IT was a totally different experience for him than what he experienced while sailing to different places in a canoe.
Angelo Smith said leaving the Uto ni Yalo and joining Sea Shepherd for a short stint was something new for him.
Mr Smith, 29, of Banaras in Lautoka, has been sailing on the Uto ni Yalo for the past two years, preaching about the conservation of marine wildlife, in particular sharks.
While in the Solomon Islands for a trip which coincided with the 2012 Pacific Festival of Arts, he joined the Sea Shepherd on July 10 with fellow crew member, Seru Saumakidonu, 24, and Kalo Nathaniel, a Ni Vanuatu from the Pacific Voyagers fleet lead vaka, the Hine Moana.
It was part of a crew exchange program with Sea Angels, which had partnered with the controversial international non-profit, marine wildlife conservation organisation's Sea Shepherd trimaran, Brigitte Bardot.
"The trip was different and moving from the vaka to a big boat was a very good experience," said Mr Smith.
"We were with the Sea Shepherd as watch officers and we were doing normal deck duties.
"Our stint started on July 10 and from Solomon Islands, we went to the villages on our way to Port Vila in Vanuatu.
"We were carrying the Pacific Voyagers' message, that is awareness about ocean conservation and pollution."
Mr Smith said the ship went to all islands in Vanuatu before travelling to Tonga to spread the gospel of ocean conservation.
"We were carrying out our saving the sharks campaign and the response was very good, especially in Vanuatu, where people are also feeling the pinch of over-fishing.
"During our trip to Tonga, we didn't have the chance to speak to a lot of people there."
Mr Smith said he and his team were trying to eliminate the dumping of plastic in the oceans.
While the Sea Sheperd has been banned from entering Fiji waters over its controversial confrontational tactics against whaling ships, the Fiji pair had told this newspaper they understood Fiji's stand but believed in the cause.
Mr Smith returned to Fiji on Tuesday after finishing his stint on the Brigitte Bardot.
"I've been with the Uto ni Yalo for about two years now and I also enjoyed my short stint with the Sea Shepherd.
"Although we didn't come across any major case of ocean pollution, the experience of being on board the ship was very different.
"But it's really good to be back home."
Mr Smith will join the Hine Moana when it sails out of the Vuda Marina in Lautoka — where it is berthed with the Uto ni Yalo and Cook Islands' Marumaru Atua — for either Rotuma or Savusavu and then on to New Zealand. The three vaka are waiting for winds before their captains decide their next course.