I have created this blog with the hopes that you, my friend, will follow me as I sail around the world (figuratively or literally, not sure yet) with my parents on their Contest 48. Whereas I hope to keep you updated with exciting adventures of exotic ports and epic waves, keep in mind that cruising - that is, traveling by boat in a leisurely fashion - tends to be filled with days of intense boredom, punctuated by moments of sheer terror. Please keep this in mind as you read these entries, for this platform will be just as much an attempt for me to maintain my sanity (and connection to the California-based world), as entertainment and reassurance for you. And so, follow me as I sail the world.

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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tofa (goodbye) Amerika Samoa

We are just about to weigh anchor in Pago Pago harbor and head to Western Samoa. The passage will be an easy 80 miles, so we are leaving this afternoon to arrive in W. Samoa tomorrow morning.

American Samoa was a pleasant surprise. All of the reports we heard Pago Pago were not particularly complimentary: the harbor is dirty and smelly (somewhat true), the town is only good for provisioning and cheap beer (only half true), and there is tons of theft (not true at all).
The people here are very kind and helpful. Last night Lars and I wanted to go to the "Samoa Sports Center" where they advertised bowling, batting cages, and a full bar. The place is out in the boonies, but two girls driving around in their mom's car picked us up and took us all the way there, teaching us Samoan words on the way.

When we got to the bar it was completely empty, dark and quiet. The open sign was on so we went inside, and proceeded to order beers in probably the most creepy bar I have ever been in. The bowling lanes had been ripped out, leaving a huge dark, empty room with a bar at the far end. There were all sorts of empty rooms and long dark hallways through the building, and Lars and I made constant jokes about being the most perfect set for a horror movie. To make matters worse, there was a life sized replica of an alien from the movie "Alien vs. Predator". Freaking scary.

The batting cages had been converted into a driving range, so we hit a basket of golf balls (not my game) until we got thirsty (and brave) enough to go back in to the horror story bar for more beers. Don't get me wrong, the bar was run by very nice Korean girls, but it had to be one of the most strange set-ups I have ever been in.

Where was I going with this story? Perhaps it was in the direction that American Samoa has a lot of different kinds of adventures to offer and, although it is an American territory, is a unique country. People here are very helpful and also very curious. When I walk down the street people openly gawk at the palangi (white) girl and laugh at me when I say "talofa" (hello) or "fa'a'fe'tai" (thank you), but always in a kind way.

I have learned my way around the island and made a few local friends, which of course means that it is time to go. *sigh* Next stop: Western Samoa, where "everybody is crazy" according to the American Samoans. I don't think I will take their word for it, and I'll determine that for myself.

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