Thursday evening, Samoa, AH8LG`s home
So i got off to LAX in fine time, only having to explain what the transceiver in my carryon was and what it was for.
Checked in with Air New Zealand, and got good seat assignments for K6SRZ (sometimes called doctore) and myself, and then wondered where he was. He flew UA from SFO, but that flight was 1 hour 45 minutes late, so he was pushing it. I'd flown Southwest out of Oakland, because SW allows three checked bags (although I didn't need to do that, see previous discussions of antennas that didn't arrive). In fact, SW is in the next terminal to ANZ, whereas UA is on the other side of the horseshoe of terminals. I again had to explain the transceiver.
We left a little late, but caught up the time, landed in Apia, did immigration and customs in just comfortable time to catch the Polynesian flight to Pago Pago. I had to pay 86 tala (2.5 tala to the dollar) for excess baggage weight, but no problem.
We arrived in Pago Pago and were met by Larry AH8LG and his beautiful Samoan wife Uti. They took us to the place where we were booked, whioch truned out to be a mistake. It looks close but it's at the end of a bad road, so communcation and transportation would have been a hassle. But, as fate would have it, when we found someone to help us, he claimed there was no booking, so Larry and Uti offered us lodging at their house. We'd barely made it to the main road when we got a call saying that there really was a booking, but we all knew when we were better off and said "no thanks". Since we're at Larry's, we've been able to help pack, since everything is being staged from here. It turns out, while Larry isn't going to Swains, Uti and her sisters are our support crew (and a better crew we could not have, I think). It's been good, since Uti thought my idea of taking a bicycle is a good one, and I now have a funky $50. bike that'll be left on the island. And we've got a bag of clothes pins (my thought, heartily endorsed by the women, who've been to Swains before).
K6SRZ has been operating CW from Larry's station, which has made many ops happy. No one has done much CW operating from American Samoa recently, and we've had a hint that propagation will work for us, since K6SRZ has been working into Europe quite successfully.
It's a little warm and damp, but not horribly so. We're told that Swains will have less rain, a mixed blessing, since rain would give us more fresh water for washing, but we'll cope. And camping in rain, even tropical rain, isn't the most fun.
American Samoa is very much American and very much Samoan, an easy island to handle. DoctorE says it's much like the north shore of Oahu in the 60's.
So, all is well, even if we have many unanswered questions, a lot have been answered very positively.