I was out on deck very early this morning so I could catch sunrise as we sailed toward American Samoa…. The first thing that I noticed was the smell of smoke. The morning fires that the residents of Pago Pago burn could be smelled miles away. As we approached the island the smoke looked like ground fog, and lots of it. After our arrival, Ed, Becky, Janet, Mike and I headed out for a hike around the island. Our hike had to be fairly short since our port stop was only a half day. We hiked up past the Governor’s House and the abandoned Rainmaker Hotel and up the mountainside. We headed to the old cable car station, closed over 30 years ago after a tragic accident. We capture the views along the way and avoided the packs of angry dogs encountered along the way. It was a nice hike, albeit a very hot one. We stopped at the Goat Island Café for cold drinks after coming off the mountain. It was a very nice stop with cool breezes and wonderful music being played. The it was off to town to see the changes since my last visit here in 2009 shortly after the Tsunami. I was happy to see that the recovery had gone pretty well although work remains to be done. We also got some new guests onboard today, Stein Kruse, President & CEO of Holland America Line, his wife Linda and other Seattle staff. They are here for Mariner Appreciation Days…. Big party tomorrow!