Update from Colin Philp
Onboard Uto Ni Yalo
Distance Travelled: 2464 Nautical Miles
Distance to Raivavae: 153 Nautical Miles North East
Bula Viti kei Rotuma
Saturday evening we are joined by the support boat Foftein at around 2230
hours and we communicate by VHF radio. The other three canoes are still 30
nautical miles to the south but we are all heading in the same direction and
have much the same winds. North Westerlies at 10 - 12 knots push us along
towards Raivavae at 5 knots.
At first light we raise the Gennaker sail and increase our speed slightly to
6.5 knots steering a bearing of 070 True.
The weather is beautiful and warm. Although the wind could be a little
stronger, these are the days we live for. A gentle swell, sunny days and
favourable winds is all we can ask for.
The weather gives us a chance to continue our maintenance on board. Vilisoni
and Steven finish off the repair on the Traditional sail boom. The generator
is on and they are sanding the repair, preparing for a coat of marine
Rupeni and Tukana clean out the deck house and wipe up any moisture.
Cushions are left in the sun to dry and all the canned food needs to be
wiped clean of any salt water. Unaisi and salome pitch in a help.
Ratu Manoa, Kelekele, Kai'afa and Carson hang up all the traditional
costumes which were soaked through with salt water. The bag with the
costumes was in the bow compartment that was leaking so badly.
Everyone else is doing their washing and hanging up wet clothes.
In the afternoon, Sonny and I spend 2 hours sorting out fishing gear and
rigging new lures. We have not caught any fish for a few days and everyone
is having withdrawals.
It is amazing that we have not seen any birds or schools of fish at all for
3- 4 days. Just more long line floats but no fish. We have tried every
single colour lure in the lure box.
By late afternoon, the wind had dropped to 5-6 knots and we are forced to
motor sail once again so that we stay on our converging course with the
At first light we can see the other canoes to the south and we look forward
to linking up with them again in a few hours.
In the meantime, let me talk a little bit about one of our main goals of
this voyage. Apart from reviving our Traditional Voyaging and Navigation,
one of the aims of this voyage is to spread the word about the plight of our
beloved Pacific Ocean and highlight the threats and challenges that we in
the Pacific are faced with.
For too long, we in the Pacific have felt that Climate Change is beyond our
control and to some extent this is true. However the rest of the
industrialised world is not going to come to our rescue if we don't speak up
and highlight the effects that Carbon Dioxide emissions are having on our
small island countries.
There is technology now to change to carbon-free economies, but there is not
the political will to change. Political will comes from the people that vote
politicians into power.
The Pacific Ocean plays a big part in absorbing carbon emitted by mankind.
As the vast majority of land mass and population is in the Northern
Hemisphere, the Pacific Ocean acts as a "sink" for the entire population of
Scientists agree that the four main threats to the Pacific Ocean are -
Habitat Destruction, Over Fishing, Pollution and Climate Change (expanded on
further in this article).
Did you know that two thirds of the fish harvested on the planet are from
the Pacific Ocean? Neither did I until recently. This is why the rest of the
world must listen.
A SUSTAINABLE AND HEALTHY PACIFIC OCEAN
Please take the time to read this paper below so you can take steps to make
a difference in your lifestyles decisions that will help preserve the
Pacific Ocean for our grandchildren and their grandchildren.
PACIFIC OCEAN 2020 CHALLENGE
A sustainable and Healthy Pacific Ocean by 2020
A Pacific Ocean that is healthy and bountiful, sustaining the livelihoods
and cultures of the Pacific people and contributing significantly to the
health and economic vitality of the world.
1. High Level Commitments and Actions
· Clear and concrete commitments and actions to harness and prevent further
human induced threats to the Pacific Ocean at all levels from Government
across the Pacific Ocean
2. Pacific Ocean wide Coalitions:
· States, Cities, Institutions: Develop and implement policies and actions
that address the threats to the Pacific Ocean
· Private Sector: Corporate and industry wide policies and actions to
control/reduce carbon emissions, pollution and energy use.
· Pacific Communities: Practical actions to manage and sustain their ocean
shores and reefs
· Individuals: Commitment on activities that will contribute to above
actions and galvanize their networks.
Comprising half the world's ocean area, and one third of the earth's
surface, the Pacific Ocean is the largest single geographic feature on our
planet. This vast region hosts complex ecosystem and ocean-based economies
that produce a wealth of resources for local and global consumption, yet is
not being sustainably managed.
While there are many commendable actions being taken to address the major
threats including huge marine initiatives such as the Coral Triangle,
Micronesia Challenge, Phoenix Islands reserve, Pacific Oceanscapes and
Hawaii Monuments and California's MPA's, the ocean's issues cannot be
resolved without Pacific Ocean- wide commitments from countries in the
Pacific and around the Pacific rim.
Quick Facts- Pacific Ocean
· Spans 165 million square kilometres ( or 64 million square miles), almost
25% of which is in the Exclusive Economic Zones of the small Pacific Island
Countries and Territories
· Pacific Ocean ecosystems support more rare, endangered and threatened
species than anywhere else on earth.
· Provide two out of every three fish harvested on the planet
· Supports a multi- billion dollar tourism industry
· Includes 56 Pacific Island and Rim Countries and Territories with a total
population of 2.9 billion
To draw attention to the seriousness of the problems facing the Pacific, the
urgent need for action, and the existence of viable solutions, the Centre
for Ocean Solutions, in collaboration with the International Union for the
Conservation of Nature (IUCN), developed the Pacific Ocean Scientific
Consensus Statement, now signed by over 400 scientists from around the
This represent the first time in history the scientific community has come
together to speak with one voice to express a united sense of urgency about
the threats facing the Pacific Ocean, and provides a scientific basis for
key leaders and decision makers throughout the Pacific region collectively
to call for immediate action.
Scientists and the wider community agree the four main threats to the
Pacific Ocean are:
· Habitat Destruction- productive marine and coastal habitats are lost to
destructive fishing practices, inappropriate coastal development for
aquaculture, tourism or agriculture.
· Over fishing/ harvesting- Unsustainable resource use reduces fish stocks
throughout the Pacific, limiting fish catches and threatening a critical
· Pollution- Pollutants from sewage from fertilizer runoff of off
agricultural lands, plastics and other trash, toxic dumping and oil spills,
runoff from streets and land, combine to create one of the most critical
classes of ocean threats- threatening human health and ocean life.
· Climate Change- Carbon dioxide discharged to the atmosphere is both
altering seawater chemistry resulting in ocean acidification and causing the
ocean to warm leading to sea level rise, stronger storms, changing rain
patterns, and coral bleaching.
Report by Satellite Phone courtesy of DIGICEL