Western Samoa Log
Western Samoa is composed of two main islands, Upolu and Savaii. Both islands are covered in
piglets and flowers. Spotted ones, striped ones, multi-colored ones, and that's just the piglets. They
scurry around with their little curled tails whirling in activity. If one could just harness the energy in a
piglets tail, the oil dependency problem would be solved.
Flowered piglets, no really, think about it. Its brilliant. Little brightly colored pigs. You get one for each
room matching the decor. To their little tails you tie a fan. Air, art, cuteness it has it all. The best part
is that when you redecorate you can have a luau instead of yard sale.
Other than flowers and pigs, water is the main feature of Samoa. True, it is a set of islands so the
water thing could be a given. But, its also a rainy place created by volcanic activity. This combination
sets the scene for rainforests, waterfalls, reefs, blowholes, fresh water caves and springs.
One of the more popular waterfalls is really a series of rocky declines leading into deep pools of icy
water. These are known as the Sliding Rocks. Fanny dragging is the name of the game here. You set
your bottom down on a rocky slab and push off bouncing along in the icy water to plummet into the
pool below. Um, Jen, you set your bottom down and PUSH OFF, not cling in terror. After bravely
climbing up the rocks to my perch I set my bottom down and then, the first mistake, looked down. It
seems, um, higher than I thought. Gosh, those rocks certainly seem, uh, rugged. I proceeded to
valiantly sit. I sat and I sat. Richard and Claudie were below taking bets as to when I will climb down
and give up. Ah, little do they realize my ability to perch endlessly arguing with myself. "Go, no, no,
don't go, uh, it will be fine. No way! I'll break my head." Eventually, much to everyone's surprise, I
flung myself off into the waterfall. Then, I got up and did it again.
Saltwater too is a great recreational attraction in Samoa. Generally speaking, snorkeling in said
saltwater is a relaxing, bobbing in space kind of activity. You float, amazed at the variety of life. As
you get toward shore your attention diverts to shell seeking. Perhaps you even try to get the sand
out of your bathing suit. Little does one suspect the danger lurking in the shallows.
In the South Pacific there is a lovely fish called a Picasso triggerfish. They are smallish as far as
triggerfish go, only about small hand size. Since they are white with bright yellow, black and blue
markings in a Mad Max tattoo pattern, they are rather attractive. A triggerfish's shape is a tad
unusual, imagine a diamond laid on its side. At one end of that diamond is a tail, at the other a
beak-like mouth that can pull the spines right out of a sea urchin.
Have you ever noticed that pregnancy can bring out the worst in, well, all critters? Apparently it is
nesting season for the delightful little triggerfish. We discovered this while innocently snorkeling.
Awww, look, that cute little triggerfish isn't running away when we approach. Hmmm, the little guy is
actually pointed straight at us. Um, dude, he's coming right for us! Ahhhhhhh!!!
These adorable creatures find a territory, lay eggs and defend to the death. Smallish belligerent fish
stare striking fear in the hearts of the snorkeler. Its just you, a five foot or so human, against the
terrible threat of a 4 inch fish. The worst is when you realize you are facing three fish with side by
side territories. Which way to turn! The shore is so near and yet so far! Thrashing in the shallows like
a beached whale vainly trying to protect yourself you realize, the humiliation is complete. No contest,
the fish wins.