Upon returning from our Father's Day drive around the island, our neighbor asked me if I wanted to take ride and get some fish. We hadn't determined what to do for dinner and the thought of some fresh fillet's sounded good, so I hopped in. It wasn't until we hit the main road that it crossed my mind I had no idea how far we were headed and upon inquiring learned we were headed to Pago Pago (about a 30 min drive). "Oh.... the trip will take a little longer than I figured, but that's cool I don't have too much to do" I thought.
So we get to Pago Pago and pull into the main Port, it's at this time I realize we aren't going to a store or even meeting some dude with a fishing net and a cooler. Once in the Port we were surrounded by mountains of shipping containers, giant fork lifts shuffling them about and cranes swinging them over head. I asked how commonly fatalities were as we drove past a leaning tower of containers and I begin to wonder what I got myself into. I was told "not many".
We meandered through the stock yard and arrived at a fishing boat (think Perfect Storm sorta fishing boat) docked behind a massive cargo ship. My neighbor jumped out of the truck and off the dock onto the boat without a word of explanation. I followed behind... my sense of confusion growing by the second. At this time I noticed there were six such boats side by side away from the dock. We climbed over and jumped across each until we reached the last boat.
Now I am surrounded by rough-neck Samoan sailors having conversations I can't understand and I am beginning to think I might need an escape route (still no explanation from my neighbor).
I stood there ready for "flight" (fight was not an option) as a couple guys went into the bowels of the ship and reappeared 15 anxious minute later with heavy duty garbage bags full of fish. I was a bit puzzled and wondering if they were going to lay everything out and give us the pick of the catch, but five bags seemed excessive. Then they handed me a bag and, going with the flow, I helped relay the five HEAVY garbage bags of frozen fish to the dock. Now I have no idea what the heck is happening and am really hoping these guys aren't going to look at me and demand several hundred dollars for fish. Without a word more my neighbor and I hop back into the truck with the fish and drive off! What the #$%?? Needing an explanation, I asked him what the heck is going on, why did we have so much fish and why didn't we pay for anything?!
"Oh.... my cousin is the Captain of that ship" he sais as if this were common knowledge to me.
So over three hours after leaving, and stopping on the way home to hand out our pile of fish to friends and family, I arrived back home to a wife who had begun to worry quiet a while ago (no cellphones yet).
In the end I got a new "fish story" and some extremely fresh Swordfish and Marlin for free!!
Take nothing for granted in A.S.
The Jaskowiak Family
Subscribe to receive an e-mail when we update our blog: