The SSV Robert C Seamans began making port in American Samoa two years ago, this being their third trip. The sailing ship is a research vessel facilitating education and research throughout the Pacific region, more here... http://www.sea.edu/ships_crew/seamans
While the ship is in harbor they open it up to the public for tours, Noah enjoyed playing Captain and pulling on every lever within reach.
As the ship is preparing to sail off to Fiji, Tonga and New Zealand they conducted a brief sail to demonstrate data collection methods to local students. Dad was lucky enough to be invited to tag along. We were on the water for about five hours and the crew conducted five data collection exercises. These included collecting sediment, water and small marine species (like plankton).
We motored out of the harbor and then the crew had the students run up three sails and we began to sail. They strategically utilized only three sails to maintain a slow speed for collecting specimens. Its too bad they didn't run up all the sails, but that is a very big undertaking.... you can see that it is pretty awesome when they do.
In the picture below you can see the students and crew have a skimmer net deployed to collect small ocean life at the surface.
The ships crew were helpful and very friendly, theses little voyages are completely free and promote marine awareness and education. It is an amazing opportunity for college students to try life at sea and have an amazing experience, I can only wish I had such an opportunity and encourage anyone interested to reach out to them through the website given at the top of this post.
.... and in NOAH NEWS: Noah got a scooter and can not be separated from it!
Noah in American Samoa is now on Instagram, and we have provided a direct e-mail link for questions.
Thanks to everyone who reads, and to all those who have sent us kind words. We are happy this site has helped so many people moving to American Samoa. We have a busy few months ahead of us, so look out for more ideas on travel and exploration!
As previously mentioned, we are hiking more now that Noah is robust enough to take a fall. We recently conquered the Heritage Trail, it's only about a 2.2 mile hike but it has its ups and downs.... literally!! haha .... OK, that wasn't funny. Moving on... this trail is actually the combination of two trails; Blunts Point (previously posted on) and the Tramway Trail.
I must interject a little American Samoa history here with regards to the Tramway Trail. The trail got its name due to the location of a now defunct tram that traveled between two mountain peaks on either side of the Pago Pago Harbor. Originally built to service the first television broadcasting tower, this tramway became a tourist attraction offering beautiful views over the Harbor. The 60's and 70's were the "hay day" of American Samoan tourism as the island was service by Pan Am flights and boasted the Rainmaker Hotel, a destination resort.
On Flag Day in 1980 the US Navy was participating in the celebration and sky divers were being dropped from the air over the harbor. On the pilots final pass he clipped the tramway wires, sheered the planes wing and crashed into the Rainmaker Hotel, killing seven including the crew. The casualties would have bee much higher had the Flag Day ceremony not been underway. The tram was rebuilt then destroyed by Cyclone Val in 1992, the Rainmaker was restored but never regained its glory days and is now a vacant lot.
Here's whats left....
We began the hike at Blunts Point and finished up on the Tramway Trail, the path leads you up and then along the mountain ridge the majority of the way. I have plotted my best guess on the path location below (yellow line).
This was our most challenging trail so far with Noah and having done it makes us feel more confident about tackling more island hikes. We were thankful to be hiking on a windy day, it helped cool us down and kept the mosquitoes at bay.
Some portions are easy and Noah got to do some hiking himself....
Some portions are not....
As you can see, some portions of the trail are not for beginners and require a bit of caution. There are several areas where ropes are required to go up or down and others with loose rocks/soils. It is great exercise and an awesome trail.
We took our time and stopped for a snack on the trail and still finished in just under 3 hours. We had many beautiful views along the way. Near the Tramway trail-head, but at the end of our hike is another WWII monument and a nice grassy area to take in the views.
The Jaskowiak Family
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