Day 1,103: A Tale of Two Sundays

Sun 08.01.12:

As the good ship Southern Lily 2 was scheduled to be leaving Apia in the wee small hours I left my passport in the ship’s office with a note saying “this is my passport, please do not wake me unless strictly necessary”. As I was three sheets to the wind when I wrote this note, I had no recollection of the event the next day when for a terrifying few moments I thought I had lost my passport somewhere in the midst of last night’s ridiculousness.

I need not have worried, for not only had my passport not gone anywhere, neither had the ship. Since Samoa is still quite a god-fearing country, the loading operation stopped last night at midnight for the Sabbath Day. My hopes of having a Saturday night in Samoa, crossing the International Dateline and having another Saturday night in American Samoa were dashed like sailors on siren-infested rocks. Instead, I would have to brace myself for A Tale of Two Sundays.

Apia on Sunday is a quiet little place. The weather, still not playing ball, was content to spend the day in a drizzle-soaked mist. I spent the day strolling along the promenade and looking for somewhere that was open. The Italian Kitchen and Aggie Grey’s (presumably the Pacific counterpart of Maggie May’s) breached the Sunday trading rules, but aside from that everywhere was bus-up-shut.

I felt like I was in one of those situations in which you say goodbye to a good friend only to have to hang around for another hour or so because the bus doesn’t leave. Without any easy way of getting around the island and utterly failing to find the Yacht Club (which I’m assured was open), I was content to spend the day beavering away on my laptop, cut off from the outside world. Sans phone, sans internet, sans problemo.

Graham Hughes

Graham Hughes is a British adventurer, presenter, filmmaker and author. He is the only person to have travelled to every country in the world without flying. From 2014 to 2017 he lived off-grid on a private island that he won in a game show, before returning to the UK to campaign for a better future for the generations to come.

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