Day 315, Year 1: A Search for the Past
Date: Monday, August 28, 2006
Weather: Rainy and Windy Early Morning, Sunny Afternoon
Location: Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Today nothing turned out quite as predicted. The weather was to remain stormy all day today, but late morning the sun came out and stayed that way the rest of the day. The winds also died down, so it was a very pleasant day. We were supposed to visit a star mound today, but the guide at the Historic Preservation Office (HPO) assumed we would have our own transportation. We went there on the bus, but in order to visit the star mound, we must rent a vehicle and be able to transport ourselves there. So, we had good weather and no way to visit the star mound today. What to do? We decided to go to the American Samoa Community College to check with the Department of Samoa-Pacific Studies about the video tapes from the past that Mark has been seeking. We had been told at the HPO that copies of at least one tape Mark has been looking for definitely existed at the Community College. So off we went.

The aiga bus dropped us off at the college and Mark walked about to find the right office. He found the Samoan-Pacific Studies building and inside he met the head of the department, Mika. Mika is married to a Samoan and has lived here about eight years. He sailed here when he was very young, and ended up coming back. He did have VHS copies of the Mary Pritchard film. Mary was an older woman when Mark was here, and she was about the only woman on the island still making traditional siapa (tapa) cloth. The 30-minute video tape was produced at the time Mark was here in the 1960’s and in this program Mary explains the traditional ways of making this cloth. Mark was elated to find a copy and Mika was kind enough to make a DVD copy for us. Since the copy had to be done in real time, we watched the program as it was copied. I was fascinated with her explanations of how this cloth is made. But this was not the program Mark worked on.

As exciting as it was to find this tape, we still need to search for a film Mark helped shoot while he was here. It was made into a program explaining the use of educational television here in the 1960’s. One day soon we will continue our search for the past at the Archives Office.

We stopped by the hospital on the way home to pick up my leg x-rays, but they were not ready for pick-up. I guess we will have to make another trip there to pick them up. We got back to the boat at about 3:30 and soon after got a call from the boat Long Tall Sally inviting us over for sundowners. Penny and Greg have a Tayana 55, making our Tayana 42 look like a baby. But that’s okay as we have less maintenance! We had a great visit and made plans for some island explorations.

Two new boats came into the anchorage today. Jonah on Araby arrived, as well as the sailing vessel ALK. We have not met the folks on ALK, but we did spend a great evening with Jonah on Araby in Comptroller’s Bay, Nuka Hiva, in the Marquesas. We are anxious to visit with him once again.

Tomorrow Mark, and Greg from Long Tall Sally, are going into town fairly early. Mark will try once again to pick up my x-rays and Greg will be search for the office where he can get some radio repair work done. I will spend the morning on the boat continuing my daily varnishing and spend any extra time getting American Samoa pictures labeled and ready for the website. My leg got quite a workout today, so it will be good to have a morning on the boat with no walking. I’m still not able to put full weight on my leg when walking, but I do at least let the healing leg touch the ground each time I take a step. What an effort this takes!