Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Samoa

Hello again from the Queen Victoria!
We were in the Kingdom of Tonga on March 17th and then spent another day at sea en route to our next port of call. Speaking of March 17th by the way, here’s a first for us. We just so happen to have had two St. Patrick’s Days. Yes indeed Wendy Johnson-Lapp we did in fact have two opportunities to celebrate your birthday two days in a row, so a very happy belated birthday to you. Wee Shaemus was only too happy to do that…..
Why? Well during the night of the first one we crossed over the international dateline and therefore woke up to another Monday, March 17th the next day. I’ll bet that doesn’t happen more than once in a lifetime eh? Oh and by the way we are no longer one day ahead of North America, and are now actually 7 hour behind you.
Today is March 18th as I type this and I’m sitting on our cabin balcony docked in Pago Pago American Samoa enjoying a glass of wine. My view at the present moment is a combination of the hustle and bustle of a busy portside pier along with a gorgeous backdrop volcanic mountains covered with lush vegetation which are dotted with many tiny rural houses.
We took a shore excursion around the eastern side of the island where we took in some of the island delights and some of its culture. It was a very interesting day as life is very different in this part of the world. The island itself is a lot more developed and scenic than Tonga was. I believe that is solely due to the influx of American dollars, hence the name “American” Samoa, otherwise it might look a lot more remote like Tonga I’m sure.
Pago Pago is a mixture of semi-urban communities, a small town, tuna canneries, which provide employment for at least one third of the population. The harbor is surrounded by dramatic cliffs, which plunge straight down to the sea. An earthquake struck off its coast in 2009 triggering a tsunami that hit the island which caused moderate to severe damage and an unknown number of deaths. You would never know that today.
When we leave here today we will be making our way to Hilo Hawaii, which is about 2250 nautical miles and will amount to 5 days at sea. We will be spending much of that time socializing and participating in events around the ship. Rick has already taken a couple of fencing classes to date, oh and let’s not forget swimming and/or walking around the open deck to help keep our waistlines in check.
So stay tuned for some ship photos to follow soon. Here are some pictures of our day in Pago Pago.
Love to all, Rick, Sandra, Wee Shaemus xoxo
The Wee Lad Getting In On The Action
We Had Lots Of St. Patricks Day Action Since We
Went to Bed On March 17 And Woke Up The Next Day On March 17 Having Crossed The International
Date Line That Evening.
Our View Waking Up During Docking
Pago Pago, American Samoa
7:30 am 28c 82f
Our Touring Coach Winking smile
For The First 3 Hours Of American SamoaSamoa_Bus
Beautiful Coastline Around American Samoa Sandra_Coconut
Enjoying Fresh Coconut During A Samoan
Cultural Dance RitualMac_Ds
Yes Sir Even In The Middle Of No Where
A Couple Of Mickey Dee’s Shaemus_Beach_Relax
Some Much Needed R&R
On The Beach Kayak_No_LifeJacket
Yes Even In The South Pacific
Common Sense Is In Short Supply
This Fellow Had No Life Jacket In Large Sea Swells
And Of Course One Must Kayak
In The Main Channel In Front Of
One Rather Large Ship
Hope all is well more to come.
Rick, Sandra and wee Sheamus

Greetings From The South Pacific–Kingdom Of Tonga

Hello faithful followers. We are now in the South Pacific.

I previously mentioned the fact that we weren’t allowed to stop in The Bay of Islands, New Zealand as it would have put us right smack in the eye of Cyclone Luci. I must say that the following 3 days at sea sailing around Luci still proved a rough go for many. I personally didn’t leave my cabin very much given the difficulties in navigating oneself around the ship and/or running the risk of throwing up on someone or something. I finally had to start taking medicine instead of eating ginger and/or green apples that were suggestions given to me from crew members.

On March 17th we were in Nuku’Alofa, Kingdom of Tonga. What did I think of Tonga you ask? Well, let it suffice to say that the King of Tonga certainly lives a lot better than his people do that’s for sure.

His palace was directly across from where our ship docked, but we were told he was visiting the other side of the island that day. What’s with that? 1700 plus people come to give his kingdom a serious much needed influx of cash and he can’t even say hello?? This place is unbelievably poor and very dirty, and I truly wonder why it is part of any ships itinerary. What did stand out though was for everything the people of Tonga do not have I must say that they are the friendliest people I’ve met in my entire life.

Here are a few pictures to show you what I mean…


Dockage In Nuku’Alofa, Tonga

Is At A Premium

Our Ship Does Not Quite Fit The Dock


Kings Palace

Nuku’Alofa, Tonga


Welcome To Tonga


This Toyota Is In Very Good Shape Compared To

Most Vehicles In Tonga


Some Of The Smoke Actually Makes It To The Top



They Even Have Fast Food

Why I Am Not Sure Since It Is Too Smoking Hot To Do Anything Fast

When It is

92f or 34c At 10am

En Route To

Pago Pago, American Samoa

Auckland Update

Hello faithful followers.

Sorry for keeping you all waiting for this update, but as you are already aware we have been having great difficulty posting because the internet on board the ship is painfully slow and it takes the majority of our purchased time allotment just to log on and off the darn computer never mind the time required to upload Rick’s gorgeous photos to the blog. The cost is inflated to say the least so we have been lugging Rick’s laptop on and off the ship in search of internet cafes where we can buy time for a more reasonable price, and then that in itself proves difficult most of the time.

We‘ve been unsuccessful during the last few ports as more often than not we are limited to free Wi-Fi locations like Starbucks or hotspots that a gazillion other people are sharing with you and you can’t even sign on to or its slower than the ships service grrrr.

So we are going to try something different…we will try making the photos size smaller files and will post just a few photos. So here goes…we are in Auckland, New Zealand here…


Selfie At The St. Patrick's Irish Pub

Auckland, New ZealandAuckland_Skyline_Dusk

Departing Auckland At DuskLido_Pool_Night

Aft Lido Pool

Our Favourite Hang Out At_Sea_Enroute_Tonga

Waking Up To Clear Skies

And Calm Seas

8am 28c or 82f

En Route To

NuKu’ Alofa

Kingdom Of Tonga

Signing Off At Sea

Rick, Sandra, Wee Shaemus