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Current position of the SSV Robert C. Seamans. Click on the vessel to view position history. Use the tools, top right, to change the map style or view data layers. Dates and times use GMT (Greenwich Mean Time).


SEA Currents: SSV Robert C. Seamans

October 12, 2015

Small Island, Deep Roots

Chris Losco, B Watch, Boston College

SPICE

Amanda, Sharthak and Kelvin get a picture with Eloisa, who celebrated her First Communion earlier that morning.

Ship's Log

Current Position
13° 17.14’S x 176° 10.13’W

Location
Docked at Mata’utu, Wallis

Weather
Overcast and 25 kt winds from the southeast in the morning; light winds and clear skies by night

Souls on Board

As was the case with Samoa, Wallis has been unexpectedly bursting with places to see, people to talk to, and daily lifestyles to witness. Wallis, or Uvea, is a French overseas territory of only about 9,000 people, and it’s been largely excluded from the world of online information. When I first explored the capital town of Mata’utu on Saturday afternoon and found the streets to be mostly deserted, aside from the occasional car passing by, I couldn’t believe that the country’s capital might be as empty as its Wikipedia page. It turns out that I just wasn’t looking hard enough.

Last night, I had the pleasure of joining Coleman, Amanda, Kelvin and Sharthak at the house of a local woman named Tickey (pronounced Tiki). We were all invited that night to a post-celebration of a First Communion held earlier that day (which we attended that morning when we went to the 7 am mass at the church). We entered their outdoor living room, garbed in our bright yellow foulies, and were immediately seated at the dinner table. Next thing we knew, there was a full meal of chicken, sausages, potatoes, white rice, and taro placed in front of us, and we were now special guests at a Wallisian house party. After getting over the sheer astonishment that this was actually happening, we joined in the festivities: we sang, got a tour of the house, and danced with Tickey and her extended family. I even threw in a couple of swing dancing moves from my school’s swing dancing club! Their rousing cheers of “manuia” gave us the sense that, for that one night, we were really a part of their family. (Manuia is Wallisian for blessing – the equivalent of a “cheers” at the end of a toast.)

After the celebration, we were invited back to Tickey’s house for coffee, where we got to meet her husband from France. Their kitchen and dining room walls were lined with handmade crafts and traditional Wallisian objects and clothing. By far the biggest surprise of the night came when Tickey took down some of these decorations from her wall and gifted them to us to take home. We politely insisted that she keep her carefully handmade creations, but she wouldn’t be satisfied until we agreed to take them. My bunk now smells of fresh flowers from the lei I received at the house party, and sitting on top of it is a belt made from coconut fibers and shells, straight from Tickey’s living room wall.

Unfortunately, our short but eventful stay in Wallis is coming to an end; tomorrow morning we set sail for Fiji. Just as with Samoa, I’m sad to see it go, but I can’t wait to see what lies ahead in Suva, as well as the next six days of sailing to get there. Every day has truly been its own adventure, and the next one starts tomorrow.

- Chris

P.S. Happy FIRST anniversary to Jenn and Kevin!!! To you and to the rest of the family, I love and miss you guys and I can’t wait to tell you more about these wild six weeks. There’s so much more to say that I couldn’t fit in this one blog post. Another special shoutout goes to Mr. Sa’aga in Apia, Samoa! I hope you’ve been rocking out to Boston and making progress on the fiber cable project, and if you’re reading this, I’ll contact you soon!

Reactions

Leave a public comment for students and crew to read when they reach their next port and have access to the internet!

#1. Posted by Marie Losco on October 14, 2015

Hi Chris,

We just love reading the daily updates. Your trip sounds amazing so far!! Of course, we miss you and can’t wait to see you. Cherish every moment.

We love you!
Mom & Dad


#2. Posted by Tom & Marie on October 14, 2015

Hey Chris,

So nice to read your post. Everything we have read to date sounds so amazing !!!
The leaves are changing and acorns have taken over the drievway!!! Bruins are 0-3 UGH!!!! Pats are 4-0 Yeah!!!

Happy Sailing!!!

Love You!!! Mom & Dad


#3. Posted by Greg Losco on October 14, 2015

Hey Chris!

It’s so great to hear from you directly about your travels! Reading about your journey brought a huge smile to my face at work. I had no trouble imagining you belting out high notes and swirling around the dance floor. I’m so jealous that you get to take part in some awesome island traditions…the only thing I remember about my first communion celebration was passing out bread!

Sounds like you’re having the time of your life! I look forward to reading more about the adventure and hearing about it first-hand when you get back!

Love,
Greg


#4. Posted by Chris Lojko on October 14, 2015

Wow, what an amazing experience! We are so happy that you are enjoying this great adventure.  It is fun to be able to share it with you through the blogs and tracking your voyage. Keep writing we love reading about the adventures of you and your classmates!

Love,
Auntie Chris and Steve


#5. Posted by Jenn on October 14, 2015

ChrisSTAFAH!!!

Thank you!! We missed you this weekend! We watched our wedding video and remarked at your suaveness and general Bond-like qualities. So great to hear you’re having a wonderful time and I can’t wait to see every single photo!

Love Jenn (and Kevin. And Kali too I guess wink )


#6. Posted by joe/joanne on October 15, 2015

Hi Chris,

Its so nice to hear from you and it sounds like a trip of a lifetime. Be safe and enjoy the trip. We are all looking forward to hearing from you soon.

Love,

Uncle Joe & Auntie Joanne


#7. Posted by Capt Jim on October 22, 2015

hows Fiji? Just caught up on yr blog. Catch more fish,please!  Bib strikers are in up here , but I’m been in the woods. Tried oysters in the smoke house, not bad. Take care all,enjoy!    Padre


#8. Posted by Bro Ron Santoro, CFX on October 25, 2015

Hi Chris, looks like all is wonderful for you and the rest of the crew.


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