29 July 2009 | Apia, Western Samoa
"Did we just hear a fog horn?" Holy cr_ _, rush up to the cockpit, scan the horizon, no running lights, not close to land. What was that? There it is again. Put on the radar. Nope, it's midnight and there's nothing out of the ordinary.
After 5 minutes of straining my eyes and ears in the dark, while sitting in the front cockpit, Tommy figures it out. The noise we hear while down in our hulls are WHALES. They are talking to each other. Constantly! Back and forth, back and forth. Zen, having 2 hulls, sometimes makes a humming sound when she's going through the water. Are they talking to Zen? Is Zen talking back? Am I loopy because it's my night watch, there's no moon and the stars are so vivid you feel like you are sailing in a celestial blend of sky and ocean? We never actually saw a whale on the final leg to Pago Pago, American Samoa, but we hope to spot a few on our departure out. Which is happening a few days earlier than we expected. This turned out to be our quickest island visit ever. In fact, it's better to refer it as a surgical strike, 18 hours from start to finish.
Many cruisers have said this place is the armpit of the South Pacific, but the people ashore are so nice! Unless you are waiting for crucial replacement parts or homeschooling curriculum shipped from the US, there's very little reason to come here. The anchorage is tight, the holding is poor due to the wrecks, tires and garbage littering the seabed, and the overwhelming aroma of the Starkist tuna cannery is enough to make you swoon and fall down. But yes, the people are nice. On a bright note, a gallon of diesel is just over $2.00, there's wifi in the harbor, and the provisioning is easy and plentiful. They got that going for them. Thankfully our friends on s/v Flashback, who have been here for about a week, are joining us in our speedy departure from Pago Pago. They had some engine issues but are back up and running. Having pals scope out the lay of the land and then share their knowledge makes for very fast errands in a faraway land. The girls, Julie, Cammi and I, hopped on the local bus bound for 2 big provisioning stores. Two hours later, we had a couple of taxis full of food, ready to load into the dinghy. The boys, Geoff, Tommy and Cole went to the chandlery and customs/immigration/health/harbormaster. By 3:00p we were done and ready to exit. So long American Samoa! The people are really nice. Enough said. We are now happily berthed in Apia, Western Samoa, 80 miles west of American Samoa.