Monday, September 17, 2012

Near miss

Very strong williwaws have been blowing since our calm arrival in American Samoa but our anchor has been holding strong. Unfortunately, another boat dragged when it was unattended. It was almost upon Sea Turtle's bowsprit (we were ashore and unaware) when the owners returned and quickly boarded and re-anchored their boat. A happy ending for all concerned. Whew!

A traditional and very popular form of dress in American Samoa for both men and women is the lava-lava which is a wraparound skirt that is secured with an overhand knot in front. Bright patterns are for daily wear and solid colours are always worn in church. This skirt suits their body frames quite well as a very high percentage are on the rather rotund side. Perhaps this is due to the American influence of all the Pizza Huts, McDonald's, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Carl's Jr., etc. The following is worn for school, without the knotted front.

2 dudes ready for school

It is election time here, just as back in the USA. Signs are everywhere showing the candidates running for Governor, etc. I bet the USA candidates' signs are much different than here:

Complete with leis!

There are many, many, many churches on Tutuila Island. Did I say many? A strange custom, in our view, is to bury their deceased in their front yards, sometimes with large elaborate cement plots. It is also popular to have a structure, called a fale, similar to our gazebos in their front yards for parties and such.

We sensed that the economy is down and evidenced by the lack of new construction, dilapidated buildings, and signs indicating food stamps are accepted. This Island of Tutuila is obviously less affluent.

We had been hoping to do a few boat errands while here and thought that as American Samoa is a territory of the USA and as it is a marine-based industrial harbour, there would be some marine stores with available supplies, but there was not a single one on the island!

Our plan was to leave American Samoa today but when checking the weather, the winds were too intense. But we will do an overnight passage tomorrow evening towards (Western) Samoa...

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