At sunset the wind dropped from 10 knots to almost nothing, so we turned on the engine and motored the rest of the way to Apia (about 50 miles).
But the first few hours were a pretty nice sail. We saw whales several times, going around the southern tip of Tutuila (the main island of American Samoa). We caught one fish--a small tunny, which Dave threw back before I even got a picture of him. Between the tuna we got on our way from Suwarrow, and all the meat we bought in Pago Pago, we really don't have any room in our freezer anyway.
We arrived at Apia as planned just after 8am, and were tied up at the dock in Apia Marina by 0830. Clearing in here is easy--you wait on your boat and all the officials come to you...all 5 of them, one-by-one. By 1130 we were fully cleared. All the money is paid on exit, so I'm not sure the total fees for check-in/check-out here.
Staying in the marina is mandatory for yachts. And if there is no space in the marina, you can anchor out, but you still pay the marina fees. It is a very nice marina, with floating docks, water, electricity, cold-water showers, and a 24x7 guard at the gate. For our boat we will pay about $20 USD per night for the marina.
Our friends on Dream Away have been here for 2 weeks, so we will buy them a drink tonight and get the skinny on sightseeing Samoa. They rented a car and even took the car on the ferry to the neighboring island of Savai'i.
Sherry & Dave
On our way from French Polynesia toward Tonga
At 23/09/2011 10:02 PM (utc) our position was 13°49.67'S 171°45.56'W