Posted by: monsonmadness | January 6, 2012

Lost day, new island, fish attack, and some real food!

Day 5 – Sat 31st Dec

Yesterday was Thursday 29th December and when we woke up today it was Saturday 31st December. We lost a day. There is a big map in the center of town showing people the new date line change, hoping not too many people will get confused. Matthew seems to have it down well. Instead of being confused and asking questions, he is as well aware of what day it is in American Samoa compared to Samoa as he is what time it is here and in Utah. He is happy to give out this information without request several hundred times a day, even now that we are back home! Any mention of a date or time comes up, and he will let you know what date and time it is in Samoa! Smart boy.

We checked out of our lovely resort in Savaii and got the ferry back to the main island of Upolu. Our first stop was a grocery store, and what a comparison to Savaii. (Still far from western standards of course). We were thrilled to buy hot dogs, noodles, cereal, milk, rolls, bacon, eggs, cookies, and juice. We checked into our new accommodation which we were very happy with, and then got changed so that we could squeeze in an activity before the day was over.

We chose to check out the snorkeling at Palolo deep marine reserve. Now, those of you with small children understand the chaos of going anywhere, so when we don’t lose a child, or bring almost everything we need when we go somewhere, we feel pretty successful. Such was the case this day. Everyone had their swimming things on, we had sunscreen on, had our snorkeling gear, remembered the underwater camera…we were ready to go. We got out of the car and shepherded everyone quickly to the beach area as it was going to close in a couple of hours.

The big kids and I had the first turn going out snorkeling into the big blue hole surrounded by walls of coral. Matthew ended up drifting a way off and seeing a huge eel! I saw several nice colored fish, and then happened upon some very mean looking ones. I swear that it was trying to stare me down. Spooky. I tried to get a picture of it and it charged right at me, then swam away. Ah. I swam a little farther and saw another fish just like it, again, I tried to get a photo and it darted right at me. I had Hannah with me and it spooked her a little bit. I stood up with her and felt the fish bump into my leg. (Fish don’t normally do this, they avoid humans and swim around them). Weird I thought, and decided I really did want to get a picture of this fish that had it in for me. Down I went into the water again and there he was, still at a distance starting me down, I try to take a picture and BOOM! He swims over and bites me on the knee! I screamed, I wasn’t expecting that at all. I couldn’t believe it. I got Hannah right out of there and got back onto the beach. Have you ever been bitten by a fish? Well, it doesn’t hurt too much, but a week later I still have the mark where he cut me! Most shocking thing that happened on the trip! Check out the photo of the evil fish staring me down. I also have one of him swimming by, he has blue stripes across his eye and diagonal stripes on his belly. He looks mean right?

To cut a long story short, I guess there was a map of the marine reserve at the entrance and we had been hustling our kids in so fast that we hadn’t stopped to look at it. It gave pictures and information of what fish you could find in which parts of the reserve (including where the eel lived). If we had stopped to look at the map, we would have read that there are a group of reef trigger fish who live in a certain area of the reserve who don’t like to be approached, and if you stop and stare at them, they may charge and bite you.

Lesson learned…always read the signs, even if it’s not convenient with the little ones!

Time for dinner, and we were hoping to find somewhere in Apia to eat, it was pretty dead but then the kid’s dreams came true. A MacDonald’s. After a week of bread and chips we were all over the moon…REAL FOOD! (Has anyone ever said that about MacDonald’s before?) Meat…potatoes…we were in heaven! We had a great time eating and letting the kids play in the play zone. I caused quite a stir driving into the car park using the wrong turn, and they made me back out and come in another way (very silly). At least I was confident on the left and even managed the roundabouts without any trouble!

Back at the hotel we had a great time in the pool. My kids just really don’t get much of a chance to swim. I know that sounds crazy with us living on an island, but most places are just too rocky, or the tides and too strong and are not safe for swimming. We had a blast.

We went to bed early even though it was New Year’s Eve, and you can read about the rest of the night here with photos below.

I’ve got to tell you, Michael thought it was pretty funny that I had been bitten by a fish. He couldn’t stop laughing. I thought it was funny too, but then I reminded him how funny it was that he cycled over a dead deer on the road and broke his elbow. Not as funny he thought! How about you? Which do you think is funniest?


  1. how does one cycle over a dead deer? Glad it was a good day!

  2. Ha Ha Ha! Spencer votes cycling over a dead deer:)

  3. The dead deer thing will always be funniest! The poor man recieved no sympathy from you, and I think that that is what made it even funnier!
    Christine Wolf

  4. Wow- that’s a tough one to vote on. Pretty funny that the fish bit you! And, as I assume you would guess, I am over the moon happy whenever I get to go to McDonald’s too!!

  5. I actually don’t want to vote for the fish or the deer. Can I please vote for the wasps with the poisonous death juice?

  6. I voted for the dead deer, but I’m surprised by your fish bite. We just went snorkeling for the first time, and I tried to reach out to touch the fish. They do just swim away from/around you. I guess they see you coming like slow motion because the water slows you. That fish had some cool stripes, but still looked evil. Guess they don’t like staring contests!

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