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Fiji Time: 6:53 AM on Wednesday 3 September

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UTO NI YALO

Lee-Anne Lee And Jonathan Smith
Sunday, August 07, 2011

Bula Viti kei Rotuma.

Hope all has been going well in Fiji.

We are pretty much in the dark out here in the North Pacific.

Hardly any news from home or anywhere else for that matter.

It's just us, the wind, the Ocean, the odd albatross and all the rubbish you would think of. Countless plastic bottles of different shapes and sizes, plastic, nets, ropes, 50kg gas bottles, truck tyres (with rims), fishing buoys, PVC Pipes, plastic plates, plastic cups, plastic paint trays, light bulbs, plastic carpets.

All of these we are logging every minute throughout the day.

We picked up huge nets and cut it up and filled up several extra large garbage bags and so much more.

We wished that we had a bigger drua and enough food and water to stay out here collecting all this rubbish to clean up this ocean as best as we can. We have not caught any fish in the last two days which goes to show how bad pollution has damaged the fish stocks.

We are thousands of miles from any land mass. Alaska to our North, San Francisco to our East, Hawaii to our South, Japan to our West.

All this rubbish comes from the land and ends up way out here in the middle of the North and South Pacific Ocean, our home.

People need to realise that we depend on the ocean for oxygen.

We learn it in school from a very young age that the ocean is important for us to stay alive just like the trees on land.

We learn in history that our ancestors whether in the pacific or Europe were once cannibals but they respected nature to the point of worshipping it.

If we do not do anything about saving our Ocean, future generations are going to look back on us and brand us as barbarians for what we're doing.

The sad part about all of this is we all know that we are wiping out the ocean and driving species to extinction yet we continue to destroy our ocean.

We as individuals need to start doing our bit in saving our ocean. Whether it be throwing back the undersized fish that we catch, teaching our children not to litter and pick up rubbish even if it's not theirs, that is a start to making a difference.

Apart from Steven Tawake losing his balance and falling overboard a couple of days ago trying to recover a fishing buoy, we have more or less been becalmed and trying to find wind so we can continue moving. After that episode of man overboard drama, Angelo nicknamed Steven "Captain Planet".

We are currently in the middle of a huge high that just does not want to move. I guess as humans we can never be satisfied. We get too much wind and it's rough so we complain, we don't get enough wind and hardly moving and we complain. But that's nature and out here in the middle of nowhere you learn to respect nature the hard way.

You take what's given to you and no amount of whining is going to change anything.

Those on deck this afternoon were in stitches laughing about how the different crewmembers are taking a bath which has become quite an amusing event on board. With the water so cold at 15 degrees and a very cold chill in the air, a few of the crew resort to push-ups, sit-ups and even skipping before taking their saltwater bath.

Then there are the different ways of actually bathing.

Some start by wetting their feet first then moving up their body.

Some feel that you should wet your head first then each hand, then their body. Some feel you should just take the whole bucket and wet your whole body one go.

I know that we will surely welcome a warm bath when we reach land.

Today we received an email from the Traditional Master Navigator "Jacko" (Jack Thatcher) from New Zealand who was on board from Nuku Hiva to Hilo teaching our traditional navigators.

He says the Fiji Rugby Team will be hosted in Tauranga during the Rugby World cup and that he will be their Tauranga Liaison officer at least for their welcome.

He said he would take the Uto ni Yalo paddle which we gave him as a gift along to show them that the Uto Ni Yalo are holding the real deal flag up for Fiji and that should give them some motivation to do the best they can.

All the best boys.

We can will not hear the commentary or watch your games on TV but we'll be cheering for you out here in the North Pacific Ocean.

I think most times we are not fully aware of what we are actually doing on this voyage until we meet the many people at the different places we visit then we are humbled and honored by their welcome and their generosity.

As we travel on we receive numerous emails supporting our voyage. All of this makes us realise that this voyage is actually bigger than us.

"Te Mana O Te Moana" is about recovery of our Oceans and our spirits. It's about saving the Oceans for future generations.

We want our children to be able to go out to the seawall and look down at the beautiful coral and fish in crystal clear water and not have to look at pictures in magazines and imagine what was once our Ocean!


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