“Imagine a semester of school where you sail around the world…and earn credits!” Sounds good to me. Where do I sign up?
I was driving past the harbor this afternoon on the way to meet some friends for lunch and I saw that a massive 3-masted boat had pulled into harbor. Turns out it’s the S.V. Concordia, the high school version of “Semester-at-Sea”, which is a cruise ship that holds class for decadent college students while they cruise around the world.
Damn, I wish I was in high school again, and had $28,000 US, plus money for visas, insurance, and a little pocket money. Geez, where’d my sugar daddy go?
Class Afloat – Your Passport to Education, since 1984
Here’s the Interinerary for the next year:
The harbor is chok full of sailboats at the moment. There’s more than 20 now with more arriving every day. It is amazing to see. It sort of happens in slow motion, or maybe time lapse, since the harbor never changes really, just more and more yachts show up. One day there are none, the next day there are twenty.
Boats should continue to arrive in increasing numbers until the Teuila Festival in last August. Then they will disappear, just as slowly as they make their way towards safer anchorages to hunker down for cyclone season which kicks up about November.
At some point I’m going to get a ride on one of them, even if it’s just over to Savai’i.
Another warship on the way back from service in the gulf has hit up Samoa for a little R&R. Can’t really blame them, can you?
Unlike the other recently arrived frigate from Canada, this boat, the F730 Floreal has huge guns on its foredeck and there’s no doubt what the thing was built for.
The French could probably take over this country with this rinky dinky boat. I’m sure they have thought of it. They’d probably like nothing more than to excercise their congenital urge to nuke every island in the South Pacific.
Because there are so many repeat visits from freighters making a circuit of the the Pacific, it’s nice for me when a ship I’ve never seen before arrives in the harbor. Kyowa Hibiscus, part of the Greater Bali Hai shipping line, is one of the boats on a loop, but I’ve never seen it before. According to their website, it comes to Apia every month or so.
The harbor is looking great these days. There are ten yachts at anchor, including some fairly large vessels and a cool looking trimeran. One of these days I’m going to hop aboard one of these boats and sail away from this rock.
While I was waiting for my boss to return from a meeting, I went out to the seawall to check out the harbor and get some wind on my face.
Out in the distance, along the horizon I could see a boat coming into port under sail, something I’d never seen before. Since a few months back, there have been sailboats in the harbor, but when they come and go, I have no idea. They just seem to appear out of nowhere like apparitions and then disappear just as fast.
So on this perfect day, with cornflower blue skies and puffy white clouds, I was watching the sailboat ease into the harbor, sails luffing gently as the boat turned into the wind to slow down and make anchor.
there’s a huge green freighter in port today that I’ve never seen before called the MV Polynesia out of Hamburg, Germany.
I find all the details about the boat from freighterworld.com:
Tom Wörden has introduced the vessel the MV Polynesia to join the Tausala Samoa on her 28 day run between Los Angeles, Tahiti, and the Samoas. Built in 1996 in Stralsund, Germany, the mv Polynesia is 14,665 DWT, about 515 feet in length (157.12 m), and about 77 feet wide (23.5 m).
The mv Polynesia offers 2 lovely double suites that contain 2 twin beds each, for couples or traveling companions. Singles may book as sole occupants of the double cabins. The Tausala Samoa is better suited to carry single passengers because she has only 1 bed (2″ narrower than a double bed) in each cabin. Joycene visited the Polynesia and reports that she is a lovely ship and that passengers should enjoy their cabins and public areas.
What I don’t understand is why these boats are so damn expensive. For a 28-30 day journey for two, you’re going to pay about 7 grand. Now, I love traveling by boat. And I have no desire to take a cruise and have the same vacation as 1500 other people. So the mere fact that there are only a handful of cabins on board is appealing. Plus you can hang with the captain and crew and get a really good feel for life at sea. But 7 grand is damn steep. That’s more than 2 years salary for a Peace Corps volunteer in Samoa. Something about this economy is way out of whack. Either this boat costs way too much, or I’m getting paid way too little.
There’s a warship in port today. It’s the Canadian “multi-role patrol” frigate, HMCS Regina on route back to Canada from the service in the Gulf.
The ship is something like 134 meters long, weighing more than 4000 tons and with a crew of over 200. I looked for guns or anything of an offensive nature, but I couldn’t see anything from shore.
This all begs the questions, who knew Canada had a navy?
Today I was riding my bike down the hill from Moto’otua and I could see a masseive tanker pulling into Apia Harbor. We get some tankers in, like the Iver Explorer from the Marshall Islands and the Bro Arthur from France, but they are tiny compared to this bememouth.
You have to remember that Apia Harbor is more like a marina than a bustling port. It can only really take one ship at a time. So when a tanker like this comes in it’s a huge deal.
I quickly put my groceries down in the Peace Corps office and rode back along the seawall to watch the ship come in and the sun go down.
I pulled up to the corner of the seawall closest to the port, put my bike down and starting taking pictures. As the tanker was rotating to turn its back towards the land and the pipeline, I could see the name on the back of the ship. The “Mikom Accord” all the way from Singapore. I took a seat and watching the massive ship slow rotate around with the help of both of the Apia Harbor tugs.
This morning I was walking back from MD’s Big Fresh, one of the better supermarkets in Samoa and I met one of the Yachties, a woman named Beverly from Vancouver.
Anyway, she was walking along the seawall whistling to get her husband’s attention out on the sailboat so that he would bring the dinghy and pick her up.
I want to start meeting these folks because I’m planning on leaving Samoa by boat when I finish my Peace Corps assignment, so I chatted her up.
The Pacific Princess pulled into Apia Harbor yesterday. Because the boats arrive in the middle of the night or really early in the morning. I’ve never actually seen a cruise ship arrive. There are just there. One day, I look down from the heights of Fagali’i, and the harbor is empty. The next day, there’s a massive white ship the size of building sitting at the dock, and scores of poor-dressed octogenarians shuffling through downtown Apia.
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