American Samoa

NOAA Excuses

by Jessi March 18, 2015

As newly minted gentlepeople of leisure, Dane and I were ravenous about attacking a whole island full of expedition opportunities. I busted out the South Pacific guidebook again, 5 months later, aired out the boat stink from it and found a description of a hike to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, pronounced “Noah”) air testing station in Tula at the eastern end of the island of Tutuila here in American Samoa. Supposedly, the air at Cape Matatula is some of the cleanest in the world, as far as carbon dioxide parts per million. Amazing considering that the tuna […]

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First Sail!

by Jessi March 9, 2015

Yes, we’re still in American Samoa. No, I don’t want to talk about it. What I do want to talk about: Dane’s first sail in a year! Doesn’t he look spiffy? He spent a while finding all the parts and reconditioning the boom, but our dinghy sails just fine when there’s a breeze and there was a good one yesterday morning, off and on. Now that we’ve got a little time to ourselves as we wait for some cyclones to get out of our way to Tonga, we’re going to enjoy our time here more. We’re intending on spending the […]

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The Kiwi Public Transportation Tour of 2014

by Jessi December 22, 2014

When the weather and our general lagging prevented Dane and I from sailing to Tonga in time for me to catch my flight to New Zealand from there, my family and I were unsure if I’d even make it to see them after they’d come literally halfway across the world almost just to see me. I say “almost” because, sure, it’s great seeing family you haven’t seen in several months, but with the bonus of checking out a new country. Regardless, we (actually my brother, the transportational planning genius) made it happen with much finagling with airlines. The flight required […]

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Contradictions – A Rant

by Jessi November 13, 2014

My sweet tentacly god, this place is schizophrenic. American Samoa is at once a vibrant and depressed country: where the residents are fiercely proud of their Samoan identity and culture, while also having become one of the biggest welfare states in America. A place where you can get a dental checkup and a filling, along with almost any other routine doctor’s visit for $15 total, but where the local McDonald’s has an “after school special” of a “Baby Mac” for $2 and where there aren’t even any McfreakingSalads for a little bit of roughage to go along with your meat(?) […]

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Tonga Bound!

by Jessi October 31, 2014

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 […]

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