SAVAII’S SLAVES -

A SAMOAN AD­VEN­TURE

New Zealand Surfing - - FRONT PAGE - words and pho­tos: CORY SCOTT

We head to the mys­ti­cal is­land of Savaii for a taste of Samoan cul­ture, sights and warm trop­i­cal water with two waves a stones throw from our beach front ac­com­mo­da­tion, we work the tides and con­di­tions like slaves, for a weeks get­away from our lives back home.

Ex­it­ing from the cus­tom gates at Apia air­port, we could have been for­given for board­ing the wrong flight as the heav­i­est rain we have ever laid eyes on pelted down. There stood our trans­fer driver soaked from head to toe, want­ing to waste no time he grabbed our board bags and jumped on top of his van lash­ing down our coffins with rope, while we stood un­der shel­ter not want­ing to get our feet wet. Af­ter all when you sign up for a trop­i­cal get­away you think white sand beaches and sunny warm weather. But it seemed when we col­lected our lug­gage from the con­veyor belt some­one had also packed the NZ spring rain. Prior to the trip we had heard that Samoa was in the grip of a water short­age with no rain for three months, the dri­est pe­riod on record. Well the heav­ens were cer­tainly mak­ing up for be­ing in hol­i­day mode. Across town we headed to the ferry ter­mi­nal bound for the is­land of Savaii a cou­ple of hours sail away. With blus­tery north east winds ocean con­di­tions were cut up and waves washed up into the boat, the side­ways rain also meant there was more water in­side the boat than what we were sail­ing on, well not quite but you get my point. The added water was more than wel­come by us, serv­ing its pur­pose by wash­ing away the vomit from a pre­vi­ous sail­ing, which lay all over the floors. Whether it’s in the is­lands or in Indo it seems the lo­cal pop­u­la­tion have less tol­er­ance to mo­tion sick­ness and scenes like this are not un­com­mon when trav­el­ling for surf. We ar­rived in Savaii and were met by our hosts from Aganoa Beach re­treat, Keith an Ozzie ex­pat who had been surf­ing this is­land since the 80’s, set up busi­ness here in the mid

MAIN: AGANOA LEFTS ONE OF SAVAII’S FINEST. IN­SETS TOP TO BOT­TOM: AN IS­LAND A STEP BACK IN TIME, LO­CALS LIV­ING OFF THE LAND. THE SIX SLAVES OF SAVAII, ALSO SLAVES TO THE DRINK CALLED VAIL­IMA. OUR BEACH FRONT FALES UN­DER THE CLEAR SOUTH PA­CIFIC SKIES.

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