Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Birthday Party!

La Familia threw a birthday party for Liva's 2nd birthday, even though we were a few days late. Grandma and Grandpa were visiting, and with several other boats, we had enough people to warrant cakes and ice cream!! Hurray.

Here we are...singing Happy Birthday in English and Norwegian!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Arrived in Samoa

We arrived in Samoa this morning, after an overnight sail under a full moon from American Samoa. The port control met us in the harbour and led us to a berth in the new marina. Throughout the day, we've been visited by Customs, Public Health, Agriculture and Immigration officials.

We are currently snuggled into the Apia marina, our first marina since Mexico!! Our position is 13°49.6 S, 171°45.5 W

Our friends on La Familia are also here, and Secret Agent Man has just arrived. We're looking forward to exploring! But first...we'll catch up on some zzzzzz's.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Canton Vid

We've really enjoyed our time here. Met tons of new people. Most of the folks in the anchorage have been here for a while, and have good stories to tell. Barbarella shared with us their story and video of the 2009 tsunami here. Wow. And several of the boats were here for this year's cyclone. We also had the opportunity to talk with cruisers who spent 4 months at Canton Island. We hope to go there, so it was fabulous to hear their impressions, and get their feedback on what would be useful things to take for the community (bic lighters, innertube patches, gasoline and fabric!).

They also showed us their video on Canton. It was fabulous, feel free to have a look:

Thoughts on American Samoa and Pago Pago

Some quick thoughts on Pago Pago...
  • incredibly friendly people
  • conservative culture - long skirts and sleeves are the norm
  • very religious...multiple churches on every block. Most people go to church everyday, and maybe even multiple churches. 
  • when the wind is just right, the smell from the tuna factory is...well...ripe
  • check in and out was easy for us.$65 total. 
  • Shopping was American prices. And surprisingly...all American brands. wild.
  • Huge unemployment here. Tough economy. Major employers are the tuna cannery, and the police/military/gov't. 
  • Lots of garbage. Everywhere.
  • Love the lavalava (sarong-style skirts worn by everyone).

We're on our way this afternoon for an overnight sail to Samoa. (Used to be Western Samoa or Independant Samoa). We're going in tandem with Secret Agent Man, and looking forward to seeing La Familia. Aparently, we'll be tying up at a marina! Wahoo!!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Mt. Alava

Another climb to the top! This time, Mt Alava provided a nice climb to its peak along a deserted service road, to the radio tower at the top. There were also the rusty remains of an old cable car that used to transport tourists across the harbour up to this point.
Pago Pago Harbour - with Pago Pago village on the right and Fagatogo village on the left. Renova is the 2nd boat on the right.

Pago Pago Harbour

The descent would have been a fabulous MOMAR adventure race course! It was steep, with ladders and ropes to guide us down the slopes to the village of Vatia. We had wobbly Elvis-legs by the time we reached the bottom of the village.
Just a few of the 783 steps on the descent

It was Sunday, when swimming is frowned up, so we sat in the shade of a tree, while we hoped for a car that would come by to give us a lift back to the other side of the harbour. After 20 minutes, two wonderful ladies drove by and were more than happy to drive us back to the boat, giving us important economic and culture lessons of Samoa along the way!