Thursday, August 11, 2011

At first glance...

I forgot to tell everyone that we caught our first Wahoo on the
way into American Samoa...delicious!
We've only been here three days and at first glance, we think American Samoa is a great place.  But before I get into that, there is one major drawback that took us two days to finally experience.  There is a Starkist Tuna Cannery right here in the bay.  We had heard the stench could get unbearable but the first few days we didn't smell anything.  Then the night before last, Andy was woken up by a horrible smell.  He actually tried to blame my breath on his discomfort...but it wasn't me.  Charlie the tuna was hard at work.  Imagine opening a tuna can and leaving it in your garbage for about 3 days.  Then put it in front of a fan and blow it in your face at a constant pace for about 20 minutes.  It happens on and off throughout the day (and night) with no apparent schedule.  All of that said, it doesn't hold a candle to the raw sewage we smelled in Santa Rosalia last year in 90 degree heat with no wind.

This is a rather conservative bus, but you get the idea.
Aside from the smell, the island is beautiful and we haven't really gotten to the "pretty" part yet.  The people here are some of the nicest we've come across yet.  They're eager to help out any way they can, with the buses even going out of their way to deliver people right to the front door of their destination.  For $1-$2, you can go anywhere the roads will take you on the rather unique bus system.  They make these buses here on the island and I think they're a trip.  They start with flatbed trucks and build them up from there.  The result is a funny looking school bus type thing painted in radical colors and decorated with anything from fabric to feather boas.  The driver is sitting down rather low as they've built the floor to the bus about shoulder height from the driver.  They play loud music and sometimes show videos.  But they drive well and give friendly little horn honks to their fellow drivers and friends.  We try to get on a bus at least once a day.

The grocery prices are comparable to the U.S....a little more expensive than the mainland, but not as much as Hawaii (and there's no sales tax).  The Cost U Less here is similar to the Cost & Co. in Tahiti in that it sells Costco stuff, but it is much bigger.  Almost as big as a regular Costco.  The veggies are still slim pickings but we have plenty of choices of bok choy, green beans, eggplant and bananas.  We've only eaten out at the fast food joints so far as we took a vote and that was the family, I can tell you the Carl's Jr. is fantastic (better than the States) and the McDonalds did not disappoint either.  The cool thing is that they actually serve you in both of these places and if you want a drink refill or more ketchup, they'll bring it right to you.

Our check in here was a little lengthy due to the number of offices you have to go to, but painless none the less.  You have to go to the Harbor Master in the boat yard as well as Agriculture and Customs (in the same building).  Then you have to walk a 1/2 mile or so to Immigration.  All in all, it probably took us 2 hours...not bad.  And you don't have to pay until you leave.  Although this one leaves us baffled as we're American and it seems pretty sketchy to have to pay, but it's an island and those are their rules and well, frankly, I don't care...they have to make their money somehow.

Today I ventured out to the laundry mat and finally washed our sheets.  They had 36 machines and 42 dryers.  I washed 2 loads for $5.  I was in heaven.  And it's all within walking distance of landing our dinghy.

Jake and a local boy, playing on the dance floor of the Mexican
Tonight we went to a local Mexican restaurant...I know, I know....but it wasn't that bad.  Evalina's....  Jake made a friend and about 4 boats enjoyed some good company and food, if not a very quick meal.

Not sure what is on the agenda for tomorrow, but a lot of boats have pulled in the last few days so I anticipate something social going on soon.


Brad said...

That Wahoo (aka ono in HI) is one tasty fish! If you catch another one let me know, I'll fly down for dinner and bring the wine. Oh, sorry, I just invited myself to dinner.

The Crew of Savannah said...

You're welcome to dinner anytime Brad! Especially if you bring the wine!

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