Got up at 6:30am and got ready to head to the ferry after waking Poy up to drive us there. We were told to be there by 7:30am at the very latest so we had chance to clear immigration before boarding the ferry due to depart at 9am, so we arrived at 7:15am thinking we were running late already but when we arrived everyone was also sat waiting for immigration to open. By 8:30am everything was still closed and this is when most of the locals started showing up clearly more aware obviously than us dumb ‘palangis’ that we are on island time and there is no way the ferry will leave on time. So of course we just sat and waited.
At around 9am immigration finally opened and some security officer started to announce things in Samoan which we kind of understood meant that just some V.I.P.s could start boarding now, not exactly sure who they were but they looked important anyway. So Chris and I, as well as 2 American friends we got talking to, Carl and C.J, decided to use our ‘palangi’ ignorance to our advantage for once and proceeded to board as well, even though no one else was moving forward. So with big friendly smiles, we cleared straight through without any fuss and managed to grab the best seats on the ferry before the masses came onto the ferry.
Haha. The reason as to why the ferry was so busy, as it was packed, is because it is the first ferry operating since the independence and many people from American Samoa came over to celebrate as well, so we were lucky to skip the queues. The ferry finally left at 10:30am bound for American Samoa and OMG it was such a horrible journey! The sea was so rough many Samoans were green within the first hour and it wasn’t long before the whole ferry smelt of vomit and even Chris and I felt really rough, which is not something we are familiar with when on boats,
so Carl kindly gave us some of his sickness tablets which helped a lot but didn’t cure us unfortunately. At one point in the journey maybe just under ½ way the boat hit a big wave and then thumped back down with a bang which sent off one of the emergency flares emitting continuous fluorescent orange smoke, which we thought was pretty awesome and we were half expecting some emergency helicopters to come to our rescue, even though we weren’t in any danger, but thought it might be cool to see. But we soon got sent inside until the flare stopped by some deck hands as the smoke is apparently dangerous to inhale so our excitement soon ended.
Mum told us that Venus was due to cross the sun at 2:30-3pm this afternoon and although it would’ve been interesting to see, it was really cloudy outside and walking was a right mission on this ferry as was trying to stand still, so after a weak attempt I soon gave up and sat back down. Suppose I’ll have to wait another 100 or so years until I get to see it again. Finally after 8 hours of hell on the ferry we arrived in Pago Pago- the capitol of American Samoa and we were all delighted; cleared immigration as quickly as possible and stood chatting once again to Carl and his son.
We met their family briefly and Carl’s Mum shared some oranges and papaya cup cakes with us, which were a nice change to cheese sandwiches as that was all we brought with us on the ferry and the shop was closed on-board. By the way, we crossed the dateline on the ferry so it is now a Tuesday but still the same time, so we are officially time-travellers! We then took a walk to the cheapest motel we could find in town at $60 a night, what a rip-off especially as we had to go searching for someone to let us in as it was empty. But the room itself is ok, pretty rubbish for the price, but never mind, it’s a comfy bed and then we took a walk to the Mexican downstairs. Food was tasty but even though it was just the two of us in there they had the music blasted up so loud and it was lit up with just disco lights you would think you were in a club and not a restaurant so we ate as quickly as we could and left for bed.
on June 6, 2012
from the travel blog:
Chris and Charly's Pacific Island Pit-Stop
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