August 16, 2001 ~ August 31, 2001
August 31, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SUSIE!!!! We really wish that we could have been on Maui to help you celebrate you BIG 5-0!!! We hope that it was special.
We made lunches and were at Avis to pick up our rental car at 8am. Unfortunately, it was somewhat rainy and cloudy...seems to be the weather on the days that we pick to tour an island!!! We have seen so many different islands in the rain!!! We stopped at the Baha'i Temple (Mother Temple witha 30 meter high dome with 9 sides symbolizing the unity of the nine major religions of the world forming a nine-pointed star at the apex of the dome), viewed many waterfalls and stopped for lunch on a beautiful beach on the south side of the island. Samoans will ask for money if you are on the beach or land in front of their homes...so we had to pay to sit on the beach!!! We stopped at the Piula Cave Pool below the large Methodist Church and Piula Theological College to swim. We were charged admission here also!!! There is a clear pool outside, a cave and then a second cave is entered by swimming under the water. I left the deep dark cave exploration to David, Ron, Eric and Jason and I swam in the outer cave. We returned the car and stayed intown for dinner at the Rainforest Restaurant. What a beautiful island! One day is not enough time to see it all. We also needed a tour guide to find the different places and explain their significance.
August 30, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MARTIN!!! It was fun to celebrate with you and we hope that you enjoy and will wear you lavalava!!!
We got all our wash ready and took three huge bags to the laundry. We then met Ron and Anna at the fish market where we had kava with the local fisherman. David and the guys really enjoyed it...I thought that it looked and tasted like dirty dishwater which immediately numbs your lips, throat and tongue. We also purchased kava so that the guys could have their own kava ceremony every night. We then purchased two kava bowls, fruits and vegetables at their huge market, and had our daily ration of our double scoop ice cream cone! We dinghied over to the steps near Aggie Grey's to pick up our wash...the price was right, but the wash wasn't quite as clean as we would like!!!
We went over to *Rover* to celebrate Martin's 26th birthday! We definitely enjoyed his birthday cake...a delicious rum cake made by Gail. I have the recipe if anyone is interested!!! Wonderful and simple!!! Thanks, Gail.
August 29, 2001
Cleaning Day in the morning for me while the guys worked on the computers and the GPS with the Seamap chart system from Ron. We did errands in town in the afternoon and arranged to rent a car on Friday to tour the island with Ron and Anna. We went to Aggie Grey's for a Samoa Feast, Samoa Singing, Dancing and Fire Dancing at about 6pm with many other cruisers. What a wonderful evening! Aggie Grey's began in March 1942 as a hamburger stand catering to US servicemen stationed in the area. A very nice hotel right on the main street beside the harbor! The Greys have continued to upgrade and add-on to the hotel and many famous persons have slept in their bungalows! We enjoyed the delicious buffet of turkey, pork, fish, poison cru, taro in coconut, breadfruit, taro, bananas, papayas, rice, etc. etc. etc. and the dessert table was to die for!!!! Their dance presentation was first rate....all employees of the hotel! Then the fire dance began around the pool....with dancers on the first level, then throwing torches to dancers on the 2nd and 3rd floor balconies and back to a dancer in the pool!!! Very impressive! I needed my digital video camera....!!!! I hope some of my digital pictures will be on this site!
August 28, 2001
Eric and David worked with Ron on charts and the computers. Then Eric went for a tour around the island (and to surf!!!) with Ken, Wendy and Barrett on *Somday*. David, Jason and I went to town (we are now using a taxi at about $1 to come and go!!!) to obtain computer parts, books, food and ice cream!!!
August 27, 2001
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, KATHY AND STEVE!!! 35 years together....keep on for another 35 years!
We spent all morning with Ron and Anna walking up and down the stairs in the Government Building, from one department to another to obtain a cruising permit for other anchorages and for the other island of Western Samoa: Savai'i. We FINALLY found the correct person and she filled out the proper form and we had our passports stamped, so that we did not need to return that Immigration Office to check out. We stayed in town and had lunch at a restaurant with ice cream for dessert! After we returned to the boat, we dinghied to Palolo Deep with Ron and Anna and Barrett from *Someday is Here* for an excellent snorkel. Unfortunately, David was having trouble with his stomach after eating the breadfruit, so he was not feeling well.
August 26, 2001
When we had visited the Samoan Visitor's Bureau yesterday we were invited to the Congregational Church by Agape Petaia who works there. She told us that her father was the minister and that they had the BEST singing on the island. She then invited us to a Samoan Feast with her family after church. We were very reluctant to impose upon her family, but she insisted and said that she was the youngest f five children and was given whatever she wanted!!!! We said that we had a "Princess" also!!!
So, in spite of rather inclement weather, we dinghied to the dock and then walked to their church. We had some difficulty finding it, since it is fairly small and tucked behind other buildings. We thoroughly enjoyed the service, even though it was all in Samoan, but the singing was absolutely superb!!! and with absolutely NO accompaniment. Their voices are so robust and always in tune. Amazing! We wish we had a video camera or tape recorder. We did purchase a cd from the Methodist Church in town and it has become one of our favorites.
After the service we met with Agape (which means "holy love" in Greek, because she was only one and a half pounds at birth as was not expected to survive; however, she is a very beautiful 21 year old now...the youngest of five children!), her parents, other sisters and brothers and their children. Her father had just been released from the hospital - problems with his lungs from smoking!!! We sat and ate with the Pastor, while Agape and her sister fanned away the flies, and the rest of the family watched and they all ate after we left. Apparently this is the custom!! We felt very very awkward!!! They had definitely prepared a Samoa Feast for us: pork, poisson cru, taro in coconut, breadfruit (which David ate....we all told him not to...and it made him sick...again!), taro, corned beef, etc. etc. etc. We were also given a plastic wash basin to wash our hands after we had finished eating. They told us that the washbasin is customary since they do NOT use knives and forks (which they had given to us to use!), they eat with their fingers, since they can eat faster!!! We left feeling very full: what a wonderful family, so full of love and giving! What a memorable experience! We were so thankful!
August 25, 2001
HAPPY ANNIVERSARY, PETER AND SUSIE!! CONGRATULATIONS!!! 28 years....we wish you many more!
We managed to re-stow all the cans and Ron and Anna on *Lazy Jack* arrived from Suwarrow about 9:30am!!! This is our reunion after leaving them in Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva, The Marquesas on May 12....and they were to follow to Fakarava, Tuamotus in about a week!!! Pretty LONG week to finally catch up to us! So, we had a nice visit before dinner with them, after spending the morning in town and visiting with other cruisers all afternoon: Tilly Whim, Kaoe II, Somday is Here, Toucan.
August 24, 2001
We talked with *Tilly Whim,* *Shadowfax,* (already in Apia...had sailed directly here from Suwarrow to guide us in), *Daydreamer,* and *Lazy Jack* on the SSB in the morning and were anchored about 9:30am in Apia Harbor, Western Samoa. We did NOT call the Harbormaster since we did NOT want to tie up along their wharf and damage our boat, so David and I went into the Harbor Master's with Ken from *Someday is Here* to check in about 10:30am. We really didn't have too much problem with him or Customs, but Quarantine gave us a BIG lecture about not ever doing that again!!!
After lunch on the boat, all four of us dinghied in to the main wharf, where there was a nice secure dinghy dock, water and showers. We had to walk quite a long way around the harbor and check in with Immigration. We then found 80 tala (30 cents) double scoop ice cream cones at the main supermarket in town!!!! We purchased some delicious bread and roamed around some of the stores before returning back home. Unfortunately, we found that the salt water from the head had overflowed, so we had to take out ALL the cans stored in the bilge below and dry them all out, otherwise, they will all rust!!! What fun, especially after a night of little to no sleep!!!
August 23, 2001
David and I spent all morning walking from Customs to the Port Captain to Immigration to check out of American Samoa. We had lunch, stowed the rest of our purchases, gave our phone card to *Daydreamer* (not sure that they will consider us friends after that gift!!!), and we left about 6pm, following *Someday is Here* (Ken, Wendy and Barrett), heading for Apia, Western Samoa. Unfortunately we did not see much of American Samoa, because of such nasty windy rainy weather. We had hoped to tour the island and to at least visit the National Park.
We had very little sleep with reefing the sails with wind up to 40 knots with very lumpy seas. Thank heavens...it is a short run! We still had our regular night watch schedule!
August 22, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM ERNISSE!!!! We wish that we were at the cottage to help you celebrate eating cake and ice cream with the rest of the family!!!
Another BUSY day! We spent all morning packing up our Northstar in two large boxes to send back to the company in Massachusetts for repair, hopefully, under warranty! We also paid bills and taxes, and other important items! We went to town after lunch and mailed everything, tried to make phone calls on a $10 purchased phone card, but finally admitted complete and utter defeat, and went shopping for more provisions and material to cover our cushions and beds. We enjoyed delicious mahimahi for dinner and managed to stow many items so that we can get underway soon.
August 21, 2001
Another rainy day, but the wind is blowing 20 knots, so maybe it will blow this out of here, but not so much that someone needs to remain aboard at all times, like when we arrived! We still have lots to accomplish before we leave...probably Thursday now: stowing all and inventory, more shopping, purchasing material, purchasing drill and drilling hole, packing and mailing items, clearing out and preparing to leave. Eric has the cd writer out, so must close and wish you all love, peace and aloha!
We visited with John and Diane, who just arrived on *Daydreamer,* and after lunch after the rain stopped (after making the bay a lovely shade of chocolate BROWN!!!)we went ashore at the other end of the bay, closer to the grocery stores and the internet cafe. We purchased more provisions, found there was no more disc space (so we emailed all these files to Chris, our new webmaster, so hopefully, he has updated this website!), and talked with a bunch on kids on the dock while we were waiting for David to return with the dinghy.
August 20, 2001
As you can see, we did not update the website today, so I am continuing to add hot news until we make it there! The weather here in Pago Pago (pronounced "pongha pongha" which we seem to have difficulty saying exactly the way the Samoans say it!!! but this definitely better than our French!), American Samoa has presented us with difficulties as far as accomplishing all our goals! We awoke to another rainy day...even raining harder than yesterday. However, the captain felt that we should proceed to Cost-u-less and find the machine shop to drill a hole in the block. So we left the boat in the rain about 9am and walked to the bus station. We took the Tafuna bus for 50 cents each! These buses are small trucks with house frames on top with typical bus rows of seats inside, decorated with fabric, flowers, dice, pictures of Jesus with loud speakers with the bass beat booming similar to Trinidad. Remember that the Samoans take up about two seats! We had a tour around that side of the island to the airport and around the coast, which I am sure is very beautiful, but we could hardly see the ocean through the rain drops! The driver passed the very famous McDonalds and then to Cost-u-less where we got off. We saw no signs of a machine shop and it was quite a distance between all of them....so plan B which is to purchase a better drill which we can drill the hole ourselves.
We shopped, had a pizza and coke (David had a taco pocket!) for lunch, and purchased four shopping carts full!!! We then loaded it all on two palletts on a flat bed truck. David and Eric rode outside in the truck while Jason and I rode inside, as it continued to rain. We unloaded all our items under a sailboat on the hard, then onto the dinghy and out to the boat. We put garbage plastic bags around items and then dried everything off when we brought them inside. All our jackets and clothes are still hanging inside WET on Tuesday morning (it is still raining today!!!)
We had a quick fish dinner and went to bed early! We did hear that Robyn on *Misty Dawn* has NO broken bones and her lip is healing nicely, even though it was too late for them to stitch it (they could cut it open and put stitches in but the Marine doctor felt that it was healing well.) Apparently the Marines were there at the hospital in Tonga for only one more day....she was lucky to be seen by them! We are so very thankful that she is ok!!!
Eric spent all yesterday working on the fishing lures, so we are going to be catching HUGE fish when we go sailing again!
August 19, 2001
We awoke to another rainy day! There are a few patches of blue sky so we hope that this trough will move SE and leave beautiful sunny weather for us for a few days, so that we can accomplish our projects and leave for Apia, Western Samoa on Wednesday.
David and I went to shore at 7:30am in the rain to attend the mass at St. Joseph's Catholic Church. We had been told that the service would start at 8am, but we were almost alone in the church at that time! The mass was from 8:30-10:20am. We went to the Samoan service to hear them sing and pray in Samoan, rather than English. We enjoyed it and their voices are incredibly beautiful! We are hoping to purchase a cd with choral music. However, nothing can quite compare with our experience in the Marquesas. We will attend church in Apia next week. We were very impressed with the number of churches which were visible as we entered Pago Pago Harbour and the many which are in town. Very different from our experiences in the Society Islands, where we were not able to find a church to attend on Sundays!
Eric worked on the pictures for the website, so that we will be ready to upload the entire site tomorrow at the internet cafe. We also have to shop at Cost-U-Less, find a machine shop to drill a hole in a block, package up the Northstar and Echopilot and mail them, shop for other items, fruits and vegetables (which we might have to wait until Apia) which are not at Cost-u-Less, clear out and make ready for our overnight passage to Apia. Plus we will have stow all purchased items and complete my inventory! Too much to do!!!
Several of our friends are arriving today and tomorrow: *Someday is Here,* *Rover,* and *Daydreamer.* We will be able to hear about what is happening on Suwarrow! We have also heard that there is a Festival in a week on Apia, so we definitely want to be part of the festivities there! This should be more natural than those we experienced in Bora Bora, where the cruise ship tourists frequent the events! We want to experience the local culture and meet the people wherever we visit.
We hope that all of you are well, happy, and enjoying a super summer! We will be in Apia, Western Samoa for maybe two weeks and then on to Tonga, where we will be until the end of October when we will sail to New Zealand. We have reservations at Gulf Harbour Marina, about an hour+ away from Auckland and will be there until April/May 2002, during the hurricane/cyclone season in the South Pacific. We have been told that internet access is $40+/hour in Tonga, so we might not be updating this site until November in New Zealand. Please do keep in touch via email at KH7JL@winlink.org (but please remember NO attachments, NO pictures and PLEASE do NOT send our email back to us with your response!!!! THANK YOU!). We will continue to send email updates to those of your on our mailing list. Let us know if you do NOT want to receive them! Please be patient and we will continue answering all your personal letters! Thank you so much for writing. We do love to hear from each and every one of you! Remember, this is our means of communication!!!! Please keep in touch, keep well, take care of each other and God Bless you all. We love you all and miss you lots!
August 18, 2001
We awoke to a very rainy day! Just a very light drizzle that has continued all day! We also had just a small amount of wind from the SE, which means that we can now smell the tuna canneries and....we might be out of here before Wednesday!!!! We can also see lots more of the pollution, oil, and trash which is in the water....I don't even want to put my big toe in there! It is so unfortunate, since we have been very very impressed by the friendliness of the Samoans! They smile, say hello and will talk with you! They seem geniunely interested in us, since there are absolutely NO tourists here.
We went into shore about 9:30am when there was a slight break in the rain. We went assuming that we would be able to get fruits and vegetables at the Saturday market, but there wasn't much more than the other afternoon. We heard that Apia has lots of fresh fruits and vegetables, so we will wait until next week. We checked out several of the other small stores. I purchased four absolutely beautiful large pareos for $4.50 each, as compared with $25-35 each in Tahiti! We are now planning on buying material for bedspreads and cushion covers!!! The colors are so pretty and bright with gorgeous usually floral patterns. We tried to purchase some shorts for the guys; however, we couldn't find a size smaller than XXL! I had forgotten how GIGANTIC the Samoans and Tongans are!!!! We did purchase carrots and cabbage and Dr. Peppers for the boys at the little supermarket! Eric and Jason were so excited...they claim that they have not had a Dr. Pepper for two years!
We talked with Al, Lucinda, Lindsay and Erin on *Abel Tasman* when we returned to the wharf. We also found out about Cost-u-less, and decided that we wouldn't be able to get a bus back today, apparently everything closes down at noon on Saturday and reopens on Monday morning. So boat projects today and church tomorrow morning to hear the singing at 8am! We also saw Brett and Marianne on *Katsu* and they are planning to head to Apia and Fiji tomorrow, since they have NOT been checked in yet and have found that their dinghy can not be shipped Fed Ex in here, so why pay $50 for nothing! They plan to have one shipped from New Zealand to Fiji. We exchanged emails so that we can keep in touch and see them in Australia when we arrive there next year. We have met so many wonderful wonderful Australians! We hope to see them again!
Eric and David worked repairing a block, but were not able to drill a hole, so we will have to find a machine shop on Monday. I have been working on this website...and now all of them are watching tv!!!! Their excuse is that it is still raining! We found ourselves watching a fascinating Scientific American special and then Frontline!
August 17, 2001
We heard via the SSB this morning that Robyn on *Misty Dawn* had taken up flying lessons aboard and managed to bite her lower lip almost through and also hurt her back and neck, during the terrible gale experienced while leaving Niue. *Lady Kathyrn* has arranged for medical services in Tonga, but they will not arrive until Sunday. We are very concerned about Robyn.We are hoping that they will be able to suture her lip after 24 hours and that there are no serious problems with her neck or back. We are sending our healing prayers and also hoping that the winds and seas will drop, so that they are able to arrive in Tonga as soon as possible. On the evening net, we heard that *Roger Henry* left Nuie so fast that they left their dinghy/motor, back packs, and other personal items. In addition they had not checked out and had a rental car and bills to pay...we are trying to understand HOW all this happened!!! We will let you know!!! That is why we spend hours downloading weatherfaxes 2-3 times/day. We knew that three gales were out there and that is why we were having such strong winds!!! But we are hoping and praying that all our friends who are south are SAFE!!! This is the third dinghy/motor that has gone missing in the last month or so, with *Katsu's* in Suwarrow and *Anna Maria's* was stolen during the night at Maeva Beach! This is quite a problem for a cruiser....dinghies are our ONLY means of going ashore, essentially our family car and they tend to be VERY expensive to replace, especially in the South Pacific!!! We feel so sorry for our friends' misfortunes....
Eric and David went to the Customs Wharf at about 10am to handle the lines for *Stella de Marae* since they were being taken in by a pilot boat. They had dragged during the night in the strong winds and they need to be at a dock to make repairs to their rudder anyway, so Gene figured he might as well just pay the pilot boat $200/hour once and be done with it. Then the tug came out and asked us to move since we were close to the slipway for the commercial tuna boats and they were concerned that they might lose control of the one that they were to bring in with these high winds. We needed to ask permission from Harbor Control to move and we reanchored further in the bay, which seemed less windy and it was 30 feet deep instead of 60-70ft. The only problem is there are several moorings around, plus other boats anchored and they swing differently so it is difficult to anchor. So, all this reanchoring really turned out to our benefit and safety. During all this I was making wheat bread and rice pudding!!!
We ate lunch and the guys went ashore in search of the fishing store and whatever else they could find! It was very rainy, dark and windy, so I stayed aboard and worked on this website, so we are able to update it here before we head to Apia, Western Samoa. David gets VERY intent upon leaving....he thinks that we should leave on Wednesday. We need to accomplish alot before that!!! They brought some excellent lures (we have been told that fishing supplies are expensive in New Zealand!) and supplies, plus a delicious loaf of sweet bread at the bakery for $1! They did not have much luck buying fruits and vegetables or Tom Neale's book at the bookstore. It continued to rain (boy!!! is it hot and humid!) all night, but NO wind, so we had a beautiful night's sleep, which was very much appreciated.
August 16, 2001
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, David!!!! Big Day aboard *Peace and Aloha*!
We listened to some of the nets, but with the time change, many are on too early and we were very tired, so we slept in! When we pulled up the weather fax this morning, we realized that there were three lows west of us....tropical depressions carrying strong winds up to 40+ knots and big seas! We are on the northern edge of this huge weather system, but it is affecting Tonga, Niue and further south more. Remember lots of our friends are south in Niue, Aitutaki, and many more just left Bora Bora to head west on the southern route. We are VERY concerned!
I spent all morning cleaning and getting the boat back into shape. Jason, David and Eric dinghied jerry jugs back and forth to the marina gas station to purchase diesel and gas (we had almost used all our dinghy gasoline going fishing and snorkeling in Suwarrow. I think that we had about 2 gallons left!) We made sure that someone was aboard *Peace and Aloha* at all times, since the wind was blowing very strong (25+), so that we could turn on the engine and move away from a dragging boat or any other problem if we were dragging.
We had lunch and Eric, Jason and I went ashore and visited for a short while with Brett and Marianne on *Katsu* who were along side the customs wharf waiting to check in...which they actually did all day and all night!!!!We also met Danny (? name of his boat) who left Mala Wharf, Lahaina, Maui about 3 months ago. We had also noticed that the yacht *Sur le Pont* was anchored further into the harbour. We had received notices from various nets about the disappearance of this yacht from Bora Bora, since he had been reported in trouble in a large squall outside the pass in Bora Bora and it was also discovered that he left French Polynesia without retrieving his bond. Danny was to inform him that his family, friends, gendarmes and coast guard were all looking for him...I never heard back. We went to the Post office to find out about shipping the Northstar, echopilot and tapa cloth. They had boxes and small expensive bundles of bubble wrap, but no tubes or peanuts. We have been told that Cost-U-Less will have packing material, we hope so. We stopped at a small store and purchased some cookies and apples. What a change in prices and the friendliness of the people!!! We dinghied back to the boat to find that the wind had reached 37 knots, but no problems!
For David's birthday dinner, we had ono, rice, beans and our last package of Ghiradelli chocolate brownies (David's choice over a cake!) with candles...but not 58!!! we would not want to burn down the boat!!!! We are hoping that they have those brownies at Cost-u-less....they really are the BEST!!! We then watched a National Geographic special on fantastic Coast Guard rescues of fisherman in the North Atlantic and the Bering Sea. Very appropriate to be watching aboard as we realized that we would be standing anchor watch again tonight because the wind continued to gust at above 30 knots! So, David had an extra bonus for his birthday....he was on watch from 10pm until midnight!!!! The captain allowed us to read while on watch because we only needed to really watch when the wind gusted. So it really wasn't too bad. In this situation, we could turn on our motor and save the boat, so it wasn't nearly as scarey as our night on anchor watch in Suwarrow!!!!