Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Apia, Western Samoa

We had a nice slow 5 day trip from Suwarrow to Apia.  Samoa, not to be confused with American Samoa, used to be called Western Samoa.  It was a German Colony until after WWII when it was put under the administration of New Zealand.

We must stay in the Apia Marina, which is actually pretty nice and at $20/day, is a pretty good deal.  The only problem for us is that our battery charger won't accept 50 cycle power.  We arrived with WENDY ELLEN and PLAYER.  MAZU, MOONDANCER, and MAHILI, all boats we had been with in Suwarrow, were already here.

This is a funny Time Zone.  We didn't change our clocks, we just changed the date.  So it is a day later here to correspond with the date of New Zealand but it is later here than anywhere else in the world.  They say "Time Begins Here".

 Clearing in went well.  All the officials came to the boat and were very friendly.  Actually, these
Samoans are incredibly friendly people.  We are also back to the land of reasonable prices.  $2
pints at Happy Hour and $9 Pizzas.

We went exploring town with Zach, Suzie, Anna, and Ronan, from WENDY ELLEN and ended up finding out about a free tour at the Cultural Center.  Usually these things are contrived tourist events.  What a surprise! We learned about Samoan traditional cooking, dance, woodwork, and artistry.  Booker bought a haandmade turtle print Tapa.  The Tapa is made from the Paper Mulberry tree and was used for everything from art to clothing.

We found a great Indian Curry House and the 'Market'.  We stocked up on supplies and I bought some
Kava powder.  Kava is a drink made from the crushed root of the Kava plant.  It is actually called
Ava here in Samoa but is used throughout the western South Pacific islands to drink at ritual get
togethers in the villages.  It has an analgesic and numbing effect but tastes like dirty dishwater.

The entire country shuts down on Sundays and is reserved for church and family time.  We had a
cruiser get together on TORTUGUITA for a Kava drinking ceremony.  Zach lived in Fiji on a small
island for 3 years and explained the whole Kava thing while we passed the coconut cup.  We had to
call it quits when the rain became torrential.

We rented a car with the WENDY ELLEN's and spent a day driving around the island.  It rained that
day too.  We saw waterfalls everywhere.  The island is about the size of Oahu but only about 2000
feet high.  We saw the normal tourist attractions.  It had to be done.
It's kind of funny but there is an ice cream shop by the marina that has a Fire Dance show and live
music every Tuesday night.  We filled a table for 20 with us marina dwellers.

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