Posted by: powellpjc | November 27, 2010

More Hangin’ around, Samoa Style.


Just when I thought I’d fixed all the broken parts, my fresh water pump gave up the ghost. On the phone right away. With a Canadian bank-issued credit card one is not allowed (often) to order goods from the USA and have them shipped to an address different than the credit card address. This is a problem and I’m not sure whose. Ok, mine. Someone else’s too.

So I ordered by phone from San Diego. I knew I wouldn’t be able to find such a pump here in American Samoa. Until I did a walkabout the next day and found the exact pump (6 of them) sitting on the shelf of a Korean fish boat supply store. Too late for me. So now I sit and wait for the USMail. Should be here this weekend.

So, some stuff on Samoa, American style. This island is classified as a ‘Colony’ under the UN listings but most people think of it as some sort of American quasi-state, like Puerto Rico. The folks here have American citizenship and the usual rights. Many of their better students attend college in the US.

There seems to be a lot of religiosity in these parts. More churches per village than I’ve ever seen. The missionaries must have dug right in. There is a loose curfew imposed by each village. The bell is rung every evening about sunset and the families by tradition are called home for a half hour of prayer.

Someone bangs on this with a steel pipe.

The next gong at 9pm calls the youngsters to bed and the adults get their gong at 10:30. Makes sense. In these tropical climes it’s hard to get interested in much after the sun goes down.

The tuna canning plant here is the Starkist ‘Charlie the Tuna’ outfit. The boats that catch he fish are purse-seiners and they range far and wide for the yellow fin tuna. Some boats use a light helicopter for scouting and then for setting the net. The skipper goes up in the chopper and guides his helmsman in negotiating the ship’s movements to encircle the fish. Many ships set out the ’Fish Accumulation Device–FAD’ to increase their catch. These are floating artificial reefs of rope, old tires, wood and other junk often with a locater beacon sending out a secret code. Big business.

The most popular bird is the mynah. Not a native species but everywhere in town. But they don’t speak. Not like my dad’s mynah did.

Another quite numerous flyer is the fruit bat or flying fox. Very large-maybe a 5 foot wingspan and mostly silent, they take to the air come evening and go about eating whatever it is that they eat.

Big wings for such skinny little arms. The fruit bat/Flying fox on the wing.


I hope they eat mosquitos.

The fruit bat spends a lot of time just hangin' around. Like me.


I’ve been here a month and that’s enough. I say that about every place it seems. Maybe I’m just a wanderer. No kidding.



  1. Nice shot of the bat! Safe travels.

  2. Pedro

    Ah what fun to go down to the sea in ships!
    I can relate to all the problems you are having, but the AIS!? That was the great saviour for the helmsman at night! Glad I got to use it.
    Sustained some meniscus damage to left knee and will have an arthroscopy in January and until then I am hors de combat.
    Sail on buddy, I would like to come and visit if you can be reached. Let me know.
    I am off the hill for at least a month.


  3. Hey Pete,
    Marty here.. great blog.. thought the pic of the fruit bat was a kite at first. Very jealous..p.s. still single.. sorta..just gimme the word baby!

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