Day 324, Year 1: Happy Third Anniversary to Our First Born
Date: Wednesday, September 6, 2006
Weather: Beautiful, Sunny Day with No Rain
Location: Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Just three short years ago our daughter Heather was married to Jed Goldstone. Their wedding day was magical and each year on this day we celebrate with them across the miles. Happy anniversary to you, Heather and Jed. We love you both so much and are so thankful that we have been blessed with such wonderful children.

Today was a rental car day, and we, along with Penny and Greg from Long Tall Sally, started our combination shopping/sightseeing day at the Post Office. Not a very exciting start, especially when we realized that the rental car had a tire that was almost flat. I stayed at the PO to check on the arrival of a package that did not arrive, while Mark, Penny, and Greg went back to get a different rental car. Once we got that settled, we continued with our shopping mission. We stopped at a store called F.L.Y. to buy whole wheat flour. We then went on to the airport to check out the shops there for local souvenirs, but we struck out on that one. The next stop was Cost-U-Less which is like our Sam’s Club back home. We bought enough to totally fill the back of the car, had lunch at a restaurant close-by, and then did some exploring of the south shore of the island where the black volcanic rock formations cause blow holes. We did get a tour of the star mound in Tafuna, but it was not nearly as interesting as the maraes in French Polynesia. Samoans evidently built these rock mounds primarily to catch pigeons as a sport. As our guide pointed out, we build huge stadiums these days to watch people run around with a pigskin, so we shouldn’t think it so strange that people would build these huge rock formations just for sport. I guess he is right.

We brought Penny and Greg and all of the groceries back to the anchorage before going to dinner. On the way to the harbor, we stopped to take a picture of our “favorite” road sign here in Samoa. Adjacent to each high school, the following is printed on huge signs. The words in upper-case are printed in bright red. What a happy message!

SURGEON GENERAL’S WARNING
SEX
at an early age may result in UNFULFILLED
dreams, INCURABLE diseases and a BABY
that wakes you up at 2 am EVERY morning.

We ended our day today in the home of Micah and Faaiuga van der Ryn. They, too, have three wonderful children. I have some children’s books onboard and took a few to Jacob, Joshua, and Patricia. Patricia is not quite two years old and wasn’t all that enthralled with books about fish and turtles, but Jacob and Joshua were quite interested. I took one book about how to draw bugs and Jacob spent the entire evening doing quite a credible job of drawing every bug in the book. Faaiuga had prepared some traditional foods for dinner with my favorite being the leaves of a type of hibiscus tree cooked with coconut cream and onions. She also had a fantastic lettuce salad and a homemade pizza. My favorite was the vegetarian pizza with all sorts of veggies and pineapple. It was delicious.

We are still trying to work out the details of getting Micah to sail with us to Apia. He has to be added to our crew list and then have a way of getting off the crew list once we are in a different country. Apia is Samoa, but not American Samoa, and we think he has to purchase his plane ticket home before we leave here in order to legally enter the country there. Hopefully we’ll figure this out and he will be able to sail with us on Saturday. At least at this point, we have set Saturday as our departure day.

060906 Day 324 American Samoa–Tafuna Area and Community College
Day 325, Year 1: There’s A Moon Out Tonight . . .
Day 323, Year 1: Sun at Last