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Thursday, May 23, 2024
HomeUnited StatesAmerican SamoaI Blew It: Missing Blowholes in Samoa And Tuna in America

I Blew It: Missing Blowholes in Samoa And Tuna in America

Missing It is part of the Bula! Fiji Hub Trip Report.

Are you ready for another Travel Lesson? This one is especially annoying but also not completely my fault. With limited time to explore the South Pacific before my Melbourne Residency, I only had time to visit Samoa for two days. There were two things I wanted to see in Samoa- 1. The blowholes. 2. Le Sua Ocean Trench. I didn’t do any research to see if it was logistically feasible to visit both in such a short period.

Arriving in the late afternoon, I spent the first day relaxing at the Sheraton Samoa. which is located on the island of Upolu. The next day I learned that my goal of seeing both was impossible. To see the blowholes, I needed to take a ferry to Savaiʻi, the other island in Samoa. The problem was that it happened to be a Sunday, and there was only one ferry to Savaiʻi which left at 1 PM and returned at 3 PM (see Ferry Schedule here). This meant that I would have to stay overnight there. That was impossible because my flight back to Nadi en route to Kirabti left at 5:15 AM the next day. If it were a Monday, I could have taken the 6AM ferry, arrived at 8AM and then taken the 4PM ferry back. I still would have missed seeing Le Sua Ocean Trench, but at least I could have seen the blowholes, a natural marvel that I had purposefully skipped in Tonga (see Guns & Butter: Tonga Travel Guide) and saved for Samoa.

Before embarking on this adventure, I also made the conscious decision to skip American Samoa (see TPOL Does the Unthinkable, Skips a ‘Country’). There were no affordable flights and it was logistically impossible. While my friend Lee Abbamonte said that there is not much to do in American Samoa besides smell the Starkist factory, the next time I’m so close to a ‘country’ (see Is Hawaii a Country?), I will take advantage of the proximity and smell it for myself.

Travel Lessons 

Based on the flights available, the only thing I could have done not to have these regrets would have been to skip Samoa completely and spend the two nights in Fiji. Alternatively, I could have stayed longer in Samoa and American Samoa and skipped Kiribati. Given the outsized points redemption, 20,000 Avios and $37 versus $1484 out-of-pocket one-way, and isolation of Kiribati (see Fiji to Kirabati: Now That’s a Great Use of Avios), that would have been a mistake.

One thing is for sure, like my almost getting stranded experience in Cabo Verde (see Stuck on a Deserted Island? TPOL’s Trouble in Cabo Verde), I will devote at least two days on each island with an attraction that I want to see. This will account for logistical mishaps that may occur.


I have to fly all the way back to the South Pacific to visit both Savaiʻi and American Samoa. I will do so on my next residency in Sydney, Australia (see Why A Second Residency?) which is scheduled for the winter of 2025.

Trotting is tough.

a man standing on rocks near water with palm trees
Oh no, I have to go back to Fiji.

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