Day 329, Year 1: First Day Ashore in Apia
Date: Monday, September 11, 2006
Weather: Another Beautiful, Sunny Day with Rain Showers Here and There
Location: Apia Harbor, Upolu Island, Samoa

We went ashore early today to check in and to get our first view of Apia. It is very, very different from being in American Samoa. In Pago Pago, we could hop ashore and get an aiga bus to take us anywhere. Here, we had to get a taxi to take us into town, and town is more of a city than I was expecting. It is a little like Papeete in Tahiti. Lots of shops, modern buildings – some six to eight stories high – mixed with the old with little attention to how the architecture matches, and sidewalk cafes and bars. The people here dress much more conservatively than they did in American Samoa, much more formal. But I’m sure once we get out into the countryside we will see another side of life here.

Check in here was easy but it did require that we visit Customs in the harbor area and then take a taxi across town to Immigration. I decided, however, that I wanted to walk back from Immigration and see the town. It was a long walk but I made it just fine except for a couple of blisters. I wore a different pair of sandals today, struggling to find something that will support my right foot (the broken leg), but I obviously made the wrong choice. We searched for a machine shop where we could get our broken gooseneck from the boom repaired, but we had no luck. We stopped by car rental agencies and internet cafes along the way to check prices and facilities. We got back to the boat, had a late lunch, and then I noticed a dinghy floating through the anchorage. Mark headed out to retrieve the dinghy before it hit the reef. When he got it, he saw that it belonged to the boat Splashes that we had met in Pago Pago. Now, this is where fate enters the picture. He returned the dinghy and found out that Splashes has the except same gooseneck attachment on their boom as we do, AND that they found their gooseneck broken when they arrived in this harbor. They have been here a couple of weeks now, and have done all of the research to find a new gooseneck. Unbelievable. All Mark had to do was go to the closest internet café and get online using the info from Splashes. Tomorrow we will order the broken part and it should be here within a week. I guess being a good Samaritan and retrieving lost dinghies pays off!

Patrick and Margaret from Aqua Magic are coming over for sundowners in a few minutes and then we are going ashore for dinner. Evidently Aqua Magic has had a string of bad luck since we saw them last, so we will catch up on that when we get together.

060911 Day 329 Samoa–Ashore in Apia