Tuesday, August 26, 2008

We have been luxuriating at the Apia Marina in Samoa. The access to unlimited power and water is almost intoxicating. The other day we left the boat to explore and found our way to the local flea market. There were some good bargains and I procured a lovely new hat. It is definitely not a boat hat as it has no ties, so it will only be worn when I go ashore. Barry purchased a snazzy black lavalava, most Samoan men wear this form of attire. A lavalava can be just a sarong tied around your waist; they come in a multitude of patterns and colours. The Samoan men also wear a formal version which has pockets and ties so can be adjusted around your waist. They wear such wonderfully patterned and coloured shirts that we thought that a plain black one would be the best choice and then Barry can wear whatever kind of shirt he wants with it. Barry says they are very comfortable and he is happy to wear it. I must get a good picture of him in it.
We spent the afternoon at the Robert Louise Stevenson Museum. The woman who gave the tour was the great granddaughter of one of housekeepers during RLS’s time. She had some interesting insights into his life and how the Samoan people viewed his presence here. The house is located quite a distance up the mountain and it has extensive grounds and gardens. There used to be a wonderful view of the harbour but the vegetation has obscured it now. He is buried on top of the mountain beside his home and the story is told that his casket was passed from hand to hand along a human line so that he could reach his desired resting place. We had a copy of Treasure Island onboard and I read it on the voyage from Tokelau.
The other night we went to a buffet dinner that was followed by a fire dancing exhibition. The food was terrific and the dancing was really enjoyable. The troupe performed dances from a variety of Polynesian Islands and the fire dancers had some experts as well as some teenage boys that were learning the craft, they were doing a great job of mastering the technique. Barry and I were decked out in our best Polynesian outfits and we thoroughly enjoyed the evening and the company of the other cruisers we were with, a couple from Holland and another couple from South Africa. The discussion of rugby and cricket as well as the Dutch soccer hopes were decidedly different from our normal fare.
Tomorrow we plan to rent a car and tour the south and east part of the island. Another cruiser, Marcos, who only speaks French and Spanish, is going to join us. We have been communicating in French with him on a fairly successful basis. Barry mixes his French and his Spanish in mid sentence, but Marcos seems to understand him quite well. His is a Chilean who bought a boat in California and is headedfor his present home in New Caledonia, it should make for a fun day.