"Arctracer" Letters

"Arctracer" headed to Samoa, Aug 2003

We have checked out of Tonga and are on our way to Samoa with Pete and Judi. Samoa is the independent country sometimes called Western Samoa, not Pago-Pago in American Samoa . Our last bit of luggage was delivered Thursday morning, just a week after we arrived here - we sure were glad to not lose our maple syrup!

We jumped through all the hoops of Immigration, Port Captain (40 Tongan $ anchoring fees for Vava'u), and Customs on Thursday afternoon. Friday 29 August we anchored at Hunga Island in Tonga waiting for the light winds to swing around in a favorable direction. We had our anchor up about 8:45 this morning and are presently headed north. We've seen 2 pods of porpoises and 3 humpback whales so far. We're trolling two lines and hope to catch a "big one," especially now that we've had an expert marlin captain fix up our Penn reel and show us some neat ways to tie the fishing line - a Bimini Twist for a springy line and a cats paw to attach the swivel-snap. We anticipate arrival in Apia by Monday, since it is only 350 miles. We'll gain a day again as we cross the International Date line - as we did flying to L.A. The winds are expected to be light, so we won't travel very fast but should be comfortable.