Blogs from Samoa, Oceania

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Oceania » Samoa April 14th 2019

Talofa (Hello) from Pago Pago, American Samoa. Guess what? It is Saturday the 13thall over again. Confused? Last night we sailed back across the International Dateline and got back the day we skipped a few days ago. We are at Longitude 170 W and Latitude 14 S. We only sailed about 100 miles but it makes a day’s worth of difference. So now we are back on the same day as everyone at home. Since last night was a short sailing distance we arrived pretty early and our excursion left comparatively early. We set the alarm for 6:00 and had breakfast delivered to the cabin using Room Service. We got Breakfast Biscuits and a pastry, with orange juice and hot tea. We ate on the balcony and watched the scenery as the ship came into port. ... read more
Janet in the bus
One of the Flower Pot islands
Some of the Coastline

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu » Apia April 13th 2019

Hello from Apia, the capitol of Samoa – also known as Western Samoa. We arrived this morning about 9:30. That gave us time to sleep in a little and still have a nice breakfast before the ship arrived. David was able to go out on deck to take a few pictures as we arrived in port. There is a local tradition of having some native dancers on the pier to welcome ships as they arrive, and we had a good view from the Promenade Deck. According to the information channel on the TV, we are at longitude of 171W and latitude of 13S. We will still visit some ports even further south, but all will be back toward the east. This is the farthest west that we will go on our cruise. So in one sense ... read more
Star Princess
Catholic Cathedral in Apia
Some of the Stations of the Cross

Oceania » Samoa » Tutuila November 7th 2018

Dateline: November 7th, 2018, Western Samoa, just south of the equator and just west of the international date line. Robert Louis Stevenson, Samoan Dancers and Singers, Shipboard Computer Glitches. So… our fabulous time in Apia, Western Samoa is over and we’re back in our stateroom… but before we tell you about our day thought you’d want to know that our captain just came on with an “important announcement that requires your full attention”, and gave a direct order for a full crew muster at 3:15…they need to be counted with their ID in hand and… at 3:45 every passenger is to be in their stateroom with the door propped open. Everyone on the ship must be counted and accounted for. It seems that the ship’s computer accountability technology failed to recognize the dateline change so even ... read more
Samoan Dancers Dockside
Tatoos
Coconut Water

Oceania » Samoa » American Samoa November 5th 2018

Dateline: November 5, 2018, Pago, Pago, American Samoa (Territory of the USA) Tsunami’s, Dogs and SPAM Today is Pago Pago, American Samoa. So… Pago Pago is pronounced, Pango, Pango with a short a. We arrive to pouring rain and 82 degrees, but with hopes, once again, of a sunny day. The harbor is absolutely beautiful but there is a tremendous wind coming off the mountains that keeps pushing us away from the dock. The ship is listing to starboard as the wind hits us broadside. We get in the elevator which is at a slant. Passengers in the elevator are saying they want out. But really, its true, we are heeled over some but… more fun than a problem. We exit on Deck 11 to our cabin and everyone is laughing as we walk drunkenly down ... read more
Tau and Jean
Flower Pot Rocks
Marine National Monument

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu August 19th 2018

Today is our last full day here so we decide that we will spend it doing very little. It’s just as well that we’ve decided to do very little as it’s Sunday and other than churches everything is closed. Issy wanders down onto the beach where she tells me she listened to a New Zealand couple try to explain snow and skiing to some very confused looking members of the hotel staff. We spend the morning swimming and lying on the beach. It seems that I have somehow been inveigled into another couple’s massage. I think I must have been asleep when I allegedly agreed to this. It only took me a few days to recover from the last session, so maybe it can’t have been all that bad, although I begin to wonder whether this ... read more
Return to Paradise Beach
View towards Savai’i from Return to Paradise

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu August 18th 2018

Issy says she spent half the night awake listening to a pack of marauding dogs trying to chase off a squealing pig outside our room. She’s wanted me to get my hearing tested for a while now, and even more so now that I managed to sleep through the whole show. We spend the morning lazing on the beach and then set off along the coast in search of some lunch. We’d been recommended a small restaurant on the beach sandwiched between two fancy resorts about twenty kilometres from ours. The "restaurant" is a beachside shack with some small fales for rent around it, and it calls itself the Maninoa Beach Club. The food is excellent, as is the beachside setting. It is run by an Australian girl and her Welsh partner. She’s trying to get ... read more
The resort where it always rains
Overwater bungalows at the resort where it always rains
A slightly less attractive version of happy hour

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu August 17th 2018

We set off along the main south coast road for today’s main destination, the To Sua Trench, which is about 50 kilometres east of the resort. The lack of sign posts trips us up as usual and we find ourselves at a dead end in the middle of a village in the pouring rain. Undaunted, we do a quick U-turn, wave vigorously to some bemused villagers whilst we look keenly at their houses in the vain hope that they’ll think that we came here on purpose, and head on our way again. We’ve read that the trench is really two trenches, both of which are large holes in the lava, and they are connected to each other and to the sea by lava tubes. The larger of the two trenches, which is the one directly connected ... read more
To Sua Trench
To Sua Trench gardens
View along the coast from To Sua Trench

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu August 16th 2018

We spend most of morning lazing on the beach, and I use this as an opportunity to read up on the history of Samoa. There seem to a be range of theories on where the Samoans originally came from, but the predominant one is that they travelled here from South East Asia about 3,000 years ago. We’ve noticed the Samoan and Indonesian/Malay words for the number five are both "lima", which is surely more that just a coincidence. The European powers started to take some interest in the islands in the 1800s, mostly due to demand from the chocoholics in their homelands for cocoa, and in 1889 Britain, Germany and the United States all sent warships to Apia and a major conflict seemed likely and imminent. Fortunately a big storm destroyed most of the ships, and ... read more
Glamorous Polynesian Princess, Part 1
Glamorous Polynesian Princess, Part 2
Turtle watching beach

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu August 15th 2018

Today we have signed up for a gentle stroll along the coastal trail that the ancestors of the current villagers built to provide access to and from the next village along from the resort. Along the way our guide, whose name is Fatu, stops regularly to identify some of the vegetation which was once used by the villagers for a diverse range of purposes including making fire and to use as toilet paper. He points out a pandanus plant and tells us that every Samoan house used to have many of these in its garden to use to make mats to sit on and to eat from. He bemoans the loss of the ancient traditions and tells us that these days if we pass a house that doesn’t have any pandanus plants in its garden then ... read more
Fatu
Fatu
Issy and Fatu on the rock arch

Oceania » Samoa » Upolu » Apia August 14th 2018

We head off towards Apia and stop at the Robert Louis Stevenson museum which is in the village of Vailima on a hill overlooking the capital. The museum is a spectacular colonial mansion with wide verandahs, set in huge manicured gardens, and was RLS’s home when he lived here from 1889 until his death at the age of only 44 in 1894. We join a tour of the Museum. Our guide tells us that RLS came here from Scotland with his American wife and family to try to get some better weather for his tuberculosis. He originally went to Hawaii where he was good friends with the King, but the King suggested that perhaps he’d better leave Hawaii and go somewhere else after he discovered that RLS was having an affair with his sister. I suspect ... read more
Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Bedroom, Robert Louis Stevenson Museum
Robert Louis Stevenson portrait (by Everett Scott)




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