Although we have thoroughly enjoyed our stay in Samoa and could easily spend more time here, it is time to move on. We did not have a chance to visit Papase´ea sliding rocks (a natural water cascade that can be slide down between pools), to snorkel at Aganoa black sand beach, or bird-watch in the mountains at Dave Parker's Eco-Lodge and we could enjoy the people, food, and the cultural activities for many more weeks.
However, with summer approaching it is getting incredibly hot in the marina where there is relatively little breeze, the surge is getting worse (apparently the marina becomes untenable because of it by December), and, most significantly, cyclone season is just around the corner. The constant water motion makes it feel as though Tregoning is straining at her lines to be free again, so we look forward to casting off them off tomorrow (Tuesday October 24th) and heading west to Wallis.
It should be about a three-night passage to Wallis where we will hope to anchor in the lagoon for a few days before continuing southwest to Fiji (a five-night passage). Our goal, weather permitting, is to return to New Zealand by early December so our stop in Fiji will be relatively brief but it will give us a taste of what to expect when we return the following winter.
Visiting Wallis should be an interesting experience because other than checking-in and -out at the Gendarmerie and purchasing baguettes, we are not sure about how much interaction we will have with the locals. We will have to polish-up our French because very little English is spoken there. We are also not sure if we will get internet access there, so it may be a couple of weeks before I can post the yet-to-be-written blog-entries about our tours of Samoa's ´Upolu and Savai´i Islands.
One of the many ornate churches on Savai´i
Anyway, we would highly recommend Samoa as a place to visit and while we are a bit sad to be leaving such a beautiful, friendly country behind, we are looking forward to our next adventure. Sailing in cooling sea-breezes and, hopefully, less-jerky sea-motion is also looking pretty appealing too...