|Samoa - August 30, 2005
|We are now anchored in Niuatoputapu (Knee ooh toe pooh tah pooh), Tonga. We had a 30 hour
passage from Apia, Samoa. My normal watch is 12 until 4. So, tonight-safely anchored- I
awakened at my watch time and couldn’t get back to sleep. It is this time that I miss my family and
friends the most. So, I took the laptop out on the deck and I am writing this under a moonless sky
with the brilliance of the universe enveloping me. The sounds of the village are floating across the
anchorage. There are dogs barking and I even heard a rooster crowing at 12:30 in the morning!
What’s the story there?
Our passage was good for wind. My back has been hurting me and made my energy drain. I was
not the strongest partner on this sail. I feel fine now!
Samoa (pronounced SAmoa, not saMOa) was a wonderful people experience. It was nice to have
the contrast of some civilization from the beautiful remoteness of Suwarrow. The Apia harbor was
not enticing to swim in and it seemed very hot there. But, we ate out a lot because we could afford
it and there was Indian food, Chinese food, Thai food and pizza at reasonable prices! There was
also a movie theatre that Emily and Martin frequented. Lou and I didn’t get to see a movie
because, well, we (maybe its me mostly) tend to be movie snobs. I think life is too short for B
movies and books. We did rent a couple of DVDs—notably Bride and Prejudice which after seeing
and loving Bend it Like Beckham, disappointed us a bit; and Kinsey which we enjoyed, learning
more about Kinsey and his wife.
We went to a couple of fia fias (Samoan dance shows). The dancing of the men especially was
high energy. The slap dances and fire dances were really fun to watch. I loved the energy of the
men’s dance. We think the Samoan men and the French Polynesian women should dance
together. The energy would be out of this world.
Lou and I also went to a fa’afafine show at a local nightclub. And what you may ask is a FA FA
Feeney? These are the accepted, not shunned, cross dressers in this society. Lou and I were
sitting right next to the dance floor and one of the performers was singing his/her heart out to Lou.
Lou got very close to me, similar to what I do with Lou when we are watching a horror flick.
We received a care package from Mom and Dad and it was like Christmas! My parents outdid
themselves in sending things that we would enjoy. Emily got the new Harry Potter book and Martin
got his skateboard and another new platform from his good friend Jhami in Kansas. He was so
happy! Then we had the debate on how safe it was for him to skateboard. If he breaks a wrist
here, we would be hard pressed to decide whether to have the work done here or fly back to the
US. Yes, we think and worry about these things, but we can’t live our lives worrying about these
things. Martin made a lot of friends with his skateboard. The local boys enjoyed riding it and
people enjoyed watching Martin skateboard with such joy and exuberance.
On the occasion of Lou and my 14th wedding anniversary, we left Ace for a couple of days and
went to the other larger Samoan island of Savaii. We chose a place that had surf –can you guess
why? We went with another cruising couple and we took Emily and Martin with us. Our friend,
Ken, is as enthusiastic about surfing as Martin and will talk about surfing almost as much as
Martin. But, for all their talking, Emily consistently had the longest rides on the reef break that was
just off the beach. We slept in the open air fales that are part of Samoan life. We also slept under
mosquito net—which I love!
These ventures away from Ace are always invigorating. We met some very interesting people.
One of the highlights was meeting a couple from New Zealand that cultivate the feijoya, an exotic
tasting fruit that grows wild in New Zealand. They are organic farmers that produce a sparkling
wine from this fruit. It was very tasty! We also met a Samoan who is very wealthy. He has a
plantation and has a facility that bottles the spring water that bubbles out of his property. He had a
wonderful singing voice and would entertain us with “Indicate the Way to Go Home”.
When we would go out for a walk in the village as we met people, they would ask us “Where are
you going?” They didn’t know what a loaded question that was! My pat response was that we were
just out enjoying their beautiful island and enjoying meeting the beautiful people of the island.
We enjoyed swimming in the many waterfalls in Samoa-on Upulo and Savaii. Fresh cool water feels
so great to us crusty salts! It was fun standing under the falls and jumping into the pools. There
are no poisonous snakes in Samoa—so I had no qualms about being the trail blazer as we hiked
Then, of course, there are those wonderful people to people encounters that make my heart sing.
For example, when we were sitting in a Chinese restaurant, a toddler started bringing me all the
silverware from his table. He brought it directly to me and very earnestly. Then, he stopped for
awhile and at the end of the meal he brought me a straw.
And the woman in the grocery store, Bernie, that talked about her ancestor that came from
England with two daughters. Her story was that he was the servant and lover of Queen Victoria
and these daughters were the daughters of the queen.
Everything shuts down on Sundays. Churches are a big part of Samoan life. The Mormons seems
to have quite a presence in these islands. There are also Methodist, Pentecostal and other
Christian religions. They build big churches. Some churches announce the contributions of
members at every church service. We enjoyed our visit on Sunday to the Bahai Temple. The
acoustics were amazing in this round place of worship. Their readings are from the holy books of
all the religions. No one gives a sermon. One of the sayings from the Bahai faith is “The world of
humanity has two wings- one is woman and the other is man. Not until both wings are equally
developed can the bird fly.”
Photo captions below courtesy of Assistant Webmaster (formerly Galley Wench), Emily:
|A 40-person canoe, coming our every
evening and paddling. They were
preparing for a festival and we are told
that this canoe came in 3rd.
|While we were in Apia, Emily found
Flaming Hot Cheetos! These were a
favorite snack at Castro Elementary
school, despite the fact that they turn
everything they touch a flamin' red!
|These are Samoan people who
worked at the hotel we stayed in.
|A traditional Samoan fale.
|Martin and the dudes. These are some
Samoan kids who Martin met and
|This incredible blowhole is on the
island of Savaii. Some women kept
throwing coconut husks into the
blowhole, and two seconds later, the
husks would go shooting hundreds
of feet into the air!