Its Tuesday, April 15 (again) we arrived in Pago Pago! We were warmly greeted by a group of native singers and dancers that welcomed us to their island! (American Samoa). It is a very interesting harbor as Mother Nature created the bay when the seaward wall of a great volcano collapsed, allowing the water to enter the steep-sided volcano and created one of the best, most spectacular natural harbors in the South Pacific.
Pago Pago is an unincorporated territory of the United States; the inhabitants of American Samoa are US nationals but not citizens, which mean they cannot vote for US president. The territorial government is the largest employer here, while fishing (tuna) is the major industry (Star-Kist Tuna). Interestingly, only full-fledged Samoans may own land. Many of the island villages are situated on small, quiet bays and coves along the coast. The lands along with the beaches are privately owned. Certain rules and conditions govern their use as you can be charged a small fee to use or visit the area. We found this while we visited the falls and beaches in Apia as well.
We have visited Pago Pago a few years back and wanted to do some walking along the harbor as we were able to see some turtles along the beautiful turquoise waters as well as visit the trees outside the harbor where we had viewed the fox bats. On our return visit, after a short rain shower we visited the trees where the bats were very active as they were trying to dry out their wings. Quite a sight to see and we were able to get a few good photos of flying bats.
We took the local bus to Tisa’s Barefoot Bar which is known as a beautiful beach for snorkeling with food and drinks. Along the way our driver provided us with a brief tour of the area and location of a few NFL football players such as Junior Seau and Troy Palomalu. We brought our snorkel gear with us but it was very difficult to snorkel as the water was very shallow. We struggled to get into deeper water as we had to float over the very shallow waters where coral/reefs were below us. Once we made it out to the deeper depths, we enjoyed the variety of colorful fish, beautiful coral/reefs and were able to view a turtle passing by. Since it was a job to get out to the deeper waters, we stayed there for some time as we knew once we came back in we would not venture back out. Not many were able to make it out to the deeper waters! We both received some minor cuts and scratches from the coral/reef as a memory of our snorkel trip!
We hopped on a local (tour) bus back to the harbor where we shopped, viewed the fox bats and headed to our favorite bar and grill on the water (Sadie’s by the Sea) for a few drinks. We had a delicious chicken quesadilla sitting out looking at the bay before heading back to the ship for our 4 pm departure.
We are at sea for two days before our next stop, Papeete (Tahiti) on Thursday!
Greg and Sharon Conrad