Pago Pago, American Samoa

Typical weather for our trip as we make landfall in American Samoa:
Landfall at American Samoa

We pulled into Pago Pago in American Samoa yesterday afternoon and we are very glad to be here. Bonnie, Greg and I stayed in Savusavu for almost a week, working on boat projects, waiting for weather and getting to know the local ex pat community. I’ve never been so hot in my life as in Fiji. 90 plus degree temperatures, high humidity and frequent thunderstorms which make you keep all the hatches closed. I think in the future I’m going to have to limit my tropical experiences to the dry winter season. The whole reason that we’re delivering Willow to Hawaii now is that it’s the end of cyclone season and the trade winds aren’t developed. So on the bright side you can get some wind behind you from time to time, on the other hand you can have to deal with the heat and the possibility of getting hit by a cyclone. There’s already been 4 named cyclones since I got to Fiji three weeks ago.

Killing time in Fiji trying to make a palm frond hat. It never did quite come together:
Weaving my hat in Fiji

We saw a weather window last Monday showing 2 days of no wind, followed by a few days of northwesterlies. Perfect for our Northeasterly trip up to Samoa. In reality, the wind did it’s thing, but we had large, confused seas and frequent squalls all the way. We motored 2/3rds of the way, but did get a couple of good days of sailing in. The last day was painful. The wind shifted around to the NNE so we had to motor sail the last 100 miles against 20 knots of wind with a large sea running. It’s maddening when you can see your destination, but can’t make more than 3 or 4 knots. We ended up making landfall in the early afternoon and spent a good 3 hours trying to get checked in before COB so that we wouldn’t be stuck on the boat all weekend. A freighter had just come in and everyone was tied up. Fortunately a very friendly ships agent heard us on the radio and started making cell phone calls to all the officials and got us halfway checked in. Most of the officials never came down, but we at least had clearance to get off the boat and hit the nearest bar.

Willow moored up in Pago Pago:
Willow moored up in Pago Pago

New racing canoe that just arrived from Seattle after we pulled into the dock:
Racing Canoe

Greg and I singing some Neil Diamond at the Karaoke bar:
Greg and I singing some Neil Diamond at the Karaoke bar

Tropical Storm Lin popped up over Fiji while we were enroute which is going to be pulling some strong winds through our area. We’re certainly glad we’re not in Fiji anymore, but it looks like we’ll be here for a while waiting for things to clear out. From Samoa it’s about 1400 miles to get to Christmas Island in Kiritibati 2 degrees north of the equator. From there it shouldn’t be too hard to make the final 1000 miles up to Hawaii, but getting there is going to be a long haul. At least cyclone season is running down and we’re now right on the edge of the cyclone belt.

One Response to “Pago Pago, American Samoa”

  1. John says:

    Hi Jason, Where are you now? Its getting nice in the PNW. ~JR

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