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Pleased not to have by-passed American Samoa

By Sue Richards last modified Aug 08, 2008 02:32 PM

Published: 2008-08-08 14:32:55
Countries: American Samoa

Hello,

We are constant users of your website and books and have great respect for your opinions.

We are currently in Pago Pago Harbour. We came here for the Pacific Festival of the Arts and are now staying for a couple of weeks to get parts shipped to us and to enjoy the island. We have been VERY surprised to find the friendliest island of our travels to date.

We are out of Seattle for over 2 years. We almost by-passed American Samoa because of its reputation. It is a major working harbour and as such has issues that go with any working harbour, but every place we go there are compromises. We know many sailors who by-passed here based on past writings. We feel it is important to tell both sides of the story.

American Samoa is a very open and friendly place. Everyone is very helpful from the Harbour Master who lets you anchor and then attends to your check ins, immigration who greets the yachties at the door and takes you past all the lines to speed up your paperwork and customs who are courteous and efficient. The island people help you carry fuel and water jugs down to the dock. Everyone is truly happy to have us here and interested in the cruising boats.

Prices of supplies are at or below US mainland prices. Laundry is $1 per load. Parts shipped here take about 7 days and come by USPS priority mail (very inexpensive). We have been offered rides on outrigger canoes and invited to Samoan's homes to eat. Tourism does not exist. It is just islanders truly happy to have us visiting their homeland.

So along with the occasional Tuna Processing Plant smells and garbage sometimes floating in the water (which is no worse than in French Polynesia) comes a great experience, a beautiful island and people, and the best South Pacific spot to reprovision and have parts shipped.

The wireless Internet in Harbour is the fastest we have had to date and costs $15 for 30 days. We can even Skype and use our Web Cam without an external antenna. Potable water is available free at the wharf in the anchorage.

We currently have about 30 boats in the harbour and all seem very happy they came here and most are staying longer than they originally planned. So the compromise is, don't come here to snorkel off of your boat, but this is one of the best for low prices, reprovisioning, friendly people happy to have cruisers visiting and a great island experience.

John Spiess
SV Tracen J.

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