessings.

The old and the new

Thanks to Colin Philp of the Fiji Islands Voyaging Society for the sharing of photos and information.


3 Comments Add yours

  1. Iliesa Bula says:

    Wow !!! I believe the trip by the ‘Uto ni Yalo’ to Dravuni was an historical one and I’m sure the crew enjoyed there short visit to the village. The trip will be well remebered in the years to come.
    Thanks for the info and photographs.
    Keep it up.
    Many thanks & God Bless.

  2. Kal+Jim Roko says:

    Bula Yaca, keirau tiko ‘qo e vale (Brissie) kei Bro, a lako cake mai ena siga Lotulevu 4 Easter Holiday, he’s going back on Mon or Tue next week maybe? Told him that you’re coming down on the 19th ’til the 23rd of this month but he said he’ll miss it ’cause he’s having his ‘OPERATION’ on the 21/4/10. Yaca, we check your WEBSITE and Jim think it’s Wonderful and I think it’s BEAUTY! We also checked Ema’s Website, just came back from golf this morning, I think we’ll be just staying home 2day ’cause we having B.B.Q this afternoon. So be seeing you in a few weeks time, don’t 4get 2 brush up on your golf rule too. Ok , time 2 say Namasite and God Bless! Kal + jim Roko.

  3. beci says:

    Rairaivinaka na webisite qo, Momo.
    Vanuinui vinaka tiko ena qaravi tavi.
    God Bless…

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