Summoned by the Kula Chiefs #2 read #1 post here

After almost three weeks we finally hear back from Sanakoli John. 

Sanakoli and his friend Levi Sakiusa launched their small outrigger canoe, loaded with food and equipment for the upcoming Kula Voyage, towards Dawson Island, home of Sanakoli’s brother Justin John. 

The journey was 50kms, which they expected to take only two days as they had predicted a weather window amid the strong SE trade winds, known as Bolibolime.

The men made good progress, but on the second day the winds picked up and as they reached the second last island they were stopped by harsh winds.

Those winds didn’t subside, so Sanakoli and Levi were stuck on this deserted island for two weeks!  

The view – for 14 days – to Dawson Island.

They lived on fish, drank coconuts and ate some of the provisions they had brought for Justin. At least they had each other for company. 

After two weeks, the winds calmed enough for them to paddle and sail the last stretch to Dawson Island.

The master canoe builder

Justin repairing our canoe ‘Tawali Pasana’ the name means ‘Reef Flower’ or ‘Beauty of the Reef’ depending on the dialect.

On Dawson, Sanakoli reunited with his brother Justin John who’s been taking care of our canoe the Tawali Pasana. 

Justin and his family were so happy and thankful to receive donations from our sponsors: a gift for Justin’s wife Nailoilo, school books for the kids, a tent and a new phone, plus the food that was left. 

Justin is back online and he’s looking forward to share pictures with you, follow him on  Facebook.

Wife Nailoilo, Justin with four out of six kids.

Message from the Kula chiefs

The Kula Chiefs from Dawson and nearby islands had a meetings with Justin and Sanakoli.

Sanakoli related their message by phone: “They say that they are so very very happy you people are interested in this travel”

At this Kula Chief meeting, all the partners agreed to start the “Summoned by the Kula Chiefs” voyage to Woodlark Island in the last week of November, a fleet of more than 17 canoes.

Sanakoli will share these future events on his Facebook profile (so make sure to follow him). I will also keep you updated through my newsletter ( You can subscribe here). To read the first post on this project go to

Fair winds – Thor

Potos credit: Sanakoli John.