Sunday, August 17, 2008

Around American Samoa

August 17, 2008--It is a quiet Sunday here at Pago Pago as is always the case in the islands. We spent the day installing a new radio and polishing the stainless steel. Two of our three packages arrived yesterday. The third one may be in the sorted bin tomorrow, but if it isn't, then, we are here until next weekend. Yesterday Steve installed the new alternator. It was supposed to be an exact replacement for our old one; however, it turned out that he had to build a bracket extension in order to get it to work. That kept him busy for awhile.

We had two calm and sunny days here in the anchorage, which were nice because we didn't have to worry about the anchor dragging, and the solar gain was great. The drawback is that the smell from the tuna factory was quite noticeable. The factory employs about one-third of the population here on the island. These huge, new tuna boats come into the harbor to unload their catches so it is a busy port with cargo ships entering as well.

Two days ago, the sv Second Wind, whom we had met in Mexico in 2006, was on its way into the harbor when it snagged a very, very long fishing line and net. They were not able to motor in so they were sailing and called for assistance. The police boat and a tug would not go out to help them in the beginning because they said that it was too rough. Finally, the police boat went out and helped them get into the anchorage; however, when they dropped their anchor, it began to drag. First they clipped sv Little Wings bow, who had bent their mast on their passage to Suvarov after being knocked down. Next they here headed for sv Fearless, but one cruiser got on board and three others were in their dinghies by this time so they were able to fend it off. Then Second Wind's anchor crossed over Rubicon's anchor and almost pulled it loose. They all finally got Second Wind anchored, and it held. It was very windy that day, and that made it so much more difficult to get anything done easily. Another cruiser put on dive gear and was able to cut away the line and net.

On Friday we took the Tafuna bus out to Cost You Less (much like COSTCO), which is about half way around the island. We loaded up on provisions--two carts full to be exact. When we were done, the store called a taxi for us, and our driver Vasco turned out to be a wonderful guide on our long drive back to the anchorage. His son plays football for San Jose, and his daughter lives in Washington State. He even helped us unload all our boxes full of stuff.

Last night we went over to sv Wind Dancer for appetizers. A little later we decided to have dinner at the Mexican food restaurant just down the street because no one felt like cooking. I have to say that the food was actually pretty good--very close to what we found in Mexico.

We will find out tomorrow morning if our last package made it here or not. Everything will depend on that. It has been a nice stay here. Even though we haven't had much of a chance to see the rest of the island, we are still glad that we came here. We had heard some negative comments about this island, but we found that most of them were not true. Everything is reasonably priced, and the people are friendly.

I uploaded a new album to Picasa. Click the link to Picasa at the bottom right and then select the Penrhyn and Samoa photo album. Hope you enjoy them.

No comments: