Posted by: catamarantwooceans | August 2, 2010


31.7.10 – Saturday –  The “work hard” mentioned above started at 0450am. The day before we spoke to John of “Mahina Tiare” who were also going to Asau. Both of us planned to do a land trip there, and they were supposed to be joined by two other yachts coming direct from Apia. Rendezvous at   0800 am. The distance to Asau being 17 miles, we figured we needed close to 3 hours, hence the early wakeup. We used the same system I applied in Suvarov, when we lost the use of the windlass; Hoist the anchor chain with the spinnaker halyard, hold It with a hook tied to the baby-stay, lower the chain to deck and into its locker, again and again until the anchor is up. This time it took 40 minutes. 

Out of the bay in the dark we motored. Once out of the reef cover the swell got higher and there was a smell of strong wind coming.  Since when do we check wind speed by smell? The answer is: “Since the anemometer cups got stuck up the mast top and the wind speed instrument started showing a big ZERO”. I need to go up the mast but am still waiting for a calm day to do it.

So, main in first reef and no jib for the time being and still we are flying. As daylight comes we are looking for Mahina Tiare, which left one hour ahead of us. We catch up with them close to the entrance to Asau.

convoy to Asau

We are lucky to have Salle, the owner of Va-i-Moana seaside resort, come out with a skiff to guide us all in, as the electronic charts are off by at least 1.5 miles, the pass  narrow and shallow.

John comes to tell us that there is no space on the van they are taking so we ask Salle to arrange a taxi for us. “The man I am calling is the best guide in the island” he says. “He will be here in 30 minutes”. An hour passes. “Where is he?” Salle calls the guy and reports that he had a puncture but now is on his way.  After a few minutes a taxi comes. The aft starboard tire is the small spare one. “So, don’t you have a regular tire? Are we going to go with no spare? No way!” “There is a tire waiting for me 5 minutes away”. Po-mepe, the driver now takes us on a surreal trip to several decrepit garages, where he hopes to get a tire. The only place that had one displayed a used specimen with grooves worn out completely. We are not going like this! Po-mepe promises to get a real tire and come tomorrow at 9am. We’ll see.

Tire hunting

Back on the boat. Lunch and rest. Around 3pm the wind comes down. This is the time to go up the mast. Meir winches me up. I spray the (not) revolving cups with WD 40 but they are not yet free. I dismantle the unit, go down, we open it up and clean it. Meir beams me up again, I put it back in place and the instrument works.

In the evening we showed our gratitude to Salle by having a meal at the resorts “Samoan Feast”.  Oh well…


1.8.10 – Sunday – Morning was cloudy with some rain. Po-mepe picked us up at 0900 with a “normal” tire and we set out to see the island or rather the southern part because there was no budget to go all around the island. The south coast gets some big swell and waves at certain places. We went to a point where the beach was raggedly rocky and had many blow-holes. The water flow into caves in the rocks and exit through the blow-holes in great force to amazing heights. Very impressive!


The waterfall we wanted to visit was “closed” due to the holy day, but the rain forest with the canopy tower and hanging bridge, plus the steep rock called “Lovers leap” and an arch battered by huge waves made up for it.

The arch

Because of the dull, cloudy weather, our pictures do not do justice to the dramatic scenery.

After dinner we downloaded the weather grib files using the Iridium. Tomorrow the winds will be light so unless the forecast will give better winds we’ll probably stay here another day.


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