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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Swapping Crew to Save the Seas

By Julie, Campaign leader

The Pacific Voyagers, Shark Angels and Sea Shepherd have forged a partnership based upon a shared mission: thru art, culture, community and grassroots movements, we can positively celebrate the oceans, share our stories and work together to protect our blue planet.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

A Spiritual Journey into the Solomons

Photo: SimonPhoto: SimonSomething has opened up in me, Xavier Rudd’s heart wrenching ‘Spirit Bird’ in my head and heart, as we set forth to islands of the South Pacific. I am on a journey of self -discovery and spiritual enlightenment.

From the beauty of watching the traditional Vaka vessels arrive at sunrise carrying the nations of the South Pacific, to the war canoes racing into shore with a hundred men singing their hearts out in native tongue, to understand, you just had to listen. Raw and powerful!

The crews of the Vakas bound together by a single message, from different nations, brothers and sisters on an incredible two-year journey. The connection to the oceans, one love for nature, to save what we have before it's too late. It is truly an inspirational journey, one that has gripped me since our arrival here in the Solomon Islands.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

News from the Field, July 7, 2012

Operation RequiemThis morning the MV Brigitte Bardot had a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail amidst 7 vakas (traditional sailing canoes) out of the port of Honiara, Solomon Islands.

The plan came together on Friday and we reached an arrangement to swap crews for the sailing expedition, thereby allowing crews from either side to experience the other. A lot of interest has been brewing over our presence at the Festival of Pacific Arts and while we have had visitors from the vakas all week, a chance to actually be out at sea on the Brigitte Bardot seemed to generate a lot of excitement.

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Friday, July 6, 2012

The Pacific Arts Festival Opens with a Focus on the Environment

Photo: CarolinaPhoto: CarolinaJuly 2nd, 2012 was the opening of the 11th Festival of Pacific Arts, which is being held here in Honiara, capital of the Solomon Islands. There are delegations from several Pacific countries and also, for the first time, a delegation from China's territory of Taiwan.

Despite the distance, the Taiwanese are no strangers to the Solomon Islands, or the Pacific region in general. As a matter of fact, upon our arrival here we encountered three Taiwanese long liners anchored right outside of Honiara Port. Strangely the Taiwanese delegation present themselves as native people of the Pacific. More ironic, the Taiwanese are some of the largest consumers of shark fin soup and also one of the biggest shark finning groups, despite the fact that shark finning was banned in Taiwanese waters as of last year. Taiwan is able to remain involved in the fin industry by placing their long liners in several Pacific Island nations, like those we encountered when we first arrived. Those three vessels are registered in Port Vila, the capital of the neighboring nation of Vanuatu.

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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Operation Requiem

Soloman Islands Honiara Vaka's arriving

The campaign has officially begun! On June 24th, 2012 the Brigitte Bardot left Australia bound for the South Pacific. After a relatively uneventful crossing, she and the crew arrived, with a pod of playful dolphins as a welcoming committee, at the capital city of the Solomon Islands, Honiara.

We chose the Solomon Islands as our first stop for two very important reasons. First, we have partnered with the Pacific Voyagers Society to help spread their message of culture and conservation – finishing a momentous three year, 20,000 mile journey here in the Solomon Islands. Second, the Pacific Festival of Arts, which happens every four years, is being hosted here – and draws thousands of people from around the world. The theme? Celebrating the oceans of course.

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