_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Apia, stars and South Pacific Games

We've been anchored for just over a week in Apia harbour, Independent Samoa. It's very nice here. The mud bottom is great holding and the grocery stores are not too far away. Ginger cleaned the prop and bottom as the bay is clean enough to swim here. We had a lot of growth from Pago Pago and our trip south from here should be much faster with a smooth bottom again.
We're visiting all the close tourist sites. We spent an afternoon at the Robert Louis Stevenson Museum. Still trying to figure out how he's related to my family but it's fun to hear about the interesting life of a relative however they're related. His house is majestic and the view from the top of the hill where he and his wife Fannie were buried is beautiful. I even brought home an unexpected souvenir. Everything, including the rocks on the side of the road, is being spruced up for the South
Pacific Games. I leaned on his grave and got white paint all over my rear. I took this as a message from beyond that he thought my pants were not flattering.
We attended a dance show at the local, and apparently famous, Aggie Grey's Hotel. It was a fun mix of folksy and very talented dancers. The finale before moving poolside to watch the fire dancers was a dance by the daughter of Aggie, beehive and all, who is still involved with the hotel.
There were almost 20 boats in the bay when the brand new marina was opened and ready for customers. As we'll be paying the same daily fee (as opposed to the free anchorage before Saturday) whether we're in the marina or not most boats moved into the marina. We were the 3rd boat in and the first to come to a complete stop as we hit the bottom in the channel. A couple of minutes of reverse brought us out of the mud and we had to scramble to move lines and fenders to the other side to tie at the
end of the dock. The mean low water depth for the marina is supposed to be about 8 inches lower than our keel but even small boats were encountering very shallow depths on their way into slips. The dredging for the marina was done by back hoe off a barge. We had watched them move the barge (by paddling around with the back hoe bucket) several times back into the marina to get high spots. Apparently there are still a few spots to settle out. Anyway, all settled and it turns out we have to move
as this is the one float that's not completely attached. So, by Monday morning we'll need to be re-settled in a new slip.
As far as stars, we had a beer on the boat of Captain Fatty Goodlander and his wife Caroline. He's currently writing for Cruising World, has written for Sail, author of several books and will soon have a show on NPR. We haven't seen much of him as he's been working away on writing and getting his NPR shows ready. They're here "covering" the games and it was fun to meet them and hear their stories. He's been out for 45+ years and when they lost their boat in a hurricane in the Caribbean they salvaged
another from the same storm and have been cruising on the "new" boat ever since. They're gracious hosts.
Speaking of the games, we attended the opening ceremonies of the South Pacific Games last night. There was much fanfare as dancers, choir, and athletes entertained for over 3 hours. There were even vendors selling food out of large laundry baskets. Our favorite "Tasty Treats" appeared to be bags of Pringle type potato chips. Really, with a name like that who could resist a bag or two? Of course, no island in the South Pacific is immune to shipping woes. The biggest firework show ever planned
in the Pacific and donated by China for the opening ceremonies were delayed when their ship had trouble and was diverted to New Zealand for repairs. Always flexible as islanders they will have the fireworks for the closing ceremonies. We already saw fireworks here when the marina opened on Friday night. They shot off 3 distress flares. One of the flares was shot into the middle of the anchored fleet of sailboats and landed in the water right in between the 2 anchored boats next to us. We're
glad to not be in the stadium as the fireworks are lit as we'd prefer to take our chances at sea with water rather than on land (or sea) with fire. On the subject of fire, or at least exiting the stadium, the fire chief at home would have had hissy fits over the exits for the stadium here, even though all was well with the seats and the stadium is cement and the stairways seemed wide enough. The problem is that everyone and his brother, cousin, friend seemed to have permission to take their cars
through the gate and there were wall to wall parked cars blocking the pedestrian exits from the stadium. We left way past our bed time in the middle of the speeches at 9PM. By the time we left many of the athletes had headed off the field and the bleachers were quickly emptying. Luckily we didn't have to deal with large crowds and cars at the end of the night as threading our way away from the stadium was crowded already.
Our first night in a marina since January in Mexico and we're ready to head back out to anchor ASAP. It's still and hot when you're bow doesn't face into the wind and worse, there were a few mosquitoes at anchor but they're quick and stealthy and much thicker here in the marina.



At 10:44 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing............

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