Day M103: A Tale of Two Sundays

Sun 08.01.12: As the good ship Southern Lily 2 was scheduled to be leaving Apia in the wee small hours I left my passport in the ship’s office with a note saying “this is my passport, please do not wake me unless strictly necessary”. As I was three sheets to the wind when I wrote this note, I had no recollection of the event the next day when for a terrifying few moments I thought I had lost my passport somewhere in the midst of last night’s ridiculousness. I need not have worried, for not only had my passport not gone anywhere, neither had the ship. Since Samoa is still quite a god-fearing country, the loading operation stopped last night at midnight for the Sabbath Day. My hopes of having a Saturday night in Samoa, crossing the International Dateline and having another Saturday night in American…

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Day M102: Treasured Island

Sat 07.01.12: Samoa! What an awesome place! Captain Andriy had me up at 10am to head over to Valima, the home of the great Scottish writer Robert Louis Stevenson, the chap wot wrote Treasure Island, Kidnapped and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. Taking Filipe the ship’s steward with us, we met with Richard the local port agent and hit the road into the interior. Back in the 1890s, Robert Louis Stevenson’s health was waning and he believed that a more tropical clime would be conducive to his general well-being, or at least more conducive than the frigid night air of the Scottish highlands or the smog-laden streets of London at the height of the industrial revolution. When Stevenson visited Samoa in the 1880s, it was love at first sight. He built a home for himself and his family in the middle of…

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Day M101: Yo-Ho-Ho And A Bottle of Rum

Fri 06.01.12: We reached Apia, the capital of Samoa, on Friday afternoon. Like Fiji, Samoa is in the clutches of the rainy season, but I didn’t mind – it’s what makes it all so delightfully green! How the captain, the pilot and the helmsman managed to steer the ship into a parking space I’d have trouble getting into in a Ford Fiesta I’ll never know, but here we are, a ship with space for 1,080 containers squeezed into a dock just 40 metres wide. Eat your heart out, Doctor Who. After customs had come and gone, Captain Andriy and I set out with the port agent, Richard, for a little bit of exploration. Taking us up along the narrow peninsular that separates Apia Harbour from Vaiusu Bay, we passed the promenade, the parliament building, the clock tower roundabout, the tombs of Malietoa Laupepa and Malietoa Tanumafili…

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