don't rent,
take a ride on the wild side...   
                                                                                                                       ... for just 1 tala  
(Samoan $)
              are known throughout Polynesia as the "happy people"
because of their enjoyment of life and their good-spirited nature. After
cruising throughout much of
Polynesia, famous 19th century
author Robert Louis  Stevenson,
who is known in Samoa as
Tusitala or "story-teller," fell in love with the happiness and giving spirit
of the Samoan people and settled there in his final years. He is buried
atop Mt. Vaea which overlooks Apia, the capital of Samoa
Samoa consists of four main islands: Upolu, with the capital at Apia ;
the largest island of Savaii
; and two small islands between them:
Manono and Apolima.                    We docked in Apia, Upolu Island.

Samoa is situated about 2,500 miles southwest of Hawaii and about
1,800 miles northeast of New Zealand
July 8 - July 20,  2009
There are few areas on this volcanic island to
accommodate yachts so touring Samoa was
mostly by car.   The bays offer little protection
or are simply too shallow or unmaintained.  
city, on the island of Upolu.  

The experience was wonderful.  The newly
built marina was well done and affordable, a
positive when the harbour rules designate all
yachts to dock and prohibit anchoring.
Outside the Apia market, farmers line the street with stalks of Bananas.  This
picture taken on a weekday so you can imagine how dense the offering is
during the Saturday market.   The Samoa markets, much like other
Polynesian islands, contain not only fruits and vegetables, they also have a
very large local craft trade, food vendors and  a flee-market!    A fav.
Lalomanu Beach located at the SE corner of the island is a 1.5 hour car ride
from Apia Harbour - North side of the island.  The  few beaches on Upolu are
powder sugar soft.     The row of open-air fale's shown here are rentals that
offer simple accommodations (a bed & bug net) for a magical experience
sleeping under the stars with the ocean song.  
The scenery on Opolu island is lush and brilliant with color.   There are
mountains to waterfalls and valleys peppered with Coconut plantations.  
Samoans   '
These homemade converted, retrofitted cars are
individually owned and decorated in the most
See how low the driver is?  Ride at your own risk.
Samoa Racing Canoe
Racing canoes with 54 the
island shore properties.  
Pacing them out we
believe them to be about
85-90 ft long (as long as
our mast is tall.)
APIA waterfront
A mellow Apia Market during a
weekday is evident with some
empty tables however very
colorful and something for
everyone.   The market is quite a
social gathering for the
Samoans.  Often a group of men
will be sitting around a Kava Bowl
two feet in diameter, drinking for
hours, a tradition for this culture.  
Kava drinking is a relaxer with
affects often compared to
Bob:  "Why do I have to wear light colors, you know I can't keep anything clean"
Kim:  "No worries, you won't be given any wine in church"
After 2 months visiting the remote
islands of Tonga, arriving in Apia,
overload.  With 40,000 population,
and the harbour located in the
downtown vicinity, we were
reintroduced to the sounds of
cars, horns, nightlife and
downtown hustle and bustle.   

Though this capital city has an
incongruous blend of eclectic
buildings of old culture and fales
mixed with new - the town is well
kept with numerous renovations to
the unfortunate dilapidated
German colonial architecture.  

Apia in itself was well worth the
trip North.
A landmark of the city's waterfront is the impressive Catholic Cathedral
which features a statue of Madonna and child up top between two small
turrets.  The cathedral, completed in 1905 and coloured a blazing white,
could be seen from up to 20 km out to sea.  
On Sunday  masses of Apians dress in sparkling white to attend morning
church services.  
Tattoos, or pe'a, demonstrate the strong ties many Samoans feel for
their culture. Samoans have practiced the art of tattooing both men and
women for over 2,000 years. To this day, a man's tattoo extensively covers
from mid-back, down the sides and flanks, to the knees. A woman's tattoo is
not quite as extensive or heavy. The geometric patterns are based on
ancient designs, and often denote rank and status. The va'a or canoe, for
example, stretches across a man's mid-back.

In Samoa's cultural past most males were tattooed between the ages of
14-18, when it was determined they had stopped growing, so the designs
would not stretch and suffer in beauty. Today, there has been a strong revival
of traditional tattooing in the past generation, not only in Samoa but
throughout Polynesia, often as a symbol of cultural identity

The Samoan word for tattoo is tatau which means "correct or workmanlike."
It also signifies the correct quadrangular figures in reference to the fact that
Samoan tattoo designs do not include circular lines, although other
Polynesian tattoo motifs do. Early Englishmen mispronounced the word
tatau and borrowed it into popular usage as tattoo.
ref: Polenesian Cultural Center
We met a man with a similar tatoo as the one shown above that lead me to learn more about the
subject.  Of those Samoans we have met that are tatoo'd,  most have much less coverage and we often
see the lower back done or portions of the thigh.
River Fales for renting
along the waterfall.  
Baha'i  House of Worship
sometimes reffered to "Dawning-place of the remembrances of God",
Only eight Houses of Worship have been built around the world  with a ninth soon to be constructed
in Chile.  Worship are open to the public, and are exclusively reserved for worship, where sermons
are prohibited and only scriptural texts may be read.

The Bahá'í laws emphasize that the spirit of the House of Worship must be a gathering place
where people of all religions may worship God without denominational restrictions
Native home along the Lagoon
Typical Samoan fale (home), open-aired,
draped pillars in place of walls
Gathering fallen sugar cane lost
from passing transport trucks.   
The baskets they make from
Coconut Tree Palms take no
more than a few minutes each
through unbelievable speed and
Seaweed gathered from the lagoon used for
succulent seaweed salad, dressed in Asian
soy and chili sauce.
Samoan Fale Homes don't have walls. The Western influence shown here
mixes the two.    The large open structures are also used as a meeting house