Samoa, Opolu Island and Sawai Island.
Samoa is very beautiful and the population is forthcoming and friendly. Compared to Fiji the population here is almost only consisting of the original Maoris. The capitol of Apia and the lagoon outside is protected by a large coral reef. Unfortunately a rather big container ship for some reason went on the reef on its way out. It stayed there for a week before it came free, but it did not restrict the traffic from the harbor.
After our departure, mainly Opolu was hit by a tsunami, which killed around 130 people mostly on the south cost. We were lucky harboured in the lagoon of Funafuti, Tuvalu when the tsunami hit the Samoan islands. We did not feel anything.
Pacific passage from Samoa to Wallis via Tokelau (Sep. 2009).
With an easterly wind of 25 – 30 knots, the passage to Tokelau of 263 Nm was made in less than one and half a day. Approx 100 Nm south of Tokelau, we had a collision with a drifting 4 x 4 m wooden platform (the type you often see anchored outside holiday resorts). Fortunately nothing happened, and we only saw it after the incident. We saw no ships on the way.
Since making landfall at night we had to heave too for 8 hours outside the main atoll of Fakaofo until dawn. Anchoring is only possible outside the atoll reef on a very narrow shelf, and the weather must be good with a calm sea. The wind came from the right direction but the swell was 4 – 5 m, and breaking on the nearby reef, so anchoring was unfortunately impossible. We came close to the main settlement, but had to move on. The wind remained easterly but went down to around 15 – 20 knots, so the rest of the total 684 Nm passage to Wallis was made in two and a half days, and the date line was crossed on the way.