Day 344, Year 1: Decision Time
Date: Tuesday, September 26, 2006
Weather: Another Absolutely Beautiful Day Ending with Rain
Location: Apia Harbor, Upolu Island, Samoa

Today was a gorgeous day, but I had to enjoy it from the cockpit of Windbird. I promised myself that as soon as Lynn and Justin left, I would get back to work on organizing and naming photos to send to the website. It is a long and arduous process, and even after I send them, someone in India has to retype the name for each photo. We have had many delays in the past couple of months, but hopefully before we leave here I will at least have all the photos sent and some of the past folders posted on the site. Of course, I think that before we leave every port, and somehow the job never gets done. We shall see if my determination wins this time.

As I sat in the cockpit naming pictures today, I had to look up some names of places in the Lonely Planet guide that I use. Lynn took my old one and left me with her new one that also includes Tonga. This 2006 version has some references that my 2003 guide did not have. One reference that thrilled me when I read it was about our friend Micah back in American Samoa. He told us about a film he had done about the art of tatau or tattoo, but we didn’t know that it is a film of some acclaim. In the Lonely Planet guide it says, “The intricate protocol and burning agony of Samoan tattooing is caught on two documentary films-Micah Van der Ryn’s excellent Tatau: What One Must Do and Skin Stories produced by PIC (Hawai’i) and KPBS (San Diego).” Way to go, Micah. I also forgot to mention in yesterday’s log that Micah’s wife, Fa’aiuga is here on Upolu visiting family. Micah e-mailed this and the fact that Fa’aiuga had seen us in our rental car last Wednesday in her sister’s village of Fusi. Mark called her yesterday and had a great conversation. Unfortunately, she was leaving today and would not be coming to Apia, so we didn’t get to see her. But just the contact made me realize just how small this world can be.

Today while I was working on photos, Mark was working on itinerary planning. We do have to make a decision about where we go next and just how many more stops we will make before heading south to New Zealand. There are all sorts of things to consider. Should we head to New Zealand in October when there is still a chance of southern winter storms? Or should we leave in November when the winter storms are over, but when there is chance of an early cyclone? And should we leave from Tonga or Fiji? And if we decide to leave from Fiji, should we visit Tonga first and be a little rushed, or should we head directly from here to Fiji? And wherever we are going, when should we leave here? We wrestled with this all day and invited Doug and Sylvie over in the late afternoon to discuss the possibilities with them. We know they are having to make the same decisions, so we thought maybe four heads would be better than our two. We had great discussions, but none of us made a final decision.

Lynn and Justin will arrive in Boston early tomorrow morning east coast time and sometime just after midnight our time. I will be anxious to hear from them and know they had a safe journey home. It’s a little lonely aboard Windbird without them, but the push to get ready to move one will keep us plenty busy for the next couple of days.

Sylvie, Doug, Mark, and I headed into shore for dinner after our itinerary discussions. We met up with Arnie, Cam, and crew from Jade and had dinner together. It is always good to get together with other cruisers, and we really enjoyed the evening.

We still have no set decision about where we will go when we leave here, but a decision should be made soon.

Day 345, Year 1: Shop ‘til You Drop
Day 343, Year 1: Saying Goodbye to Justin and Lynn