Day 22 - Sunday February 4, 2024, Pago Pago, American Samoa
Arrival 08:00 All Aboard 17:30 Departure 18:00
Last night a storm blew across the Pacific which affected our arrival in Pago Pago (pronounced Pango Pango). The island is home to 65,000 inhabitants of which 9,000 live in Pago Pago. It is the capital of American Samoa
Today is Sunday and very few shops are open. I did see a welcome sign for Insignia passengers to come to their shop though.
As we make our way into the harbour you can see homes nestled directly into the mountain side protected by dense forests.
Today there are only three shore excursions. These include Samoan Ava Ceremony in Fagasa which we partook in. There were five buses for this tour. We were picked up at the terminal gate in buses from the 1980s which had wooden seats and therefore not very comfortable. The windows were made of fiberglass so if it was raining like early in the morning you needed to pull them up and push the bottom of the window towards the front of the frame and pray that it wouldn't fall. You also needed to always have your hands inside the bus as the window might fall unexcitingly. This certainly added to the adventure.
At the village a passenger volunteered to be the ceremonious chef for the day along with the actual chief. The chief welcomed us to the village and passengers were asked to drink the ava juice.
Our friend, Glenn wanted to try the local beer which he enjoyed. The alcohol content was 6.7%. I believe in Canada the alcohol content is 4%.
Back on board the bus it was off to the memorial for the September 2009 earthquake and tsunami. I don't know why people want to take their picture in front of the memorial where people were killed. Can't you just read the plaque and take a picture, but that's my opinion lol. You can ask Mr. Google if you want to read more about it.
After a quick lunch back on the ship it is off to acquire a door magnet. Mission accomplished.
Sail away is at 18:00 for Apia, Samoa 132 nautical miles away. Everyone was back on board and Insignia left early.
This trip will take one additional day as we cross the international date line tonight and tomorrow will not be February 5 but February 6. The ship's "Currents" newspaper informed us of this last night.
Someone mentioned you will not get that day back, but I think because it is a leap year, we do get this day back. Is that right?
· Did you know Pago Pago is closer to Hawaii than New Zealand. Hawaii is 2,575 kms or 1,600 mi away while New Zealand is 3,701 kms 2,300 mi?
· Each little village has several churches and faiths which include- Congregational Christian, Roman Catholic, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Methodist, Assemblies of God, and Seventh-day Adventist.
· A small percentage of inhabitants also practice the following faiths - Hindu, Buddhism, Jewish, and Jehovah's Witnesses
· It is not uncommon for families to bury their loved ones directly in their front yards. Janice indicated she did not want to see her mom or dad buried in our front yard.
· Major employment on the island is the military sponsored by the US Federal Government and Starkist Tuna Factory.
· Maximum speed limit on the island is 40 kms per hour or 25 mi per hour.
· The Airport has regular flights to Hawaii and from there to the mainland of the United States.
Trivia question What is Pentheraphobia? Answer to be revealed tomorrow.