I’ve given you a few of my thoughts about life in American Samoa, but I have yet to actually tell you about what the eff we’re doing here. You know, the practical stuff that actually matters. The plan when we got here, Dane 2 months ago and me 1 month ago, was to get the boat ready, sail to Tonga (about 300 miles south), spend a month in Tonga, then sail to New Zealand in November/December so I can start my working holiday visa and Dane can get the boat fixed up and ready to sell. Well, Pago Pago has a way of sucking you in. We’d spend a day working on the boat, or talking with and helping other folks out, some time on the internet at McDonald’s and some leisure time in the evenings, usually. Also, a few days we’ve spent being tourists, doing hikes or going on driving tours around the island, because you can’t work all the time. All that stuff, added to the amazing amount of actual time it takes to get things done here on the dinghy/bus commute to town, the unexpected snags that are hit in repairs when a trip to the store is needed (or the schmoozing so you can borrow the tool from someone else) and the constant unreliability of the outboard motor on the dinghy means that we’ve been saying we’re leaving in 2 weeks for a month now.
We’ve effectively lost our ideal weather window to get to New Zealand this year (and still spend the amount of time we want to in Tonga), but we’re pretty ok with that, as that means we get to spend the hurricane season in Tonga, which sounds absolutely wonderful. Everyone we’ve met has talked it up big time, with the one caveat that it’s much harder to get convenient provisions or deliveries there. It’s the kind of place that will have a load of onions come in on the delivery ship, so everyone rushes out to get them because you might not see them again for another month or two. Oh, and the internet is similarly even less easy than it already is here in American Samoa. I think I can deal with that in exchange for the ability to actually swim in the water, the amazing snorkeling (me) and diving (Dane) and the beaches I can walk for miles and miles. Dane and I are looking forward to our honeymoon, getting to do the lovely and lazy things we’ve been craving.
But right now, it’s serious crunch time. As I write this at 9:45pm Tuesday evening, Dane is outside in the cockpit with the contents of the lockers strewn everywhere so he can drill and lash down the batteries so they don’t go flying around down below spraying battery acid when we’re sailing. Tomorrow, it’ll be cleaning out the bilge and maybe diving in the harbor to clean Cadence’s dirty, dirty bottom. My dad and brother are coming to New Zealand and maybe Tonga at the end of November to visit us, and we’ve got to get down to Tonga before then! Now that the stress of waiting for our packages has dissipated, we’re hoping the weather will hold out and that we can leave Pago Pago in the dust for some bluer pastures soon.