Posted by: monsonmadness | July 3, 2011

Black crabs and blow holes

We have been waking up early with the roosters, as I have already mentioned. Saturday morning was no exception, and we were up at 5am and ready to start the day. We had decided that we were going to go on a hike to airport beach which is supposed to have great snorkeling. After a great french toast breakfast we loaded up our backpacks and were off.

What we didn’t know until afterwards was that high tide was at 8am which made our hiking and snorkeling almost impossible. The hike to the beach is along the top of some black rocks with the waves crashing on them constantly. It is amazing to watch, but a little scary when you have little ones in tow. On the other side of you is the barbed wire of the airport runway (yes the runway is right on the ocean, it’s just amazing that they have a place for a runway on this island) we were able to watch a couple of planes landing which was fun for the kids.

We wanted to get some great shots of the waves crashing against the black rocks, but the timing never quite works out. Also wanted to get some shots of these scary critters. I was petrified at first…as you can see from the photos, the rocks are jet black, and in one area the rocks seemed to be moving, even when there were no waves coming or going. Benjamin figured it out and yelled out “look at the crabs” sure enough there were hundreds of black crabs scuttling over the rocks, looking freakishly like tarantulas. Disgusting. Luckily they only liked one particular area and so we hurried past.

This was the best I could get of the blow holes, but in reality the water shot up at least 30 or 40 feet. Our own private Yellowstone experience, it was amazing. Again, we clutched onto our children very tightly and stood as far back as we could!

Just a short walk through the jungle and we would be there…

The kids had a great time playing in the sand. The other beaches that we have been to so far have been rocky, so they have had opportunities to swim, but no chances for building sand castles. They also loved finding hermit crabs. The tide was too high and the waves too big for any good snorkeling, although Michael did see 3 or 4 fish when he swam out a little deeper. Matthew enjoyed throwing rocks into the ocean and curling himself into a ball at the water’s edge, and Emma stayed as far away as she could from the water.

We had a nice snack on the beach and then headed back to the car. Two kids fell down and skinned their knees, and the two babies were exhausted and needed to be carried. Perhaps this hike was a little too much for them in the heat! A little whining, and we’re all wishing that we were back at the car, and then, a funny thing happened. I was carrying Emma who was fast asleep in my arms, Michael was carrying Mary on his shoulders, and the other kids were stumbling along grudgingly. Suddenly a Samoan fisherman came up from behind us, and without saying anything, scooped up Daniel with one hand and put him on his shoulder and just kept walking…overtook the kids, overtook Michael and went off. Daniel was petrified! He looked back at us in sheer panic, and when we finally realised that this man was trying to be helpful and not kidnap our son, we were able to shout out, “it’s ok Daniel, he’s just giving you a ride to the car” which is exactly what he did. A little communication or gesturing might have made things a little more reassuring for us, but he was just trying to be nice and help us out. Daniel was able to whisper out “Fa’afetai” to him (Thank you) before hiding behind my leg in fear until the man was out of sight. Great morning adventure, can’t wait to do it again.


  1. Sounds fun! (Minus the whining part. 🙂 And the crabs- just reading about the black rocks moving was gross! But the beach sounded like it was fun in the end. I love the picture of you and Emma!!

  2. So far I am jealous! I am sure that I will say this a million times…but what an adventure! Yesterday when I did sharing time, I told the kids about Matthew singing Praise to the Man…they were so interested in hearing about you guys! We miss you!

    • Thanks Christine. I need to come over and play Settler’s and eat licorice and old musketeers…..

  3. I love your blog…I’m reminiscing 1967-1969 (Samoan Mission) as I see your pics…fabulous! You will learn to really love these Samoan people and you have learned some words already…malo lava suga teine!


  4. Poor Daniel. That would be scary for a little guy. The blow holes sound cool.

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