Hi folks! It’s been a little over a week for me, and a little over a month for Dane here in American Samoa this year. Dane came back a little early to make sure Cadence was nice and clean for my arrival. Luckily, though the boat had an infestation of spiders, and some mold, she was all intact and nothing majorly needed to be fixed. He had to sleep on a sail for a night before laundry was done and everything was bleached to hell, but he seems fine now, except for those uncontrollable facial tics.
Since I’ve been here, Dane and I have mostly been feeling things out, getting a lay of the shopping land for when we start restocking the boat for our trip to New Zealand or other parts still to be determined. We’ve been enjoying the local McDonald’s, which has the most reliable wifi internet access, so we go about least once a day and try to limit our french fry intake to once every other day or so. The grocery stores here are small and numerous, each one having maybe one random thing that the one next door doesn’t. Say, one store will have canned chili, while the other will only have canned beans. It’s a whole different ball game. At least eggs are never a problem, as they were in French Polynesia, though lettuce and fresh veggies just might be outlawed here, until the container ships come in, of course. Then there’s yogurt and fresh plums and full-size Costco cakes. The home goods stores are often incorporated into the small grocery stores, but when they’re not, they’re similarly catch as catch can. I’m sure everything is coated in a fine layer of Chinese lead. I can’t speak to the selection at the more tool-y stores, but I’m guessing it’s much the same.
We’ve also taken some time to be tourists, visiting the National Park office here and meeting the super friendly ranger, Pua. We also went on a hike on my first Saturday here to check out the WWII guns along the Blunt’s Point Trail. Our weekly cruiser splurge is $1 Taco Night at Evelani’s, a local hotel, Mexican restaurant and self-proclaimed cabaret ruled over by Evelani herself, a 70’s era Vegas showgirl who came home. Those tacos are really great and the disco lights in the empty bar really adds to the ambiance.
I’ve got so much more to say, but I’ll save it for a more dedicated post. Right now, I just want to make sure you folks know that we’re still alive (no Big Mac heart attacks yet, though that may have happened to a harbor resident a few days before I arrived; dead on his boat for 3 days before anyone found him) and we’re stoked about getting ready to go on to Vava’u in Tonga as soon as Cadence gets ready and hopefully we get our packages that I mailed a week before I left. Unfortunately, I mailed them cheaply, which means they might be on a boat, instead of a plane. A BOAT FROM NORTH AMERICA. It could take another month. We’ve also got a bunch to do on the boat, which includes Dane diving in the toxic Pago Pago harbor so that he can clean the living colonies off Cadence’s tushy. He’s also been working steadily on replacing the vintage winches with 20th century versions. Yeah, still not fully updated, but self-tailing, which is better than what they were.
I’ll leave you with a little non-denominational prayer request. Please, for the love of all that is good, give us some solid mailing juju, as we could really use those packages I so erroneously mailed. We would really, really appreciate any good vibes you could send our way. In return, here’s a picture of one of the cute, mangy dogs which are constantly begging for food when you’re sitting on a wall eating your mid-afternoon pork bun. Everyone loves dogs!