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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.


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


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.


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.


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.


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.


Lips, Skirts and Eardrums
09/04/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pago Pago Bus

September 3

Last night's planned anchor drag has been delayed. Opportunities for rescheduling, however, should abound as wind gusts increase tomorrow, forecast 15 to 30 through weekend. Amps leaking from wazoo at prodigious rate; batteries smiling (this is a figurative term as Trojan T-105 golf cart batteries lack lips). Despite wind not coming directly from Starkist, eddies periodically bring air through hatches, chewy with essence of rotting tuna. As no maggots are nearby, am spared sound of their gagging.

Advance intel on Samoans has proven accurate. These are substantial people, sturdy people, big people. Many play for the NFL (American football). Men often wear a traditional skirt-like garment, the lava-lava. Nobody makes fun. Small, trim individuals, being at far end of bell curve, awaken health concerns among friends and family. Despite ability of many locals to squash modest-sized individuals with an eye tic, all have been delightfully friendly.

Utilized local conveyance today in proceeding to retail establishments for acquisition of various useful (he claims sincerely) items including surprise discovery of a holy grail, 10 year old Talisker single malt scotch (it's not 'the' holy grail, of course, that would be the 18 year old). Driver/owner on first bus may have spent more for stereo woofer than the wooden coach, as is how most are constructed. Riding with him could be a status elevating experience to the degree that bleeding eardrums is a positive social statement.


Scheduling Tight
09/03/2010, Pago Pago, American Samoa

Pago Pago Arrival

September 2

Well, what do you know, GRIB (Grievously Rendered Insufferable Baloney) was eventually right (even a blind pig...). Wind filled in from ESE with ensuing good sail featuring ambiance of only wind, wave and rig after 0130. Performed highly unusual maneuver after dawn by double reefing early (he said early). Wind kept building to 20 on the beam, probably making up for lack thereof previous day, for a rip roaring sail into harbor. KISS is punching out amps like it's doing the same as wind-o-meter is jumping well into 20s.

Spent all afternoon with Swiss and Thai couple from Dilan walking and waiting for customs and immigration. Now cleared in for indefinitely (they have 30 days) paving way to fritter away tomorrow spending vast sums of US lucre (some extracted for my benefit at gunpoint from taxpayers) on replenishing stove gas, gasoline, diesel, staples, fresh produce and fixing Honda carburetor, laundering clothes, making a dent in Cost-U-Less inventory which includes adult beverage and myriad other things too numerous to contemplate . Deep breath. Pass the rum. Preceding enervating rendition requires a shower and early bed to prepare for dragging anchor scheduled for 0300.


Tenacious Turned Tenuous
09/02/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 4

September 1

Smug with supreme confidence that weather would change, continued beating toward Pago Pago. This faith was rewarded when wind, which had backed north allowing perhaps a faint smell of tuna to waft the 100 or so miles to here, died altogether. OK, not what was in mind (or whatever occupies that space), but was yet smug with supreme confidence. that.. weather... would.... change. Hmmmm. Could easily motor there by tomorrow, but having come so far with so little help, preferred not.

In fact, morning GRIB (this, as previously reported, is possibly an acronym for 'Grudgingly Reported Inaccurate Bullflop' or, more likely, GR stands for 'Gleefully Reprehensible' (sportier readers may substitute more expressive terms for 'flop')), indicated wind becoming SE at 15 tonight. Smugness reigned, but frayed at edges as sea continued glassy throughout day.

Finally gave up at dark as wind remained insufficient to keep pointy end stabilized on any heading at all and progress since 0900 was one NM due entirely to ENE current. Movement forward now noisily proceeding apace with anchor set expected just after noon tomorrow.

"The best way to compile inaccurate information that no one wants is to make it up." - Scott Adams


Samoa East Wind
09/01/2010, En Route to Pago Pago, Day 3

August 31

Another month kicked in the tookas. Looking back, seems like time was well filled, but it still scuttled past like a frightened crab. For September plan to be in Neiafu (village), Vava'u (island group), Tonga (country) for sailing regatta middle of month after visiting Samoa (Western) and New Potatoes. This all assumes first making it to American Samoa at some point in the near future as light wind remains north.

Enjoying down time of leisurely passage to Pago Pago, however roused torpid carcass for utilization of toolage to delve into tightly engineered archana of Honda generator hoping to make the thing quieter and save fuel. It's currently running flat out full time while feeding battery. Carburetor throttle control found frozen like it's welded. Now where did that carb cleaner on buy list go? Still in store?

Accounts are flooding in (two) that indicate destination harbor is actually pretty nice. Reporting boats must be upwind of north side tuna factories and probably consider dragging through mud slurry bottom a fun and interesting pastime. Must be as everybody (unsubstantiated hyperbole) is doing it. Hope to find out some day.


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S/V Anthem
Who: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes
Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
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See profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and, despite what is probably your better judgement, how to make contact.
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