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Anthem Adrift
Phasers to Stun, Please
09/10/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Not Anthem

September 9

Pago Pago will get up to 300 inches of rain this year, much of it in the last 48 hours. As this was a good day to stay in and read, spent all of it running around buying bits without which I could not do and surprisingly, as all desired items were found, won't have to. En passant, one additional ramification of moisture and humidity has been pervasive bouquet from cannery. Damage to sense of smell may be irreparable. Hold the tuna. Despite fondness for everything else here, will not regret leaving.

Seems counterintuitive that long pants and jackets are necessary at sea level this close to the equator, but night sailing is chilly. The one pair of blue jeans aboard are in shreds, so replacement was sought. Found, with great amazement, two pairs with 33 inch waists. Assume that low demand in Samoa for that size sent them to the discount store.

Also found two air-tight storage containers for recently purchased, family-sized box of powdered skim milk which, incidentally, was flabbergasted (is that a great word, or what!) to discover tastes good. Really. OK, you have to like non-fat and be exposed to sensory stimulation that would make a skunk burger appetizing, but still, it's impressive.

Regret to report that, with possible exception of induced unconsciousness, ingestion of alcohol in no way ameliorates loathsome and nauseating emanations saturating Pago Harbor. Roaring hangover would otherwise be serviceable trade- off.

Jack

Ponderous Pondering
09/08/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Sadie Thompson Inn

September 8

This morning at Sadie Thompson's while enjoying a breakfast that, if eaten regularly, would overweight a sumo, reflected how few cruisers waddle and that my own devastatingly sleek, leonine physique would, if permanently kept ashore, more closely resemble a hippopotamus. Eating habits over the last twenty months have, so far with impunity, taken a drastic turn for the worse, now incorporating sausage, bacon, ice cream, hamburgers, fried anything and butter. Goals have been formulated, memos have been sent, but personal patterns like corporate cultures are unwieldy juggernauts.

Further musings included realization that one is never completely clean, dry or at rest. These pitfalls can be handled several ways, among them swallowing the hook (returning ashore), not minding the discomfort or never being completely sober (last two are not mutually exclusive and, indeed, can be complimentary). Cruisers tend not to be overly anal or punctilious (or sober).

These and other deep thoughts attended laundry duty at a nice, large, inexpensive laundromat within walking distance of dinghy dock. Washers were in the center with really cool, multi-function machines along the wall. Clean wet clothes could be put into them along with money and, when turned on, a low budget movie played on the front. Action was fast-paced, but plotting a little thin and, while nuanced, somewhat repetitive.

"Anything worth doing is worth doing to wretched excess." - Phil Bowden

Jack

That's It
09/08/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pago Harbor

September 7

OK, here it is, what the uncounted multitudes, the teeming masses, the thronging hordes have been longing for, lo these many months. No, not an end to these interminable messages, photos! Well, a few, anyway. More to follow, perhaps.

Thrashed about all day trying to fix frozen carburetor and locate undelivered boat parts shipment. Got nowhere, so have decided to expend less effort to achieve similar results here.

Jack

Scotching Work
09/07/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Talisker and Floor

September 6

Labor Day, when labor doesn't, should be Slacker Day. In typical contrarian manner worked most of it on various projects such as removing rug backing from recently evicted, scuzzy floor coverings that had become one with cabin sole. Two types of adhesive solvent hardly made a dent, barely allowing toilsome scraping with plastic razor blades. After pine cleaner and lemon oil it looks so good may clean the rest... sometime.

East southeast wind in anchorage remains 20 to 25 with higher gusts, pleasing batteries and, due to mile and a half fetch, providing invigorating salt water shower during all dinghy excursions. Consequently enjoyed two types of refreshment by heading onshore to eat after Skyping with Liz. Sadie Thompson Inn was slacking, so had egg fooyong and rice at Chinese cafeteria - almost breakfast.

After months of parsimony with good scotch, newfound supply has engendered more fulsome enjoyment of its sublime quintessence. Expect liter and a half to survive rapaciousness for only two months instead of nineteen as did previous supply.

Continuation of leisurely housekeeping, with possible inclusion of laundry, to accompany more expansive social engagement tomorrow.

Jack

Disgust Politics
09/06/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

New Drain

September 5

Galley sink now has new drains advertised as stainless, but magnet says otherwise. No surprise that old ones rusted out as they were the same. Found unit for outboard sink with cool screw down basket. This provides a fix for aggravating shortcoming in design allowing ocean to overflow into pot locker on deep starboard tack. Previous routine required hanging down into lazarette to close through-hull ball valve which shut off both drains. Hope high, confidence somewhat less for no leaks.

In other news, carb cleaner has had no effect on stuck valve. Effort ongoing. Professional help in the offing.

Spent evening strengthening brain cell herd by culling weak members with margaritas and wine. Three of four single-handers in the anchorage had dinner on Imagine and discussed politics. Would have gone on to religion, but there wasn't enough wine.

Jack

Common Comprehensive Congeniality
09/05/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Sorry Charlie

September 4

Last two days have been taken up with buying stuff, but not, alas, with storing or doing repairs with it. Due to little being open Sunday and Labor Day, expected to have two full days for nothing but organization and projects. As happens, however, no hurry is necessary as the acclaimed (just ask them) US Postal Service apparently thinks Pago Pago, American Samoa is somewhere near Waterford, Connecticut where Defender order is "Out for Delivery or Available at PO Box". Will call tomorrow. Meantime, as there is only Saturday (not Monday) delivery of priority mail from US, five additional days are in hand for procrastination. Also, to degree info is correct, forecast wind, currently 25, will remain 20 to 30 with 4 meter seas through at least Wednesday.

Besides making purchases, alluded to above, spent day with four others in rented car exploring nearly every road on Tutuilla. Drove by Starkist for fullest and most voluptuous aura of fetor and to see Charlie (ref. American commercial campaign), but forewent (real word) lingering. It's a beautiful place with far more agreeable fragrances away from factory. Rainfall is up to 300 inches a year and much of the mountainous island is lushly carpeted in rain forest. In an area of the world, Oceania, where the universal attitude so far has been friendliness, American Samoa stands out. They evidently like Americans more than many Americans do.

Jack

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