Day 23 Tuesday February 6, 2024, Apia, Samoa
Arrival 08:00 All Aboard 16:30 Departure 17:00
It is not a typo. Yesterday (Sunday) we left American Samoa only 132 nautical miles away to arrive in Apia, Samoa on Tuesday.
Why you ask? Well overnight (Sunday) Insignia sailed across the International Date Line at roughly 180 degrees east or west. It is considered the halfway point from Greenwich Mean Time in the UK where time zones begin.
In our case, Insignia crossed the line in a westbound direction therefore increasing the date. If the ship had travelled in an eastbound direction, Insignia would have decreased the date by one day.
That sounds logical. The time difference is 21 hours from our present position and the west coast of Canada and the United States although I must tell you that I've had trouble wrapping my head around it and have been driving Bev, Glenn and Janice crazy lol.
Insignia arrived a 07:45 to be welcomed by a group of Samoan women and men performing a traditional dance and song dressed in their Samoan outfits. It was a very nice welcome and the locals really appreciate the tourists as the number of cruise ships arriving in Apia is very limited especially since Covid.
For the second day in a row Janice and I did a ship tour. There were at least five buses for the Coastal Villages, Falefa Falls and Tropical Gardens tour. We generally like to take non ship tours (as they are usually cheaper but we especially like the smaller groups) but in this case there was no other option for us.
Our air-conditioned bus included five Americans and ten Canadians which generally does not happen. We meet our guide at the bus and while travelling we had a laugh because yesterday (Sunday) we were in American Samoa but today in Samoa its Tuesday. Our guide works for the government but took a sick day so she could act as our tour guide of her beautiful island.
Travelling along the Pacific Ocean coastline we make our way to the first stop, a church about 30 minutes away from Apia. Just like American Samoa, Samoa buries family members on the house property usually in the front yard. Janice noticed however that there were more flowers here on and around the graves.
The roughly 5 buses arrive at our destination at around the same time. The outside of the church was painted white and blue with the interior white with red and yellow trim. The mosaic style-stained glass was very colorful and beautiful.
Leaving the church, it was off to Falefa Falls where again all the buses converged making it very congested walking down to the stairs to see the waterfall. This is the main reason why we do not take many ship tours.
The final stop on the schedule was to a family garden where we watch a man climb the coconut tree to retrieve the coconuts. A demonstration was given on how to husk a coconut followed by refreshments and local fresh fruit.
The tour is scheduled to be completed by 13:00 but we still have an hour left. It is back to Apia where we visit the local market and the Catholic Church the Immaculate Conception of Mary Cathedral.
We had thought of walking back to the ship but the clouds hovering over the mountains suggested rain might be in the forecast, so we returned on the bus.
On top of losing a full day, ship's clocks moved 1 hour back between February 6 and February 7. We always appreciate the extra hour and the staff do as well. Some choose to party at the crew bar after their long days while others use the extra hour to sleep. In fact, we went dancing tonight with Bev and Glenn.
Insignia left Apia early for its journey to Suva, Fiji 720 nautical miles away.
That night we received a certificate acknowledging our crossing of the International Date Line. It read in part that on February 6, 2024, Insignia crossed the International Date Line at Latitude 13 degrees 46 minutes S Longitude 171 degrees 15 minutes W.
A trivia question from American Samoa was what is a Pentheraphohia
Answer Fear of the mother in law.