Wed 04.01.12 – Thu 05.01.12:
High noon in Suva saw me bundle myself out of the South Seas hostel and off to the Trans Am Shipping Agents opposite the north gate of Suva Port. There to meet Loslini, the lady who would be helping me onboard the Southern Lily 2. After explaining my mad plan to her, she handed me over into the capable hands of her number two and I was driven over to the port.
A-ha! The Southern Lily 2. Thanking my lucky stars, I clambered up the gangway and onto the ship that would be taking me to 3 out of my final 10 countries. Once aboard I met with Captain Andriy, the Ukrainian skipper who would subsequently go out of his way to ensure my time in Samoa, American Samoa and Tonga was a fun (and more importantly, hilarious) one.
Already he had organised stuff for us to do once we arrived in Samoa, including visiting the final resting place of the great Scottish author Robert Louis Stevenson. Even better, since the ship’s air conditioning wasn’t coming through to my cabin (I’m not being fussy, I’ve done without air con for the entire time I’ve been in Fiji, but in a little room on a metal ship in the tropics… eek!) the captain moved me to a spare cabin on Deck 5… one of the biggest on the ship! Hell yeah. 2012 is already looking good!
Unfortunately I had come down with a cold, one that I determined to rid myself of before we reached Samoa. After waving goodbye to Suva one last time I retired to my cabin with some cold medicine and a box of tissues and didn’t come out until we reached Apia on the afternoon of the 6th.