American Samoa

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Goat Island Point & Utulei, Pago Pago, Island of Tutuila, American SamoaOct 8, 2010 – Friday – Pago Pago, American Samoa – I set my alarm this morning, so I can see and photograph our arrival in Pago Pago. The island of Tutuila is strikingly beautiful, with tall craggy mountains covered in vegetation. The channel into Pago Pago harbour is narrow, and the harbour itself is quite small, however there was a cruise ship docked ahead of us – the Sapphire Princess. She is huge compared with Volendam. Needless to say, it is pure bedlam in the little town with two cruise ships in port at once.

Looking at the Sapphire Princess from Volendam's Sport Deck, Pago Pago, American SamoaI go ashore for an hour in the morning. Once I find the post office and mail my postcards, I wander up to the Governor’s Mansion.  The guards chase me out of there, so I return to the ship, since it is so hot and humid. I am glad to return to the comfort of the ship, and immediately go for a swim in the pool. There are some tropical downpours while I am swimming.

There are some Samoan visitors to the ship today. They all have cameras and are taking photos of themselves, so I volunteer to take their photos so everyone could get into the shots. As we depart the very pretty harbour of Pago Pago, I take sequential photos in order to build a time lapse video of our departure.

Click on the little four segment symbol near the bottom right corner of the video window
to enlarge this video to high definition size on your computer monitor.

I go to the show lounge this evening to see “Black Tie”, an Australian music and stand-up comedy show. It wasn’t bad, but appeals more to the older folks. Afterward, Donna calls me to say the view from the Sky Deck is superb. I observe the Large Magellenic Cloud and the Tarantula Nebula, as well as the Small Magellenic Cloud and 47 Tucanae using my image-stabilized Canon binoculars. It was my first time viewing the LMC and Tarantula. It is a lovely warm tropical night, and the strong winds are gone.

Lunch with The Star Lady & friendsOct 10, 2010 – Sunday – Volendam at sea, enroute American Samoa to Fiji – We lost Saturday, Oct 9th last night as we crossed the International Date Line. This morning we pass by Niuafo'ou, an island in Tonga. It is a volcanic island which most recently in 1946 forced evacuation of its inhabitants. We sail quite close to the shore – perhaps within five miles - so I take some photos. We have lunch with Donna and Dan in the Rotterdam Dining Room. She passes out “star” glasses, which we all don and then ask the waiter take our photo (much to his chagrin). We think it is funny!
 

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