Crossing the Equator and Pago Pago in America Samoa

A day after departing Honolulu, we were introduced to a cruise ship tradition.   We arrived at the aft pool deck for a crossing of the equator ritual.  King Neptune was on board and looking for Pollywogs to be sacrificed in exchange for allowing the ship to cross into the South Pacific.  Cruise staff, ranging from the culinary arts hostess to the theater stage hands, filled the role as Pollywogs.  They were charged with various offenses, and then the audience decided on their punishment (usually getting slimed, and then dumped in the pool).  Many of the ships passengers and officers, including the Captain, were on deck for the ceremony. 

One of the great things about being on a cruise is the ability to see a lot of places in a relatively short time frame.  But, unfortunately, that is, at the same time, the problem with this type of travel.  With the ship typically at a port for only a day, most visits are much too brief.   But, it’s wonderful to have the opportunity to get these ‘snap shot” visits to all the places on our itinerary.

Arriving in Pago Pago (pronounced Pango
Pango), the ship is surrounded by beautiful mountains soaring around the harbor.  It’s gorgeous.  Once again our plans were diverted by the US government shutdown, the National Park of America Samoa was not an option.  Securing our rental car, we decided to head west toward the beaches near Leone.  Driving along the waterfront, we enjoyed flower pot islands and other tiny island graced with a single palm or two.  After consulting with the local mayor of one little village, Alan located a perfect snorkeling spot and I was shaded by the nearby palms.  In addition to some unusual coral, Alan found a shocking blue starfish, this was a new one for us.

Deciding to explore an area near the park, we headed up the mountain.  A light rain had started on our way up, but within moments of arriving at the top we were caught in a deluge.  An incredible overview disappeared within seconds and visibility was reduced to zero.  Since clearing of the downpour seemed unlikely, we headed back to the ship.  The road down the mountain turned into a river and we were certain the waterfront road would be flooded.  Luckily, we were mistaken and returned to the ship drenched to the bone, but safe.  The unanticipated storm brought heavy seas and 50 knots winds through much of the night, but by the following morning we were in paradise again.

Formal dinner evening

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