Saturday, August 13, 2011

One Week In Tutuila

It's hard to believe I've already been here a whole week. I spent the first day and night anchored in the far western end of Pago Pago Harbor (the yacht anchorage). The next day I tied up to the public recreational boat dock which costs the same as anchoring (something like $12 per month). It's certainly convenient to be able to step right from the boat onto dry land (as opposed to having to row the dinghy ashore), particularly when moving things to or from the boat. There is a ca 50/50 mixture of cruising sailboats and commercial long-line fishing boats on the dock. A few days ago I asked the Tongan fishermen on one of the long-line boats if I could buy a tuna. They said no, then pulled out a Skipjack Tuna and gave it to me. Some of the meat I used to make poisson crue which is called Oka here. I also attempted to cook breadfruit for the first time a couple of days ago. After peeling and discarding the seeds, I cut it into one-inch cubes and boiled them. The water was discarded and replaced with coconut milk, minced garlic, salt, and pepper. Not bad.
Sean's boat
There are several cruising sailboats that have been here from several months to several years. Some of them experienced a near pass from a hurricane last year and the tsunami in September 2009. Pago Pago Harbor, being sheltered by tall mountains is known as a hurricane-hole (a harbor where one might safely seek shelter in a hurricane).
   Yesterday I hiked Matafao Peak with fellow solo-sailor Sean. It was a thoroughly enjoyable hike with a great view from the top. On the way down we intentionally diverted from the trail. After bushwacking for an hour or so we found a creek which we followed down, encountering 6 or 7 waterfalls with swimming holes (which we made use of). I think it was Nu'uuli Falls we found. Sean is roughing it more than most and his 27 foot boat is powered only by wind and sun.
Some photos from Tutuila (the main island where most of the 60-some thousand people in American Samoa live).

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