Saturday, August 10, 2013

Safe and sound in Apia, Western Samoa!

We made it - yeah!

It was only a 4 day crossing, but it wore us out. That downwind sailing is sure not a smooth way to travel and it is noisy! Moondance was rocking back and forth with the motion, plus then those crazy waves would hit. Not big, but they were really close together. So every bottle, can, pot, pan, etc., were rattling around in the lockers wanting out. I have never heard so much racket! Between the motion and the noise, it was very difficult to sleep. The best spot was sprawled out on the settee/couch (which folds out to almost a double bed) surrounded by pillows to keep us from rolling around. I could sit in the cockpit and watch Doug sleep and knew he was close by if I needed him - I liked that part!

So, now we are tied up to the marina, which is a nice treat, plus surrounded by a very friendly group of cruisers sharing tips about Apia. Always helpful! The marina was hit by the cyclone last year and damaged some of the docks and cleats, which haven't been fixed yet. Something about the insurance...

We thought we were going to be able to check in with Customs yesterday (Friday), but that didn't work out. Apia is on the other side of the dateline, while American Samoa in on the US side, so it was Saturday here and Customs was closed - who knew! Also, Sunday and Monday here are holidays - Father's Day in Samoa - apparently a very big deal.

Since we are still quarantined, we aren't supposed to leave our boat until we check in on Tuesday - not good news. But, we were able to talk to the security guard and gave him our sob story about being out of food (beer and diet coke too) and he felt sorry for us and let us go wandering around town. Yeah.

We are on the island of Upolu, which is a green and lush - like the Hawaiian islands. According to the books, Samoa has been called the birthplace of Polynesia. They think the original Polynesians left Samoa to settle in Hawaii, Cook Islands, and New Zealand - that's a lot of water to cover in a canoe!

Apia is a big city with taxis, cute little buses, ATM's, and lots of shopping. We spent yesterday checking out the place and getting some provisions. We taxi'd to the fresh fruit and vegetable market downtown, which was really busy, plus a store called Farmer Johns (too funny). The locals were very nice and helpful, plus curious about us. We also found a bar (which wasn't easy), the RSA. They had the local beer (Vailima) on draft. A jug/pitcher for $12 Tala (less than $6 US), which even had a spot for ice to keep it cold. Pretty tasty stuff. And then things got a little too exciting - be sure to read my next post about The Bar Fight!

So, a little more shopping and then dinner - cheeseburger with cucumbers (instead of pickles) for Doug and fish and chips for me at the Gourmet Seafood Grill. We thoroughly enjoyed it. There are several restaurants and bars close by the marina, so we had to check out happy hour at The Edge. One more nice cold beer, ahhhh, and then back to boat for some R&R'ing.

As tired as we were, we still made it to 9pm. Pretty good for a couple of old duffers. We slept hard for awhile and then the rains poured - right inside all of our hatches that we never even thought about closing - all hands on deck! Oh well, gave ol' Moondance a good fresh water rinse.

Today, still raining, but seems to be lightening up. Everything is closed on Sunday, plus will be closed tomorrow too for the holiday. So, we are having a very nice boat day and doing as little as possible - yeah!

So far, except for hard liquor, everything seems to be very affordable here in Western Samoa. We like that!

Sightings along our passage:

Lots of falling stars
1 satellite flew over (we don't see many of those down here) - Ching Bing Bao!
1 big green glowing orb on the horizon that we could see for miles - no idea what is was. Doug tried to call them, but no answer. Aliens?
Not much out there!

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Debbie and Don, S.V Buena Vista said...

Hey Hey! Congrats on making W Samoa...four days isn't bad at all, you guys are pros now. We're loving your blog and wish we were out there with you. Enjoy that slip you're won't be seeing another one for awhile! Love from us in Queensland, Australia

Anonymous said...

There is so much paradise you two won`t ever be happy anywhere else! I so envy you and your memories Love Mom