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By No owner — last modified Nov 17, 2014 12:20 PM

 American Samoa - Profile

Facts

  • The two neighbouring Samoas are very different from each other, American Samoa being a US Territory, while Western Samoa is an independent state. American Samoa comprises all the Samoan islands east of the 171° parallel, that is the main island of Tutuila, as well as Aunuu, the Manua Group, Rose Island, and Swains Island.
  • This US outpost in the South Seas attracts most cruising boats because of the availability of US goods, excellent provisioning and good communications.
  • It is Pago Pago which attracts most cruising sailors, either to reprovision in its well-stocked supermarkets, or to spend the cyclone season in this scenically beautiful and well protected harbour. Unfortunately the local fish cannery is a major presence in the harbour.
  • Repair facilities and services for yachts in Pago Pago are quite limited. Until there is a marked improvement in yachting facilities, Pago Pago is best regarded as a convenient reprovisioning stop and nothing more.
  • Cruisers report that Pago Pago is populated by warm, friendly people who are hard working, devout family centered people.

Security

The Samoans have embraced the American way of life wholeheartedly, which has led to a high standard of living compared to their neighbours, but also to increased crime, especially in the capital Pago Pago. This does not however tend to affect the cruising community.

The Caribbean Safety and Security Net (safetyandsecuritynet@gmail.com) gather information by anchorage or by island, so sailors can plan their cruising in the Caribbean with an eye to appropriate behaviour and precautions wherever they decide to go. Please forward details of this incident to them, as theirs is the most comprehensive source of Caribbean security incidents against sailors on the net. Please be sure to include boat name, date of incident and anchorage/port where the incident took place.

Weather

There is very heavy rainfall all year, especially from December to April, which is the cyclone season. The average temperatures are 24-31°C (75-87°F). May to November are the trade wind months and are less humid.

National Weather Service
NOAA agency that covers weather forecasts and severe weather warnings for the USA, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam and American Samoa.

A useful guide to South Pacific weather resources complied by a Noonsite contributor, Rory Garland.

For more links to free global weather information, forecast services and extreme weather information see the Noonsite Weather Page.

Main Ports

Pago Pago *

* indicates port of entry

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Impi
Impi says:
Nov 15, 2014 11:04 AM

Just as an 'add on' to the above comment ... we had an issue where we had to leave without receiving delivery of a plotter being sent to us by PRIORITY mail. The long and short of it was that it SHOULD have been sent PRIORITY EXPRESS MAIL whereas our package was sent PRIORITY Mail. Sometimes one will get 'lucky' with priority mail if the ship being loaded in Richmond CA is full. If it is not full, the tracking number will show a delivery date within 2 weeks, but the package will not necessarily arrive in 2 weeks .. it will wait until the ship is fully loaded. PRIORITY EXPRESS goes by air. Well , this is how they explained it to us anyway ... so take care and make 100% sure before your mail is shipped. They refused 1 day later to withdraw the package from their system and we ended up buying a 2nd plotter which arrived in 7 days ... by air ... and marked ... PRIORITY EXPRESS MAIL ... cheers for now .. SV IMPI

dmoore
dmoore says:
Oct 05, 2014 07:45 AM

Contrary to the above about crime in Pago Pago, it is almost non-existent. The crimes that happen are locals only. There was an incident a few years back against a "yachtie", but is was quickly resolved (the attackers were high and drunk) they received 29 years in jail.
About getting marine supplies, use priority mail and most things arrive with 2 weeks. Defender and West Marine (for example) will ship directly to you. Use the address as follows:
(your name or yacht name)
C/O General Delivery
Pago Pago, AS 96799







The Post Office will hold mail for about a month if you miss your arrival date. Other items (heavier or larger) items can be shipped in, but allow about 2 to 3 months.
We have spent 4 years (by our choice) here and find the people to be very nice and helpful.

Sue Richards
Sue Richards says:
Jul 14, 2014 11:06 AM

Thanks Bart for reporting your experience with immigration in American Samoa. The rules on our website are from the official AS immigration website. As we know, yacht crews are often treated differently to other visitors, but this is hardly ever stated on official sources.

bartbart
bartbart says:
Jul 10, 2014 12:08 AM

Contrary to what is written on the official Samoan website, it is not required to obtain a visa in advance for most European passports if you arrive by yacht. Just rock up, and you will be granted a 30 day permit.

However, you will need a visa if you arrive by plane.

I got in by yacht on a Belgian passport with no trouble at all.

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