Talofa Samoa (new Photo Albums ready now)
09 August 2009 | Apia, Upolu, Western Samoa
Talofa is hello in Samoan. Fa'amolemole is please. Air conditioning, fa'amolemole?? It's up to 96 degrees here and the humidity is about 200-percent. Tom repaired our little portable cooler and not a moment too soon. Water is great, but cold water is key. Thankfully, we had plenty of that on our tour of Samoa. Our guide, Tao, was a character and a half, giving loads of personalized commentary. The weather did not cooperate and rain was the order of the day. But the most unique experience, was learning about the many family villages scattered throughout Samoa. In our Photo Gallery you'll see a traditional open hut, or fale, centrally located in each village. It acts as a living and sleeping room for one whole family, spanning multiple generations. Besides the fale there are surrounding huts, sometimes enclosed for cooking, bathing, and if supplemental money comes from overseas educated children, a few private sleeping homes. Everything is done the Samoan way, in traditional communal manner and with a smile. While driving through the island, natives were waving and smiling towards us at every bend in the road. Lunch was at a beach resort and a long visit was done at a blow hole/garden/trench site. Large open caverns, about 50 feet in depth and 100 feet in circumference appear like sink holes with tunnels underneath, opening to the sea. At the bottom of the caverns is sea water flowing in and out. Entering is done by climbing down a long, handmade ladder. Tommy discovered the underwater path, through a canal out to the sea entrance. Both Cammi and Cole held their breath, dove down and swam out to the sea and back again to the open-topped cave. Kids had a ball!
After many dinners at restaurants, walks to town, provisioning and diesel runs and let's not forget the multiple trips to the ice cream shoppe, we are finally clearing out of Samoa, bound for Tonga. It's only 150 miles from Apia to Niuatoputapu, Tonga, an overnight sail for Zen. Flashback is joining us for that passage but Karma and many other pals will be diverting to other parts of Tonga. Many cruisers slow down at this point, downshifting into 2nd gear, enjoying Tonga or Fiji to their fullest. Normally, if going to NZ, a yacht visits Tonga, while if going to Australia, Fiji is on the beaten path. Hopefully, we can squeeze in a couple weeks of Fiji in September before going back to southern Tonga for our journey to NZ. No, we can't be greedy, but if the weather works, we'd love for the kids to experience the Indian-Fijian culture. Sadly, we are at the "goodbye" zone for many of our buddy boats. We all say it, but the goodbyes are the hardest part. In December, we said adios to our friends on s/v Albatres in the San Blas Islands, Panama. They sailed up to New England while Zen went through the Panama Canal and westward. Currently they are saying their "hellos" to our family and friends in Rhode Island. We are very happy to intertwine our land friends with our ocean friends. Hopefully, some of these folks we are leaving behind in the South Pacific will cross our paths again.
Take a peek at our updated PHOTO GALLERY to see some of the great pals and adventures we've had. The albums entitled "Summer '09" and "Spring '09 Volume 3" are brand new. Enjoy!!