Sailor's Info


1   Roadside Produce Stands

2   The Samoan Longboat History


The Great Harbor in Pago Pago has long been a favored destination for sailors: commercial, cruising, luxury liner, military and fishing. Surprisingly Pago Pago Harbor is both a commercial harbor and a haven for wildlife.

The history of Pago Pago fills the imagination with tales of intrepid 18th century explorers, the surge of 20th century US naval power, major distant water fishing fleets, worldly blue water yachts and a ragtag legion of itinerants who found their way to Pago.

Culturally, Pago Harbor was eclipsed by the smaller harbor in Leone. There, ocean going twin hulled Polynesian ships plied the stone tool trade throughout the north and south Pacific. Square rigged whalers avoided Pago Harbor. Even the massive outer harbor was difficult to navigate away from in the face of perennial trade winds.

Today the harbor bustles with commercial trade. Support for this active trade assures ship shore services such as food provisions, electronics, machine works, communications and basic repair.

Cruisers, especially, will regal to find air freight fresh fruit and vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, oranges and apples, canned goods, staples such as fresh beef cuts and gourmand items such as kalamata olives, tortillas and sour cream. Most of the daily shopping for these items can be bought at Kruse and Sons Store located directly next to the yacht dock. There are several laundromats located within walking distance as well

Tools and supplies are generously available in four national brand hardware stores.
Mobile 3G broadband communications connects visitors with back home through applications such a Skype and Facebook. MacDonalds offers free WIFI and is a short walk from the yacht dock.

A modern community, Pago Pago is the only stop between Panama and Sydney with first world amenities and services. Browse the BusyCorner blog to learn more and set your own adventure itinerary.

Pago Harbor is cruiser friendly. Hospitable customs and dock officials generously assist blue water visitors making their way across the pacific.

MYD Shipyard is fully equipped to haul ships up to 2500 tons. They have full machine shop facilities and motor rewind repair. Electronics repairs include nav radar, calibration and computer repair.

The local hospital, LBJ Tropical, is HICFA approved and accepts insurance, medicare, medicade, military dependents and Tricare patients. There is a VA clinic on island.


Roadside Produce Stands

American Samoa's roadsides are a green basket of farm fresh vegetables, fruits and fish. Many of the farmers practice sustainable gardening and the road stands supplement incomes from the excess crops.

As this video shows, many products such as the rolls of pandamus leaves and coconut fiber brooms are
ethnobotanical products; useful implements made from renewable natural resources. The pandamus leaf is the fiber used to make mats, fans, hats and other household products.

At one stand, a young women sells aloe plant, a globally understood medicinal plant used to treat skin rash and burns.


The Samoan Longboat History

The Samoan sport of longboat racing has its origin in the copra trade of the 19th century. Lighters, or small rowed vessels, left the copra motherships to enter access breaks in the reefs of small coastal village.

There, bags of copra were loaded on to the lighters and taken to the mothership.

Inventive Samoan boat builders fashioned ever longer lighters into passenger vehicles. As the number of passengers grew so did the length (and crew) of the boats.  This image, taken by Tattersall in the 1920's shows a longboat with 27 rowers.

Today the sport has evolved into a fierce competition between villages and  islands. This boat, from the island of  Savaii has 46 rowers.

On Pago Harbor, the racers glide along at breakneck speeds, a function of design and power. Note the speed of the chase boat in this video following one of the "fautasi" racers.