(Part of my Gone Fishing story)
Sunday, 20 July 1997
Day 2 at Sea (continued)
2100 hours SAMOAN TIME (Pacific Time minus four hours)
Location: Somewhere north of last time
NOW THAT THE WORK FOR THE DAY IS DONE, DINNER IS EATEN AND MY HEAD IS SHAVEN (??) I can continue with my saga.
American Samoa. Paradise. Hardly. I don’t know if it qualifies as a third world country, but Samoa comes close.
The airplane landed at about 10:00pm local time (2:00am LA time) and down the stairs (yes, stairs) I went, making a beeline from the DC-10 to the nearest bathroom (which made mine at home look really nice). Stood in the Customs line for about twenty minutes, and then began the wait for the luggage.
Mind you I was standing in a terminal that was built at least forty years ago. This building’s idea of air conditioning was being open aired in an environment that was at least seventy percent humidity (felt like two-hundred percent) and there I was standing in a small room with a DC-10 load of people all standing around a single antiquated baggage belt that wound it’s way around the room. Everyone had at least one cart to throw their luggage on and I think I felt every single one bounce off my cart as I waited for my bags.
Due to the miracles of modern technology, and the single baggage cart that was shuttling back and forth from the airplane to the belt, I only had to wait for about an hour until my bags came into view. I don’t know why I always have all the luck, but my bags were on one of the last loads taken off the plane. Needless to say that after a seventeen-hour travel day I was very ready to depart the wonderfully hospitable airport.
One more Customs check point and I was out in open air. The pilot, Jean Christophe, and Brian Douglas were out amongst the crowd to welcome me to Samoa. With everything safely tucked away in Brian’s 4 Runner, off we went to the boat.
One of my first impressions of Samoa was how slow everyone was driving. I think once we even got over thirty MPH. We finally arrive at what will be my home for the next little while, which just happens to be unloading at the StarKist cannery.
This means that my first night’s sleep will be constantly interrupted by the noise of frozen tuna being unloaded all night long. What a great way to get used to a new environment. With the aid of earplugs, not to mention the lack of sleep in the preceding twenty-four hour period, I was soon dozing off.
My back is killing me, as I am writing this in my bunk. I am retiring for the evening. Goodnight.
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