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Suvarow in the Cook Islands,
American Samoa, and Independent Samoa

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- Suvarov Atoll -

Suvarow - the spelling varies a lot! - is a small atoll in the North Central Cook Islands that
has three regular inhabitants for part of the year outside cyclone season: Papa Jianni,
Baker (Papa Jianni's son), and Toto (Papa Jianni's grandson). This trio creates
a warm welcome for the yachts that stray through the area on their East to West treks.

That's it. Othewise it's just peace and quiet in a perfect harmonious South Pacific atoll.

Chrissi wanted to become a permanent resident here,
but Jack was in a hurry to pick up mail in Pago Pago.


Baker seems to fall in love with a lot of the female visitors.
Chrissi and Baker dancing at the dinner party.

Click here for Chrissi's TEXT about Suvarov

- Pago Pago, American Samoa -

This sad scene - the collected harbor grundge, the decaying "pier," and the apparently
broken dream embodied in this neglected boat - was adjacent to Pago Pago's "Customs Dock" for arriving yachts.
It's an accurate image of the neglected public infrastructure and the absence of public spirit in American Samoa.

The most dense accumulation of plastic bags ever seen anywhere in any harbor.
A crumbling infrastructure that seems to say, "Screw you. Take care of your own welfare or well-being."
A hospital that hasn't funds enough for even a store of normal medicines ("we don't care").
Ubiquitous yellow ribbons along every meter of roadway proclaiming support for "our boys,"
boys who were among the very first to be sent to Iraq as cannon fodder in that American adventure.

American Samoa gave me (Jack) the heebeejeebies and I couldn't wait to leave.
It reflected quite clearly so much of what is hypocritical and crass in the America today.
(Is it really "traditional" or a "family value" to not care about anyone else?)

A high-profile funeral honored a recently deceased local VIP.


Talofa - hello, welcome - to the Golden Arches in Samoa,
where everyone has a chance at the "good things" in modern life.
(Yes, we tried it yet again, and we got stomach pains once again too!)

Click here for Chrissi's TEXT about Samoa

- Samoa -
independent and formerly known as Western Samoa

After just an overnight sail away from Pago Pago, you arrive in Apia, Samoa -
a hugely welcome breath of fresh air!

Life here is lived very much in the traditional mode -
large extended families in villages consisting of gardens and manicured grounds
and open-sided falles (dwellings) like these below for family living.



Just a short walk from Apia's commercial harbor we came across an inviting
protected lagoon for a nice swim. Chrissi says HI!


Fire dancing is a favorite fun thing from Samoa's history.


Robert Louis Stevenson loved Samoa and spent the last years of his life here.
The Samoans are very proud of that fact and his home is preserved as a museum;
they refer to him as Tusitala - the teller of tales. Some of his later works
retell old Polynesian tales and offer keen insights into the
real and often bloody traditions from the times before the missionaries.

The missionaries by the way, whatever their role historically, have an inordinate amount of power
in today's Samoa. There are churches everywhere and of many denominations.
Their crippling system of tithes ensures poverty for the many and extreme wealth
for the churches, a wealth they are currently using to extend their
political power everywhere in the world.

Click here for Chrissi's TEXT about Samoa


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