Captain Antonio Pereira Vitorino de Barros’ 16,673 Kilometer Voyage
I can only imagine what it must have been like when Antonio Pereira Vitorino de Barros relayed the story to his family of the great voyage that he had taken to cross the oceans and finally arrive in the Pacific islands. Visualizing in my minds eye, the grandchildren dramatizing the adventure in the copra fields, with stick swords and banana leaf bandanas, standing on tree limbs, arms stretched holding rugged sticks like swashbuckling pirates!
I’m sure there will have been a great many conversations and more than likely many embellishments to make the adventure a worthy tale to tell. Fortunately for us, someone had not only the education, but the presence of mind to actually document it! We owe a debt of gratitude to whoever wrote an account of the amazing journey. There may have been others who also documented the story that I am not aware of, but to this day, I have only uncovered this one.
I have never been able to find the original document. However, I did locate a typed manuscript written in Samoan. To be honest, I do not know for certain who typed it up or even where it came from since it was given to me by my parents after asking for any and all information relevant to our family heritage in 2012. Thanks to translation tools available on the internet, I have been able to loosely translate it.
Please be mindful that translation technology is not an exact science and considering this is Samoan language, there will be a mountain of errors to decipher.
I shall also make the Samoan version available for you to view so that you may translate it for yourselves.
In honor of my Great Great Great Grandfather … I present to you:
Captain Antonio Pereira Vitorino de Barres, a Portuguese man born in Cape de Verde, Africa, and his brother Joseph, sail out from the Cape Verde islands in a “Two Mast Schooner” circa 1838.
The two brothers, who travel in ships, ANTONIO-ANTON and JOSEPH-JOSÉ, and the crew of six, they are Portuguese people who come from Portugal while their ship is a Two Mast Schooner and their job is to transport goods to the States of America and Europe, but the captain is Antonio – Anton.
Then came the days when the pirates changed their sails, and disaster came down to the west side of the United States, passing through the Panama Canal, sailing and fighting in the small part of the South Pacific, the ship turned and headed up to South America then in California their Ship arrived in Los Angeles.
JOSEPH JOSÉ stayed, and they resumed their journey that had been set up and headed towards the Pacific Ocean.
They are sailing, some days it is raining and the wind is strong, some days it is raining and the sky is overcast, the wind is dead and only the breeze is blowing, some days we have a strong cry and they are gone good for their boat, but some days there is no wind, there are no gusts of wind, but it is only to float their boat, this is the meaning of standing and how they sail until they reach an Island.
Having arrived at the island, the sailor and his crew were happy, the only important thing was to meet the people of the village and do some business with them, they get down and their parade went to the land, where the village had people in those days.
The only important thing for these people is to catch, kill them and eat them, because they have just seen people like this, they rush back to their boat, and when they arrived they found that one of them was missing, so they lifted the anchor of their boat and left this village.
Their boat has left because of the attitude of the people of the village.
Then the villagers fought at the other end of the village and their boat was attacked, but their procession went ashore, because they wanted to get to know the people of the village. especially in making their trades, however, the neighborhood is like where they were before, people who don’t want to be normal, when they see people like them, they just want to catch and kill them, so they turn around and run, because the people of that area are chasing them. When they arrived at their ship, they found that one of them was missing, and the anchor was lifted, and the ship was running away from the area. .
Their ship departs, while ANTONIO is full of grief and love for the two boys of his crew who are missing and lost, knowing that they have been killed by the people of that area now they have only four crew members left and they are worried about the evil, lest any of their crews go missing and then the Ship was directed.
They arrived at another area, their ship was anchored, their procession went ashore, and they arrived at the first place they saw. The behavior of the people is not the same as the behavior of the local people they visited before, then ANTONIO was happy, because he had just had a good opportunity to meet the people of the village, then stay for a while.
Finally, ANTONIO’s heart desires the virgin of the village, named Tupou Palolo, the daughter of Tofilau, the chief of the village (Iva).
Then Tupou Palolo gave birth to a son, and ANTONIO named his son after his brother, JOSEPH JOSÉ. Then translated and called by his mother and their family, SIOSE. ANTONIO heard that there is another Island, and this Island is the Capital of the Islands of Samoa. He ordered his crew to prepare to travel to the island, everything was ready, then he said goodbye to the new family, especially the son SIOSE .
Their journey is over, he is gone and his heart is full of happiness, because he has a family, especially he has a son, the reason and reason why he is traveling again, because of the lack of the family members of the village, who are there, in their products are selling, this is the reason and the reason why they are traveling again.
Then they arrived at Upolu, and their boat was in the water, near the Town of Apia.
[TO BE CONTINUED]