02 August 2010
Asau is a village on the island of Savai'i, the lesser populated of the two large islands that make up Samoa. It is located on the Northwestern coast, a perfect stop for us before we round the point and head South for Tonga. If it sounds like Hawai'i, that is no accident. It is believed that Polynesians left Savai'i to travel to other islands and landed in the Hawaiian islands and further East to French Polynesia. There are a few islands scattered about to the East of Samoa with similar names - all supposedly pointing back to Savai'i.
As we mentioned in an earlier blog, we caravanned with a couple other boats, Roger Henry and Mahina Tiare III. Glad we did, entering the pass through the reef was harrowing, but as we were sandwiched between two sailing all-stars so we were in the best possible position to be successful. Now we just have to get ourselves back out of this place when we want to leave.
It was time to leave Apia (that City bustles quite a bit for its size), but we weren't quite ready to leave Samoa so spending a second week in Asau, Savai'i turned out to be the perfect compliment to our first week on Upolu.
It is sleepy here in Asau, We are anchored out from the Va-i-Moana Resort, a small collection of fales on a sandy beach. Sale, the resort-owner is a New Zealand citizen but hails from this village. His family owned the land that he turned in to a lovely resort with just the right amount of rustic and comfort. Saturday night was local food night - what we got was a beautiful selection of seafood (tuna, prawns, octopus, mussles) with rice, taro, bananas cooked in coconut milk, asian noodle salad and mango ice cream for desert. Sale and his friends were playing island music and invited the kids to try their hands at the bass, constructed of an upside down plastic bucket with a thick cord through a hole in the middle attached to a stick. They wedged the stick against the bucket top to put tension on the cord and voila, a bass.
As we found at Aggie Grey's, hospitality is a hallmark of Samoa. Sale invited us to come ashore and play on the beach anytime, we can take showers ashore and he's arranged a tour of some lava tubes for us tomorrow. In return we eat meals at his place and enjoy a cold Vailima or two. This morning as Finn and I were having school on the foredeck in the shade of the boom, a policeman paddled up in his outrigger canoe. He was checking in on behalf of customs and immigration. When we left Apia, we said we were sailing to Asau; customs was following up on that plan. He was kind and low-key and we figure he drove the coolest police car in history. This is our most relaxing week of our trip so far.