Day 323, Year 1: Sun at Last
Date: Tuesday, September 5, 2006
Weather: Rain Overnight; Mostly Sunny Today (a downpour just after sunset)
Location: Pago Pago Harbor, Tutuila Island, American Samoa

Well, the Convergence Zone didn’t move north, but it did move. It headed south and everyone on this island is thankful. We’ve seen enough rain for quite so time, so let’s just hope that CZ doesn’t decide to head back north anytime soon.

I put what will be the last coat of varnish on the Dorade boxes today. I had hoped to get 15 coats on, but with the rain and humidity, drying was sometimes slower than expected, so I’m just going to be happy with 12 coats for now. They look beautiful and maybe they will get a few more coats once we reach New Zealand.

This afternoon we took an aiga bus to a Transpac store in Nu’uli. We have been trying to find this place since just after we arrived as they sell the only really good map of the Samoan Islands. Better late than never. We now have the map and it will be very useful in independent Samoa. On our way back, we got off the bus and walked the last half mile. This was the first time I have actually walked in the village of Fagatoga and it was wonderful. We got to take some in town pictures and just enjoy the walk. My ankle is terribly swollen and doesn’t feel great when I am walking, but I am so grateful to be able to finally be a walker again that I don’t care how slow the walk or how much the pain. I know it will get better with increased use.

Tomorrow we are renting a car to make reprovisioning easier. We have invited Penny and Greg from Long Tall Sally to join us for the morning and we hope to be able to visit the star mound we missed last week, plus visit a few other sites that we have missed. On Thursday, all of us here in the anchorage have hired an aiga bus for the day to tour the island. It will be the second time for us, but we can’t wait to see the beautiful sights one more time before leaving. Friday will be refueling and cooking day, and then we will be off on Saturday. Tomorrow night we have been invited to have dinner at Micah and Faaiuga van der Ryn’s home. He hopes to sail to Upolu with us and we will make those plans tomorrow night.

We have spent a lot of time doing weather research and Saturday looks like the time to leave here. That will get us to Upolu in independent Samoa on Sunday. Once there, we will begin to prepare for the arrival of our son Justin and my niece Lynn. We so look forward to their visit, but it is going to be very hard to leave here. We have had a wonderful time, despite the weather, and have grown very fond of American Samoa. Hard as it will be, it is time to move on. There’s a lot more world out there that needs exploring.