Schooner Seawanhaka

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Posting - Samoa

Date and Time:

July 5 - 24, 2004


Apia, Samoa


July 4 - We have now officially left Pago Pago, American Samoa! After checking out last week with Immigrations, then being delayed by high winds, then actually leaving only to be beaten back to harbor by yet more uncooperative winds, fair Seawanhaka has now departed American soil for the foreign lands beyond. In the distance, the country of Samoa beckons us with open arms and smiling faces. The sea has turned again blue as the flying fish leap with joy. The sun may hide its face, but only momentary. Tomorrow morning, after a night passage between islands we will arrive in the city of Apia. This will certainly warrant a large Kava (Ava) ceremony, or at least a case of Vailima for the crew (and captain). It feels most excellent to be sailing again in the open air and fine swell. Today we can see the horizon again in all directions. - Darren

July 7 - Hooray! We made it to Samoa and it is BEAUTIFUL here! Everyone has been telling us how awesome Samoa is and from what we've seen so far, I have to agree with them. Apia's very modern compared to Pago Pago yet the people are nicer, the streets/harbor are significantly cleaner, there are more touristy things to do and everything costs less. We arrived early Sunday morning in Apia, the capital of Samoa, after a pleasant sail from Pago Pago. When we arrived, we already knew several of the other yachts from Pago Pago. They came to greet us and tell us about Samoa while we sat on the boat and did projects (we were still under quarantine because the govt. offices were not open on Sunday so we couldn't go to shore). On Monday, Mike, Bill and I went up to Vailima, which is where Robert Louis Stevenson lived here in Samoa. It was a beautiful old mansion in the hills overlooking Apia...we had a great hike up to his gravesite, swam in a cool freshwater swimming pool and explored the botanical gardens on the grounds. Monday was also Mike's 35th birthday so we had a pizza party and drank beers in town then went out for cake and ice cream to celebrate Mike getting a year older. Last night we went to a party on another boat named Nai'a...their nephew Ben is flying home to Washington today so Nai'a threw a farewell party for him. I've learned that cruisers don't really need much of a reason to throw a party - they can always find any reason for a good party. - Elizabeth

July 14 - I have been alone on the boat since Monday, with the rest off on various explorations of the islands of Upolu and Savai'i. The South Pacific Convergence Zone has been active this week, bringing unsettled weather, the rain falling in sheets as wave upon wave of squalls move across the harbor, the water turning brown with the muddy rivers flowing down the sodden slopes of Upolu, wind groaning through the shrouds, rain pattering on the deck above. Its amazing how the teeth of a storm shrink from the vantage of a sheltered anchorage. Last week, Darren and I went into the hills, up past banana, papaya and coconut trees, to Papaseea Sliding Rocks, a series of water falls cascading down algae-covered rock slopes into pools of water, forming twenty to thirty foot water slides, some smoother than others. A local boy slid bravely down the rocks while standing up. We finished the day at the Puaa (pig) festival, with live music, Samoan crafts, and an umu feast. We sat in the wet grass on mats of woven coconut leaves eating roast pig, curry and breadfruit from bowls of woven coconut and banana leaves. A big screen at the top of the field showed the rugby match between New Zealand and the Pacific Islanders, a coalition of Samoan, Tongan and Fijian players. - Mike

July 19 – I know, I know…no postings for far too long! It’s been a very busy couple of weeks here in Samoa, full of lots of adventure. Most of our time was spent outside of Apia on the remote island of Savaii where there’s no Internet access. You might say we’ve been cut off from civilization for a while (thankfully, far away from news about Martha Stewart, George Bush and weapons of mass destruction). Stay tuned and you will see lots of photos, updates and tales of our adventures in the next couple of days. - Elizabeth

July 22 - Seawanhaka has been a flurry of activity and entertainment the last few days. Our first night back from Savai'i, we had 4 Canadians that we met in Savai'i out to the boat for dinner and drinks. Mark, Tammy, Rob and Julia were delightful company. On Monday night, Tim and Tania from New Zealand came out to Seawanhaka and we feasted on fresh fish, taro, breadfruit and red wine. Then on Tuesday, we hosted Elin and Ilse (the two archeologist/osteologists who helped us out during our Bike Trip in Savai'i) on Seawanhaka, as well as Derek and Cila (the reigning "Miss Samoa"). A great evening was had by all and as Mike said "I never thought I'd be explaining what a 'redneck' was to Miss Samoa". -Elizabeth

View Photos from Samoa:

View Previous Postings:

May 31 - July 3, 2004 - Pago Pago, American Samoa
May 22 - 30, 2004 - Pacific Ocean Crossing
May 17 - 21, 2004 - Fanning Island, Kiribati
April 24 - May 16, 2004 - Pacific Ocean Crossing
April 19, 2004 - San Diego Bay, California
April 4, 2004 - San Diego Bay, California

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