Saturday, December 29, 2012

Coconut crab pinch. Ouch! Rated 'R'.

Caution the below video contains graphic, explicit adult language.  This video is rated 'R'.

Kathy get's a nasty pinch from this baby coconut crab we found on our hike to the WWII guns at Blunts Point.  

 See the drip of blood just below his pincher?
Bloody thumb with a cracked nail.  Can you feel the throb? OUCH!

Hike to Blunts point WWII gun emplacement

 Fagaalu bay where we were doing our reef clean up on Christmas.
 Kathy on the first of two huge guns on our Blunts Point hike, American Samoa
Second gun is incredibly well preserved considering it's over 60 years old.
 Panoramic with Rainmaker mountain on the left.

Kathy takes a break after the baby coconut crab pinched her thumb.

Vuda Point Marina, Fiji as a cyclone hole?

Fiji's Vuda Point Marina is considered by many as the one of the better cyclone holes in the South Pacific.  Category 4 cyclone Evan put it to the test with a direct hit.

A number of sailors rode out the storm aboard their vessels in Vuda Point Marina.  Here are links to their stories, photos and videos.

s/v Island Bound- Storm updates in the teeth of the storm sent via SSB.

s/v Zulu- great photos of cyclone damage to Fiji's Vuda Point Marina.

s/v Purrfection- A short and frantic video from Vuda Point Marina.

s/v Red Sky- A short clip from the cockpit.

Port Denarua Marina just across the bay suffered lots of damage!/denaraumarina?ref=stream&%24MURI__user=0

Video from across the bay at Port Denarua

Video: Hawksbill Sea Turtle

Thursday, December 27, 2012

2012 track of sailing catamaran LightSpeed

2012 South Pacific Sailing track of s/v LightSpeed.  Mexico, Marquesas, Tuamotu, Society Islands, Cook Islands and American Samoa.   For animated version of the above follow this link:

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Reef clean up American Samoa

 In the water self portrait in Fagaalu Bay, American Samoa on Christmas day.  Kathy and I decided to   clean up of trash in Fagaalu bay, American Samoa.
Thankfully these little blue fish brightened our day of picking up trash off the coral reef in Fagaalu bay, American Samoa.

Underwater self portrait during phase one of our Fagaalu bay, American Samoa coral reef clean up project.

 This can did not make me smile.
 Cans two by two into the bag.
 We don't go snorkeling to see plastic forks on the reef.    This is a underwater photograph.
 Hawksbill turtle didn't seem to mind a quick photo shoot, perhaps he was thanking us for picking up trash in his neighborhood.
 Kathy grabs a can within five feet of the Hawksbill turtle seen in the bottom center of the photo.
 The endangered Hawksbill Turtle has to watch what he eats in Fagaalu bay as plastic bags are nearly as common a sea sponges.
 Another can.  With every dive several pieces of trash were available for pickup.  IF we had a floating dump truck and a half a day we could easily fill it with tires, line, anchors, office chairs, plastic bags, cans and bottles.
 Coral ranges from dead to alive, but gets much better several hundred meters from shore where fresh ocean water predominates.
 Plastic plate.
 A magnificent Cowrie.  This shot was taken underwater with a waterproof Nikon Coolpix AW100 point and shoot camera.  Not bad.
 Cans, bottles and trash seem to be in equal proportion to coral and fish on the reef in Fagaalu bay.
 One bag of cans, plastic and bottles from just a quick 15 minute swim in Fagaalu bay, American Samoa.
Overflowing trash cans and trade winds might be the source of much of the trash we found on the coral reef in Fagaalu bay. But, based on what we've seen walking around the island and riding the bus, most of the trash was most likely thrown directly in the water or into a ditch that flushes the trash in to the bay.  Far too frequently we see people throwing trash out the bus window or simply tossing trash on the ground. What's need is leadership, education on reducing use and recycling and more trash and cans.  

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas 2012

 Christmas morning 2012 aboard s/v LightSpeed, American Samoa.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Happy Holidays

 Beaches on American Samoa are deserted on Sundays.
Surf spot near Sliding rock, American Samoa
Wishing everyone a wonderful holiday break.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

American Samoa Holiday Gift ideas

 Kathy dancing with the dancing Santa outside a mini mart near the American Samoan Post office.
Last minute shoppers can pick up a gift basket with Canned Mackerel  Baked Beans, Spam, Vienna Sausages, Planters Nuts, Corned Beef, Oreos, Yellow Mustard and Nescafe Instant Coffee for only $24.99.  Hurry while supplies last!

LBJ Waterfall hike American Samoa

Kathy enjoys one many waterfalls and refreshing pools to be found on this off the beaten path hike. With the aid of a 50 foot rope and dry weather the adventurous can explore the many pools and falls above.
 Kathy and Joe of s/v Pancea down climbing an exposed and very steep section of the trail.  An intense tropical downpour a few hours earlier left fresh slippery mud that had Kathy going barefoot to better grip the ground with her toes.
Following the road from the LBJ hospital uphill the trail begins on the North side of the creek once you pass through the rock quarry.

Friday, December 21, 2012

American Samoa National Park Hike Tuafanua Trail

American Samoa Hiking Map 

National Park of American Samoa.  Pola Island trail (1) is super easy flat walk along a old road leading to surf pounded steep rocky beach.  The beach talks as large breakers pick up the volcanic rocks and roll them back to the sea.  
Tuafanua Trail (6) is a bit more challenging despite being only 2.2 miles.  Sweeping views await at the ridge crest after a easy 15 minute stroll up a well built switch back trail.  After taking in the view an adrenaline pumping decent begins down what must be the steepest trail in the entire National Park system.  Nearly the entire decent toward the striking blue waters below is accomplished via ladder and rope.   
American Samoa National Park Hike on Tuafanua Trail makes one think of the child hood game 'Shoots and Ladders'.

 Kathy took a spill on the trail, but Luckily only ripped her sock.
 The alluring sparkle and of crystal clear Pacific waters over emerald colored reefs provides encouragement to continue down and down the ladders.
 Having a laugh after swinging down one of the really steep sections of trail.  Kathy was 15 feet above me vertically and only 5 feet away horizontally when she snapped this photo.
 Kathy Kane (s/v LightSpeed) leads Kathy (s/v Endorfin) and Fred (s/v Songline)
 Believe it or not this one of the least steep ladders.
 Looking North East towards Cockscomb Pt and Pola Island.
 Rock hopping along jagged boulders with Pola Island in the distance.
 Foamy remains of once majestic Pacific swell slip back to the sea.  American Samoa National Park.
 Looking South West toward the terminus of the Tuafanua Trail about 1 mile down the beach.
 Dried crab.
 Cowrie shells were frequently found among the large boulders.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Cyclone Evan no longer appears to threaten Samoa

December 15, 2012
Pago Pago, American Samoa

Category 4 cyclone Evan no longer appears to be a threat to American Samoa as it moves off to the West.  We sure hope it gives Fiji a pass by tracking North of the island group.