Monday, July 16, 2007

Manu'a Flag Day

Today was a holiday--Manu'a Flag Day. What, you didn't get the day off from work?

Manu'a Flag Day celebrates the day that the Manu'a Islands were ceded to the United States 103 years ago.

"Ceded," you say, "by whom?" By Manu'a, of course.

Manu'a consists of the islands of Ofu, Olosega, and Tau. Ever heard of them? (We visited Ofu and Olosega last September). Although separated from the main island of Tutuila, the Manu'a Islands are part of American Samoa. Combined population of Ofu, Olosega and Tau = probably 500 people, and shrinking.

And for some reason, workers in American Samoa get the day off from work. No real celebration, just another sweet day off.

I love this place.

Our country should seriously consider taking over more beautiful islands.

So we visited Airport Beach today to celebrate Manu'a's surrender to the U.S. No fireworks for Manu'a Flag Day, but at least the blowholes were shooting off something. I'd never seen them so spunky. Unfortunately, I didn't capture the biggest bursts.

On the walk past the blowholes, there's a few places where the ocean has literally ripped through the lava rock to create some very unstable natural arches. I always figured the Samoan fishermen had to be insane to cross the arch and drop their line.

So on our walk, out goes John on the arch. Then Caroline goes, and then Angela tries on a different arch.

What this picture doesn't show is that the very next wave splashed right over Angela. It was pretty funny. A lot of us got drenched today by huge blowhole bursts.

It took us a long time to get out to the beach. Jaydn, Trey and John were busy looking for shells. I was hopelessly trying my new camera out on the blowholes. I mean, can't the blowholes shoot off on a set schedule, like Old Faithful? Is that too much to ask?

Once on the beach, I went with Angela and a few others out around the weather tower (where I saw the sting ray). Melanie aptly noted that the area felt like a cross between Ofu and Faga'alu, two really great snorkeling spots. Melanie actually saw another Barracuda. Man, I've had that Heart song in my head ever since Friday!
Jaydn found one of his best shell finds ever, which sent John, Caroline and Pyper out on a shell hunt.
Another beautiful beach day.