Antarctic Cruise - 2012



Day 43 - Friday, February 17th - Sea Day: We were up early and had two loads of laundry done by 8:15 and spent the rest of the morning working on our blog.  The internet service has been pretty fast lately, but we still only go online every 3-4 days to check emails, etc.  We unsubscribed to many of our business emails before we left home but have a whole other batch that we're now getting.  Tonight we went to the show because it sounded unusual: a mind reader named Graham Jolley performed.  We need to do some research when we get home to find out how he does the tricks.  He asked us to picture a geometric figure inside another, and gave his answer--a triangle in a circle (Barbara pictured this, but not Jay).  Then he asked us to imagine an even number between 50 and 100, and again, Barbara imagined the number he said (68), but Jay did not.  It's very mysterious.

Day 44 - Saturday, February 18th - Sea Day: Breakfast in the dining room was not the most pleasant experience.  We were seated with the couple from FL who brought everything from home but the kitchen sink (we mentioned them earlier in the blog).  Today she was commenting on someone's bad hairdo, and Jay remarked back in the cabin that she, who was being so critical, had hair that looked like she had put her finger in a light socket.   Sometimes we think the passengers are more entertaining than the paid entertainment.  This afternoon while Jay played trivia, Barbara went to the Guest Talent Show and was pleasantly surprised that some fellow passengers are pretty talented.  Tonight's show featured Mario D'Andrea, who sang and played guitar.  He was very good and did a variety of songs, including some by Chuck Berry and Tom Jones.

Day 45 - Sunday, February 19th - American Samoa: Our shore excursion "A Taste of Samoan Village Life" started in the port town of Pago Pago, which has about 4,000 people.  The island is called Tutuila and only has one hospital, although there are two McDonalds, a KFC and a Carl's Jr.  There are many churches on the island--we saw pentecostal and Seven Day Adventist churches and Jonathan, our local guide, said the people are very religious.  Sundays are for attending church, eating and sleeping.  He said they don't even swim on Sundays.  They made an exception to give tours for our ship, which because of our change in schedule due to previous bad weather was here on Sunday instead of Saturday.  We made a stop for some pretty scenery along the ocean and also stopped at a golf course.  Our final stop was at a place set up to demonstrate how Samoans lived long ago and the many traditions that still exist today.  They showed us how they cooked food on an open fire and then let us sample various foods they eat.  They served breadfruit dipped in coconut milk (okay but bland), spinach cooked with taro and coconut milk, banana, lamb, chicken, and tuna cooked in coconut milk.  It was all quite tasty.  The men do the cooking and the women take care of the children.  There was also a short program of singing and dancing.  We had just boarded our colorful little bus with wooden seats when it started to pour.  It rained really hard for about ten minutes and then stopped.  The heavy rain started again just about the time we got to the ship, so shopping for souvenirs along the dock was a pretty soggy experience.  We enjoyed American Samoa and thought it looked more prosperous than Tahiti.  One custom the two islands have in common is that they bury their dead in their yards (there are no cemeteries in American Samoa).  Property is passed down from generation to generation and our guide could't tell us how much the average house costs because he said they are never sold.  Tonight's show featured Marty Brill, a comedy writer who once wrote for Merv Griffin.  He had some very funny lines but others missed the mark.

Samoan Sunrise

Pago Pago Harbor

Pago Pago Harbor

American Samoa

American Samoa

American Samoa

American Samoa from bus

American Samoa - Golf course

Samoan Village Life

Samoan Village Life - Our guide Jonathan is on the left

Samoan Village Life - Men cooking

Samoan Village Life

Samoan Village Life - Coconut trees

American Samoa - Downpour

American Samoa - grave sites at family home

American Samoa - Shopping in the rain

American Samoa - Local security