Published: July 10th 2009July 1st 2009
NOOOOoooo... this doesn't mean I'm mad a Jeremy. Roger and Hammerstein's musical South Pacific is the only exposure to what kind of adventure I'm in for with Pacific Partnership 2009. I'm Gonna Wash That Man Right Out Of My Hair is a song from that movie. :) What were you guys thinking?!?
We anchored outside of Apia, Samoa on June 30th. What began as a fuzzy little speck of land transformed itself into a island with lots of green and even more waves and blue reef.
But, before I get into that, here’s some things about the transit to Samoa:
Pacific Partnership 2009 is now in full effect, with numerous temporary riders on board, from many different disciplines, it’s time to see if we can work together! We have Navy Construction Batallions (Seabees), dentists, doctors, veterinarians, nurses, public affairseven musicians on board. We have Canadians, Australians and civilian volunteers from other countries. Thank goodness for Rock Band, it seemed to really bring us together.
It’s been pretty nice trying to meet and learn about what everyone is doing on this mission. The staff Lieutenants of PHIBRON 1
(that’s the Amphibious Squadron) are mostly cool (maybe 1 exception) and it’s been nice having other military around. We had the band play at pizza night, so socialized a little there too.
Okay back to Apia:
Anchoring in Samoa was a pretty trivial task, the deck department is amazing as always and could beat out any precision anchoring on a USS, I have no doubt. Once anchored, the ship began running RHIBs (Rigid Hull Inflatable Boats) back and forth to the marina. Dave, the Navigator or 2nd Mate, calls me and tells me to get my butt down to the gangway. He wants me on the first liberty boat to check the draft of the ship and to go get some food. Okay! I say this as I’m pulling on my pants, I’ve just gotten out of the shower and I have wet hair (going everywhere, I might add). I grab my bag and a hair tie and off I go, having no idea what was waiting for me past the gangway.
Uh, you want me to do what? I have to climb down the pilot ladder to a moving RHIB in 6
foot swells? Take my flip flops off you say? Thanks Kyle, I think that your pep talk has fully made me want to go back to my room and sleep! Looking down at the boat, and the tiny specks called people, I put my flip flops over my wrist and proceed down the ladder. Did I mention that the boat was moving up and down by over 6 feet? Yeah, that’s what a swell does Krysten. I’m going to die. Nope, I made it into the boat just fine, though it was a little (okay, a lot) nerve-wracking. Now my butt is wet! Yeah, that’s what happens when the nose of the bow dips below a wave. Aww crap! I’m so glad I didn’t bring my camera for this. We check the draft, and get into the marina after riding the waves into the harbor for 20 minutes. That part was fun at least.
We’re here! So, let’s walk into town and just see what we find. Hmmmm... why are all the lights out? Everything is closed! Dude, you dragged me out here for this? Wait, what are all those oil lamps and candles? Oh, it’s a
power outage, you say? Wow, across the whole island? Okay, we see some lights down the peninsula, that place must have a generator. Taxi! $2? You take US? Great, okay... we want to eat at a restaurant. No, we don’t know which one, just drive that way. ... ... ... Well, that looks like a hotel with a restaurant, that’ll work. I’m starving! Oh, you’re going to wait for us? Okay, sounds good. Thanks!
We stop at Hotel Millenia, a place with open air sitting an a few Aussie/NZers sitting out having food and a beer. We’d like to try the local beer, what’s it called? Vailima? Okay, we’ll have 2 of those and some sashimi and shrimp. Oh, what’s this oka stuff? It’s a local dish? Oka is coconut cream mixed with lemon juice, marinating fresh, raw fish cubes. Wow, you talk about really good fish, fresh and beautifully cut.
So, after a few beers, it's off to the ship again... a pretty low key night until I realize I have to get back up the pilot ladder onto the ship. Yep, you guessed it, still 6 foot swells. Holy crap!!! I slept well,
As we're pulling in
I'll say that.
There are more photos below