September 18

We were supposed to leave Monday night but we clearly were goofing off this weekend and had too much to do so we decided to wait until Tuesday night. Today we decided the wind is blowing strong enough for us to make it sailing during the day SO the current plan is a 6 am departure. Its only 66 miles and with the wind blowing around 20 knots we should be there well before sunset. If we have to we will motor sail to make it before dark. "Scahfogg " is leaving at the same time and Anders has gently suggested a race and Jordan bit the ole male competition thing - SO we are going to be working hard tomorrow optimizing the sail trim and trying to look good so a smaller boat with a more experienced crew won't whoop our butt.

We spent the last couple of days doing errands and running around the city. Its been a lot of fun. Apia is the third biggest city in the South Pacific (Ed: After Papeete, Noumea , New Caledonia and Suva , Fiji ) which makes it the size of many large towns on the East Coast. But its lovely and real….the men in Samoa wear the traditional lavalavas (skirt like wraps) even the Policeman do! The ladies wear a long skirt with a fitted tunic top – very chic but proper. I have tried to wear long skirts and dresses but got tired of it and tried to wear my most longest shorts so as to not offend. Its hard getting off a boat in a skirt! Jordan bought a lavalava in Pago Pago and wears it around the house sometimes.

Upolu (the name of the main island where Apia is) is wonderful - we can't understand how the same people live in American Samoa. This island is neat and tidy with gardens and yards that are fussed over and cared for. It is so cheap! Their money is the Tala and you get 3.3 Tala to a US dollar. They use the dollar sign so occasionally we get shocked and then realize it is dirt cheap.

Today Jonah went with "the Danes" to McDonalds for a goodbye to Apia lunch. It has been a regular part of our day in Apia since it has the frosty air-conditioning and clean public bathrooms. What can I say, its very hot here. Remember we are moving north towards the equator so it is getting hotter and hotter. French Polynesia seems cool in retrospect!

I am glad that Jonah is getting a lot of time with kids as he has forgotten a lot about interacting with other children. My favorite story was when he slapped the older boy in the face because the boy wouldn't play a game with him and the boy slapped him back, hard. Jonah just sat and cried in a stunned way while I explained that if you hit someone you have to expect they might hit you back. The other parents were horrified but I was grateful for the interaction as Jonah is a true "only child" who sometimes has difficulty understanding that the world does not revolve around him.