Scream spent 10 days in Samoa. Luckily, our visit co-incided with the 19th annual Teuila Festival. The Teuila Festival is composed of cultural and sporting competitions. We watched Choirs, Dance troops, Fire dancers, Cricket, Rugby, and Rowing.
We stayed on the marina docks for our whole visit to Samoa. In addition to the festival events we also went to the Papasea sliding rocks, a natural waterslide, and on a tour of the island by taxi. On our round island tour we stopped at three waterfalls, and swam at a waterfall, a saltwater pit, and a pair of fresh water caves linked by a tiny submerged tunnel.
An interesting bit of trivia is that Hawaii, Savai’i, and Hapaii are all alternate spellings for the mystical pan-polyneisan homeland.
Checking in and out of Samoa are quite easy. Contact “Apia Harbour Control” on VHF 16 when you are approaching for instructions. All of the officials come to your boat to check you in. There is no entry fee, but in order to stay in Apia a harbour fee of approximately 1 Samoan Tala (about $0.35) is charged per foot per night. Boats paying this fee are entitled to side stay in a slip at the well maintained Apia Marina, where there is power and potable water. Boats choosing to anchor in the harbour pay the same fees. A small pilot boat lead us to the marina, where marina assistants took our lines. To leave you have to visit immigration and customs. The only exit fee is 33 Tala (about $13) payable to customs. All fees are payable only in Samoan cash, luckily there are several ATM’s in town as well as currency exchanges.
We read that the Samoa Port Authority wants 24 hours notice of your arrival sent to firstname.lastname@example.org and that they stand watch on 2182 KHz USB as station 5WA. We sent the email, never heard any reply, and it was not mentioned by any of the officials. When we called 5WA on 2182 KHz USB there was no reply.
Officially Samoa is a least developed nation, but there is surprisingly little poverty. Most people here appear to be better off than most latin americans. Still, things in Samoa are quite inexpensive and we ate in restaurants quite frequently. There are two good groceries in Apia, at Farmer Joes and Lucky Foodtown, both a few blocks inland from the waterfront.
There is Lavaspot internet on the docks. Sometimes it was quite good and sometimes poor. Still it is cheaper and faster than anything in French Polynesian, and more reliable than most of the French Polynesian wifi spots, which isn’t saying much.
We really like Samoa.