Crew tightens up loose knots for the voyage

WITH more than a week remaining for the Uto ni Yalo to start another historic voyage, the crew have been working to ensure all loose knots are tightened properly before they set sail.

The Uto ni Yalo will be joined by two vessels, also traditional sailing canoes, from the Cook Islands and Samoa tomorrow.

Captain Angelo Smith said the three canoes would then set sail for Vanuatu and then to Brisbane in Australia.

They then sail to Sydney for the World Parks Congress where they hope to voice issues affecting the oceans.

“It’s a little bit about having an adventure and ensuring that our oceans are protected from exploitation. We hope to be the voice of Fiji,” said Mr Smith.

“We have a 16-member crew, of that, seven people will be first timers. The youngest member is 18 years old, while the oldest is in his 70s.

“We are 80 per cent ready, we are ensuring everything, every pulley and rope is perfect. We don’t compromise on safety. It’s an adventure sailing on the Uto ni Yalo but the sea can be dangerous too and that makes safety a priority.”

The Uto ni Yalo departs for Vanuatu on October 13 and is expected to berth in Port Vila four days later. The crew then set sail for Brisbane on October 19.

The World Parks Congress which starts on November 12 will be the Pacific’s call for global action on climate change.

This will be Uto ni Yalo’s biggest journey after 2012 and also be a test for the young skipper, making this his maiden voyage as the man in charge.