Posted by: powellpjc | November 7, 2010

Cooling my heels, Samoan style.

The natural, deep water harbour of Pago Pago. Pronounced, Pongo Pongo, for some reason.

I’ve ordered a new starter/solenoid combination for my Yanmar diesel; an electronic chart for the Philippines and Indonesia; stabilizing solution for my watermaker and my son Charlie has mailed me a new ‘notebook’ type computer. The USPost office operates here so all I have to do now is wait. I’ve done the few jobs required so it’s easy street once again.

A couple of tuna boats and others in Pago Pago.

Went for a hike up the mountain the other day. Blistering hot for a guy from Thunder Bay but lovely in all other respects. Had the National Park trail all to myself and spent 6 hours doing the traverse. No bears, no scorpions, no wasps and no mosquitos. Tiny Komodo dragons the only danger. Ok, geckos.

A dragon on the trail.

It was 4 pm when I reached the beach on the other side of the island and no buses around. I flopped in the shade for a half an hour until the first vehicle came along, stuck out my thumb and got a ride back. In the back of a pickup and the road has spectacular sights.

A view of the harbour from the mountain top.

The buses are normal cars and pickup trucks that have had their roofs hacked off, the chassis beefed up and a 2×4 framed passenger compartment added on. Most destinations on American Samoa cost $1. One raps on the woodwork when one wants off.

A Pago Pago bus.

Get on anywhere, get off anywhere. $1.00


The Samoan folk have their own language but they all speak English as well. Very friendly and Pacific.

In case you wondered what a Samoan wears under his lavalava.

There is no apparent tourist industry alive here. The Starkist tuna plant and the island/US government provide most of the employment. No protecting reef and no much in the way of safe swimming areas that I have seen. Good wifi and a hell of a lot of churchs.

The Catholic church is tucked away.

But this one isn't.

This boat came from far away but it's not going back. Not going anywhere, I think.

The cruising fleet at anchor.

A tuna boat makes for the cannery.

When I’ve received all my parcels I’ll head over to Western Samoa (80 miles away). It’s bigger and not part of the US system. Time is running short (hurricanes a’comin) so I’ll head north towards the equator early December. I think Canton Atoll, part of Kiribati would be nice for Christmas.



  1. Yoh Pink

    Glad Ta hear the boys made it. I checked out your Christmas stay ” Kiribati is expected to be the first country in which all land territory disappears due to global warming” Better get there soon myself. Take care out there.


  2. I want one of those buses! And on an unrelated note, had me a root canal the other day…

  3. Request for permission:
    I am a illustrator at the University of Hawaii. I’d like permission to use a photo from Nov 7 2010, of tuna boats. It is for a University, non-profit, brochure and will be used to illustrate a paragraph about NOAA information. We would be happy to give a photo credit. Please let me know.
    Sincerely, Nancy Hulbirt

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