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Pago Pago Update (Dec)
New: Galena's entire track (8,000 miles) is now available from Googe Earth at: Google Earth Downloads.
When I last posted an update I had just arrived in Bora Bora and settled in on a mooring at the Mai Kai Yacht Club. I was only going to spend a week there. But, as usual, having a good time trumps making good time. At least it does for me on this cruise. So I ended up staying a lot longer.
The first big social event was the telecast of the World Rugby Championship. I spent a lot of time at Le Recif (The Reef Bar) watching their big-screen TV. I learned a lot about rugby (even thought it was narrated in French) and learned even more about rugby fans. Since this is French Polynesia, they were almost all rooting for France to win. Sadly that wasn't to be.
Between watching rugby and drinking beer I was also shooting pool with the locals. I never won a game because: 1. They are very good, and 2. I'm lousy at pool. But I got to be friends with a few people and had a good time. They take both their pool and beer drinking seriously on Bora Bora. Almost every player walked in with his own custom pool queue.
About the time I decided it was time to move on to the next island I met the lovely Bev. Jessica and Teiva (owners/operators of MKYC) had just had a baby. Jessica's mother, Bev, came out to Bora Bora to visit for a couple of months and help out with the baby. Bev is a beautiful, bright lady just slightly my junior and for some reason we seemed to hit it off. She was originally from California but she and her husband currently live in Pennsylvania. And while she's visited Bora Bora before for this trip she was feeling quite the foreigner. Like me she spoke little or no French and on this island that's a real isolating factor. I did my best to mitigate that feeling.
I found it interesting that my birthday was on the first of November while Bev's birthday was on the second. Of course she's much younger than I. But she was having a special birthday dinner at the yacht club and she invited to her and Jessica. Teiva was there, too, in his capacity and head chef. Which means that he could only stop by the table to chat occasionally during dinner. So I had the ladies all to myself. Well, I had to share them with the kids, but still.
During that dinner, Bev and Jessica convinced me that I just HAD to stay for the Mai Kai Yacht Club's Halloween party on the coming Saturday (29 Oct). It really didn't take much convincing. After all, I had on board Galena a great Halloween costume.
While they were decorating the yacht club for the Halloween party, I was hanging out with my friends. Bobby and Noel were cruising through and partied with me a bit. And Pepe was a transplanted Spaniard who lived on the island and adopted me.
Bobbie, Noel, Me, and Pepe doing what we do best: drinking
Me and a couple of local friends at the Mai Kai Yacht Club
I was certain that I would be leaving Bora Bora the coming weekend. So on Friday, 28 Oct, I formally cleared out of French Polynesia. I went to Customs and Immigrations and did all the paperwork. I received my Zarpa saying I was clear to depart and had my passport stamped.
Then I walked over to the bank to recover my bond. The government had taken $1,500 from me when I arrived just to be sure that they could put me on a plane and send me home if they felt the need to kick me out. The bank had taken the money via credit card (a 'cash advance' no less) and returned it in cash; taking their conversion commission off the top, of course. The credit card company piled on their international exchange fees, too. Everyone wants a piece of the pie.
Another thing I had to do before I left was to recover my alternator that a mechanic was going to fix for me. As it turned out he never even found the time to touch it. So I just took it back and stored it away on Galena. Maybe somewhere down the road, if I remember, I'll get it repaired.
Sometime during this week the US Coast Guard seagoing buoy tender, Huikui 203, came into port. I met a few of the crew having drinks at the MKYC. They were out of Hawaii and their mission was law enforcement. They were working with the French to enforce international fishing treaties. And while they were out there, they liked to give US-registered sailboats a friendly 'safety' inspection.
About that time I received an e-mail from Jamie on s/v Paramour III. I'd left him and his crew in Moorea a few weeks back and wasn't planning on seeing them again. He said he was making for Bora Bora and would be here in a week. I told him about the party and he modified his plans to arrive on Saturday, which he did.
Of course, by the time s/v Paramour arrived on Saturday all the moorings were taken. So for the night she rafted up with Galena. Teiva said rafting on his moorings was usually not allowed. But since it was "Captain Bill", and since it was Halloween, and since the forecast was for no wind he'd let it go for one night.
I have to say it was really nice to see Jamie's crew again. Since Moorea he had lost half his crew: the 'boys,' Chris and Jimmy. But had retained Hanne and Jocelyn. Chris and Jimmy were cool to hang out with, but Hanne and Jocelyn added something more.
In fact looking at the pictures from here to the end of this blog I see that I was with those guys most of the time.
I had told Jamie this was a costume party and during his sail over the girls had put together pirate costumes for the evening. I was impressed with their inventiveness. We all dinghied over to the yacht club and partied the evening away.
I posted a bunch of pictures from the Halloween party on Facebook after the event. At the risk of boring my Facebook-Enabled friends, I'll include a few here for all you Facebook-Free readers out there.
Hanne and Jamie
My good friend Bev
Teiva and Jessica, owners/operators of the Mai Kai Yacht Club
My two favorite pirates, Hanne and Jocelyn
The sweetest of the ladies working at the Mai Kai YC, Temeio
One of my favorite bartenders at the MaiKai Yacht Club, Purea.
Like most of the ladies of Bora Bora, Purea has some interesting tattoos. The hand-tat is intricate and very special as is the one on her upper back (inserts).
Me and Hanne
A couple of shots of the locals enjoying the party.
I let Hanne sit in my 'personal' chair. When you spend as much time as I did, you get a chair named after you.
Early in the evening Jamie fell asleep on the restaurant's deck. Come to think of it, any time the festivities went on past about 10-pm Jamie could be counted upon to fall asleep. Hanne eventually dinghied him back to the boat and then returned to party-on.
Some of the partiers were heading over to the "other" yacht club. Jocelyn, Hanne, and I decided to join them. But by the time we were ready to go it had started to rain. Teiva had told me that there was nothing going on there. So Jocelyn and I hesitated while Hanne and a friend named Guy hitched a ride and went. They were gone for a couple hours. Jocelyn and I were a little concerned for Hanne since we had said we were going over there, too, then decided not to after she had left. But Hanne eventually made it back with good reports of a small but fun party.
Some background here:
The "other" yacht club was once owned by the people who now own Mai Kai Yacht Club. That facility was destroyed by a cyclone in February of 2010. While trying to rebuild local politics and personalities generated a lot of animosity. Permits and liquor licenses were issued then revoked, neighbors of the site filed suites. Persons were even assaulted. Eventually Teiva, Kito, Jessica, et al., gave up and built the MKYC on it's current site, abandoning the old Bora Bora Yacht Club. Someone else has started to rebuild the old yacht club facility and there is no love lost between the owners of these two establishments.
Bev and I spent most of the evening hanging out together. She still had some babysitting duties so our time was constantly interrupted. Still a lot of good partying was done. A lot of booze was consumed, too.
One of the finishing touches to my pirate costume supplied by Bev was a healthy dose of eye make-up. This made me look more Halloween-ish. But the side effect was that the eye makeup together with my feathered hat caused a couple of the local gay boys to find me irresistible. Even with stern rebukes one kid was persistent as hell. Hanne and Bev took turns demonstrating my heterosexual tendencies (much to my pleasure) but the guy wouldn't take the hint.
Jocelyn, never one to go home if a party is nearby, headed over to The Reef club and spent the early morning hours shooting pool with the locals.
By the next morning a couple boats had left the lagoon so there were empty moorings available. Jamie moved Paramour off Galena and took a mooring just off my stern.
For the next week I hung out with the Paramour crew most evenings. Dinner, drinks, movies on one boat or the other. The usual cruiser get togethers. Even had an evening on Guy's boat (The name of his boat escapes me right now but I think it was Sargasso or something.). During this time I found that hanging with these young people was both fun and exhausting. Jamie is 20-years younger while the girls, Hanne and Jocelyn, are almost 40-yrs my junior. They have more energy than I had even when I was their age. But still, it's always nice to hang out with pretty people; and these girls are very pretty people.
Hanne is in her early twenties, from Belgium, a seasoned world traveler. She has backpacked South America and joined Jamie's crew in Panama. She is Jamie's current girlfriend. She doesn't like that title, but it applies.
Jocelyn, also in her early twenties, is from Manitoba, Canada. She is also a seasoned traveler and also joined Paramour in Panama. She is most emphatically crew only.
One of the 'must-visit' venues on Bora Bora is Bloody Mary's. It has become an American Tourist hot spot. The only problem is that it is located a few miles south of town and takes over an hour and a half to walk to.
But during my first week there, I did just that. Had a couple of very nice drinks and a burger. I met some really interesting people. Like at the Hilton on Moorea, they were on holiday and staying at one of the resorts on the outlying moto's.
Jamie and the girls wanted to go and invited me along. But they were not going to walk, they instead took their dinghy. It was a lot easier than walking. Once there we sampled several of Bloody Mary's famous drink concoctions including, of course the Bloody Mary. We drank just enough to become the prime entertainment in the bar. We met (and entertained) several couples from the States who were there for the same reason as us: You have to be able to say you were there.
At Bloody Mary's: Me, Hanne, Jocelyn, and Jamie
From Bloody Mary's we dinghee over to the 'other yacht club.' But it was closing. So we walked down the street to The Reef Club. There we did the usual: Drank, Played Pool, Hung with the Locals.
Same picture, different bar. Do we look as drunk as we felt?
One of the locals had taken a fancy to Jamie. He didn't really know how to take it. The gay community is very 'out' on Bora Bora.
Jamie and his new friend.
After the Mai Kai YC's Halloween party Jessica and Teiva invited me over to their house for a party. It seems that Kaito, one of the other owners of the MKYC also had a birthday during the first week of November. The party was a cookout in Teiva's backyard. Which was convenient since Kaito lived right next door.
At the party I met a lot of the friends of Taiva and Keito. Many of them I'd met at the bars in town. We drank beer and eat strange food till dark. The guitars and ukuleles came out and the old folks sang Polynesian songs for hours. I've never met anyone on these islands who didn't sing beautifully. Keito's grandmother was an exceptional singer. She was a very beautiful lady. Long gray hair to her waist, wraith of flowers on her head, walked with a graceful confidence not seen in younger western women. She danced and sang like the 'natives' you might see in the movies. She was amazing.
Kito's beautiful grandmother
After everyone else had either left or fallen asleep I said my goodbyes and headed back to the boat. Unfortunately everyone was too drunk or stoned to give me a ride so I walked the several miles around the island to where Galena was moored.
Finally it was really time to leave Bora Bora. Paramour and some other cruises had convinced me that I should visit the island just west of Bora Bora named Maupiti. Supposed to be one of those idyllic lagoons with a small village of friendly people, great snorkeling and hiking. It was sort of on my way. So I agreed to buddy boat with them to Maupiti.
Since Paramour and Galena were heading to the same place, I asked Jocelyn if she would like to ride with me. She had said on a previous night that she would like to get more experience sailing other boats (Paramour was her only exposure long-distance to sailing). She readily accepted.
My 30nm track from Bora Bora to Maupiti. Light winds caused a bit of gibing to get some speed out of Galena
I suppose the fact that I was not alone on this 30 mile daysail from Bora Bora to Maupiti means that, technically, this is no longer a solo circumnavigation. So be it. It was unusual and nice to have someone on board during a passage. We left at about 0900 and arrived at 1600. Very little wind and almost directly on the stern. That made for a slow, rolly ride.
Jocelyn on board Galena arriving at Maupiti
On entering the pass we immediately saw that there was indeed a tremendous number of coral heads spotting the lagoon. The prominent feature is the volcanic core that towers over you as you come up the channel.
The volcanic core that greets yachts arriving at Maupiti (S16 26.428 W152 15.462)
The 'channel' was well marked and the depth was generally about 25-ft. I followed Paramour into the anchorage and dropped hook 100-m north of him.
Jocelyn and I had a couple of drinks while we recapped the day. I held her captive for just a little while and then I took her home. We then did drinks on Paramour till about 10pm when I called it a night.
Jocelyn while being held captive on Galena after accompanying me on the crossing from Bora Bora to Maupiti.
The next morning the four of us went ashore and climbed the mountain. Or I guess you would call it a hill since it's only 1200-ft high. It is, however, the highest point on the island.
The hill we climbed. We went to the high point just above and to the right of the church.
We were told there was a path from the main (only) road to the top. But we couldn't find it. So we just started up a ridge and cut our own way up.
It was very tough going. Not just due to the briers and brambles, but because of the steep rock faces we had to climb. At one point I lost my footing and fell a bit. Not too far. But I landed on my back and did a bit of damage. At the time it wasn't too bad; just very uncomfortable. In fact, after a few days of pain severe enough to make me gasp with every move I was convinced that I had cracked a rib just over my right kidney.
Looking up at Jocelyn and Jamie. No path, just shiggy.
And can you see how steep this is. Almost straight up!
Yes, Hanne, I AM looking at your butt. Now turn around and keep climbing.
The old guy need a break, then it was more climbing. How high was this hill, anyway?
From halfway up the hill. Galena, Paramour, and another boat anchored in the lagoon at Maupiti
The girls and me, walking along the ridgeline
Yep, I'm whooped
Once we made it to the windswept hilltop some of the views were breathtaking
Looking south. The entrance through the reef is plainly visible. The large volcanic core pictured earlier is the outcropping of rock lower center in this picture.
Finally, going down via the official path. Much easier that the trek up
It took over 2 hours of walking, climbing, and crawling but we finally made it to the peak. The highest point was only about 1300 ft high. Once at the top we found the path that we should have taken. After taking pictures and resting, we took the path down. Doing it right combined with going down instead of up meant that the trip only took 45-minutes. It was indeed a good hiking path with ropes to help you up the steep parts and arrows pointing the way and everything.
After a couple more relatively quiet days on Maupiti s/v Paramour left for Tonga. Seeing Hanne and Jocelyn go was sadder than I would have expected. Together they added a youthful exuberance to exploring both Bora Bora and Maupiti. They were also quite kind about letting this old man hang out with them. They laughed at my jokes. They put up with my bravado. And they made all the right commiserating, nurturing sounds while listened to the sadder parts of my stories. Oh, yeah, I guess I'll miss Jamie, too.
The captain and crew of s/v Paramour III saying 'Goodbye' on their departure from Maupiti
My last view of Paramour and crew
s/v Paramour's plans call for making it to New Zealand in December. If I get there this year I'll definitely look them up. With everyone on Facebook being able to keep in touch is much easier than in the past.
I later learned that Jocelyn jumped ship in Roratonga leaving just Jamie and Hanne for the last long leg from there to New Zealand.
I wanted one more day in Maupiti's lagoon before I headed toward American Samoa. Not that I had much in the way of preparation to accomplish; I just wanted some time alone to get my head back into the solo sailor mode.
The next day I weighed anchor and sailed out of the lagoon and back into the Pacific Ocean. I was planning on 1100-nm of slow sailing toward American Samoa. I say slow because the forecasts called for light, variable winds. There looked to be better winds further north. I elected to run toward Suvarov Atoll to find better wind conditions and if I passed close enough I might stop in for a visit. This small atoll is known within the cruising community as a 'must-see' beauty.
They (the other, more seasoned cruisers) describe Suvarov as an 'unspoiled' island. I'm not sure what that means. What would 'spoil' an island? I suppose it would be anything 'modern' or 'western.' Heaven forbid we should expose the locals to modern medicine. Or give them access to the outside world via the internet. That would certainly upset these cruisers who seem to want their own, private, 'native petting zoo.' A place where they can come and see the happy natives eking out a subsistence living. They want to see primitive people living primitive lives and anything else would 'spoil' the cruiser's experience. I think that's a selfish and condescending attitude. Every time I hear a cruiser say something like, "Oh, but see how happy they are? And they've lived like this for thousands of years; why should they change?" I can't help but think how arrogant they sound, as if they know what's best for someone else. [Stepping down from soapbox; turning down flame.]
As it turned out the trip, which was 'only' 1100nm straight line distance ended up taking me 18-days. I put almost 1300nm under Galena's keel, spent two nights at Suvarov Atoll, and had about three days of complete, dead, calm.
Galena's track Bora Bora to American Samoa.
The scale doesn't allow any map detail of the trip. I've uploaded This route into Google Earth
This will allow anyone interested to zoom in on the track and see the details
Here are the tracks from a couple of the 'days of drifting.'
In both cases I drifted north and south about 10nm with little westward motion.
Why did this happen? Well as I stated earlier, the forecasts called for winds that were light and variable. The Grib files that I downloaded along the way looked like this:
On this Grib file, Samoa is the blob in the upper-left. My route took me pretty much along the 14th parallel. You can see the winds were not favorable.
As an aside, I can't say how nice it is to be able to get on the SSB radio and download weather and email. Granted it's not cheap. A new SSB with modem and antenna tuner and all the cables and what-not might set you back $3,000. But I feel it's worth it.
My radio is an old Icom 706 that I've had for a decade or so. It's been splashed with so much seawater that half the buttons on the face don't work. But with it I can talk with the good folks at the Pacific Seafarers Net. They plot my position daily on web sites such as Ship Track. There my family and friends can see where I am each day.
If you have at least a general class ham license and want to try to talk with me you can usually catch me on that PacSeaNet which meets daily at 0325Z on 14,300 MHz. If I'm underway, I'm usually there. It's a controlled net where they call the ships in order. That means you'd have to wait for my report to be finished and for them to call for traffic for N4UDE.
I can't surf the net with this system but I can send and receive e-mails. The rate of transmission is very, very slow so I keep the list of people who can send me emails very, very short. You have to be very special to be on that list. We're talking 300-baud here. Remember those days? Nowadays people complain if their data rate drops below 10,000,000 baud. I love broadband when I find it!
During these periods of calm the sea was glassy smooth. Something I'd never seen before.
Dead Calm. Nothing but blue.
Occasionally a puff of wind would get Galena moving… a little.
Along with the calms, I had frequent rain squalls. Almost continually I could look to windward and see rain coming toward me.
Squall coming toward me just at sunset. Time to shorten sail.
(for you non-sailors out there, that means pull down the big headsail and reef the main)
This one's going to be nasty. I can tell from the density of the rain and the pulling down of the lower clouds.
As it got closer I could make out the mist on the surface of the sea. That usually means high winds. At this range I'd have about 3-minutes to get the headsail down and reef the main. Sometimes I would actually make it. Other times I'd be at the mast when it hit me. I'd be holding on while Galena bucked and spun around. I'm pulling down-hauls and tying sail gaskets while she tries to find a compromised with the wind and waves.
Sometimes it would just be rain. Usually heavy enough to pound down the waves.
I'd look out from my cozy little home into the storm outside and wait for it to pass. It always does… eventually.
Sometimes there would be just enough wind to ripple the surface, but not fill the sails, which would just hang there filling and slating as Galena rolled.
Eventually I made it to Suvarov Island. The island came up on the horizon early one morning. Thanks to GPS it came up right off my bow.
First sight of land: Suvarov Atoll. Yep, that's it: The little hump just left of center. (S13 15.461 W163 05.95)
I had slowed Galena down to cause a morning landfall. But the tide was ebbing until about noon so I had that to deal with. I had read that the ebb current through the pass was up to three knots. They were right. A some points I was only making 1.4-kts under sail and motor. I could see the tidal rage off on the western side of the pass. But it was only about one foot high so it wasn't dangerous.
Once I was through the pass and anchored just west of Anchorage Island I had time to look around.
The island was deserted. In one way that was good: I didn't have to clear into Customs for the Cook Islands (this is one of theirs). But there was no one there to talk to or ask questions of.
Anchorage Island, Suvarov Atoll
I set the hook and went to sleep even though it was about 9AM local time. When I finally got up the first thing I noticed was the sharks. There were dozens of them under and around the boat. They were brown with black tipped fins. The were aggressive to each other and to the smaller fish under the boat. I didn't want to go for a swim here.
These guys were 3 to 5 feet long and just looked mean. Now I've been told that these are not aggressive sharks and I would have been perfectly safe to swim with them. But I was certain that I was perfectly safe on board; so on board I stayed.
The lagoon inside the atoll is about 11nm across. So I had a perfectly flat horizon. Another first. And, yeah, I sometimes get tired of the color Blue.
Flat water inside the lagoon on Suvarov Atoll
Well, I spent two nights at Suvarov. Then it was off again to tackle the final 450nm to American Samoa.
Again I had some gentle winds. But also some nice days of sailing.
Captain Bill, kicked back with his morning coffee in hand and the tiller in foot.
And, as usual I was treated to some spectacular sunsets and sunrises. Allow me to share a few of them with you.
Just a few of the sunsets at sea. They were all good.
Between Suvarov and Samoa are a couple islands called the Manu'a Islands. I passed close by Ofu Island just at sunset.
The sun set as I sailed past Ofu Island, Manu'a group
(S14 11.001 W169 36.416)
Finally, I fetched Tutuila Island, American Samoa, and the entrance to Pago Pago harbor(S14 17.707 W170 39.825).
It's spelled "Pago Pago" but it's pronounced "Pango Pango." I don't know why.
Going into the harbor was easy. But as you can see from the picture above, it was raining in there. I pulled in and followed the back side of the squall to the western end of the harbor. There I found room to anchor along with about eight other boats.
Once anchored and secured I hopped into my dinghy and rowed to shore. I walked down to the customs office which is part of the small container terminal. There I started clearing in.
You'll find customs, harbor master, port authority, and quarantine in the container terminal building. It's the building on the left as you enter the gate.
I completed the paperwork at customs and the port authority. Then I found that the quarantine office was already closed for the day. The harbor master I caught just as he was leaving his office. He said, "Welcome to Pago Pago. Let's do this tomorrow. You go have a Big Mac." Sounded OK to me.
Then the dock master asked, "Where's your boat?" I said it was anchored over at the end of the bay. He said, "You are supposed to call me and I tell you where you can anchor." oops. But he just let it go with that.
So I had my Big Mac and found that they have free, albeit slow, internet from 1400 to 2000 hrs daily. I got online and said, "Hi" to everyone on Facebook and let people know I was still alive.
While at McDonalds I met some of the cruisers anchored near me. Kim, Dan, Eric, John, Judy. All a bunch of nice folk; as one would expect.
The next morning I went back to the harbor master. There I had only to fill out a form and then carry a copy to the gate guard and another copy to a secretary in another office. Quarantine just asked about fresh fruits and pets. "No" to both.
At each office I was asked for a 'Crew List.' The crew list has been the most consistently asked-for document on this trip. Every official wants a copy or two.
Immigration was another mater. They are no longer in the same building as everyone else. I would have to walk a mile and a half up the road to get to them. "But, wait," said a customs guy, "right now they are over there at the ferry terminal checking passengers. You might be able to catch them there." So over there I went.
The immigration guy said, "Sure, no problem. Let's see your passport. Ok give us a crew list." Shit, said I. I had just given the dock master my last crew list. "Oh," said he, "just scribble it on the back of some piece of paper." So I did. Then he said, "We didn't bring our passport stamps so when you come by to check out, we'll stamp you both 'in' and 'out' at the same time." Ok by me. So I was done.
Rowing back to Galena I saw that the crew of s/v Changing Spots, Rob and Pauline were on deck so I rowed over and stopped to introduce myself. We had a nice chat and they told me where to go for this and that. Very helpful folk.
Rob even gave me the mailing address for General Delivery here. And that seems to be the big draw for Pago Pago: It's a part of the US Postal Service. As long as you specify "Express Mail" you can get anything from the states in about 10-days.
Finally I went back to Galena and started working on this blog. Then back to McDonalds to have lunch and do some 'internetting.' While on line I ordered a new autopilot. I'm having it shipped here and we'll see about that 10-day thing Rob mentioned.
The local cruiser's hang-out in Pago Pago
It's a bit sad that the cruisers here hang out at the McDonalds, of all places. I don't know that I'm comfortable with that. On the way home (form McDonalds) I stopped in at the Sadie Thompson Inn. Just because the sign said there was a bar there. I was sort of tired all ready of strawberry shakes. There I met James and Gabriele of s/v Marieann; my neighbors in the anchorage. We had a few beers and swapped stories. James suggested that the 'real' cruisers hung out at the 'other' Sadies ("Sadie's by the Sea") a mile or two up the road. It's a resort of sorts on the beach and they often have live music and a nice bar.
On Friday, 02 Dec, I was at the hangout (McD's) when Rob and Pauline dropped by. They were on their way to the big Cost-U-Less store. I decided to tag along just to find out where it was. So we hopped on a local bus and headed to the other side of the island.
The buses seem to be some sort of locally converted pickup trucks. They have a wooden frame built on a small truck chassis.
Local bus. Looks like some kind of truck conversion.
The construction pattern leaves the driver essentially sitting in a hole.
Bus Driver in his 'hole.'
And the seats are just padded wooden benches.
Rob and Pauline (s/v Changing Spots) on the bus to Cost-U-Less.
But the bus only costs $1.00. And if you're only going a short distance they'll take fifty cents. And school kids pay a quarter, I think.
On the way back I decided to stop by at Sadie's by the Sea to see what it was all about. Turned out to be pretty cool.
The bar was nice. The bartender and waitresses were friendly. The beer was reasonably priced. And I met a few guys who were in Am-Sam for a few weeks working on everything from US Government development projects to fishing boat radar systems.
Waitresses at Sadies by the Sea, Am-Samoa
While there it rained; several times. And when it rained it rained hard. It seemed every time I was about to leave, it would again start to rain. So I'd have another beer and wait for the rain to stop. When it did, well, I had to finish my beer. And by then it would start to rain again. It was a terrible cycle.
At about 1AM I walked home in a rain squall. When I finally got aboard I found that Galena had dragged about 100-ft. This was very bad news as I was now only about 40-ft from the shore. Everyone had told me that the holding here sucked. But I thought I was hooked well. Apparently not. In the morning (03 Dec) I re-anchored and then put out my secondary bow anchor. We'll see how that works.
I hesitate to deploy two bow anchors since retrieving them, should Galena drag again, is a real pain in the butt; especially when single-handing. Also, the will surely wrap around each other as Galena turns round and round in the coming days.
While I was trying to motor up to set out the second bow anchor, James came by and offered to run the anchor out in his dinghy. Afterwards we sat in Galena's cockpit telling lies while waiting to see how Galena would lie. Looks good for now.
So, I'll be here in American Samoa for a coupe of weeks and then move on to Fiji. Maybe…
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Pago Pago Update (Dec)