Americans Robert Lutsky and Deborah Stanley are not your everyday tourists.
The couple were sailing to Samoa in their own yacht, until engine failure and flat batteries—which led to radio transmission blackout—left them stranded out at sea for 24 hours before Samoan police went to their rescue.
“I love the Samoan police. They stayed with us until finally a tow boat that came the next night, threw us a rope and towed us to bay – 60 miles,” Deborah said, in an interview with Samoa Observer.
And since getting into Asau on the big island of Savai’i, after their boating mishap, they have fallen in love with the Samoan people.
“Samoan people are so giving. People made baskets then came and gave us fruit baskets of pineapple, bananas, papaya and the people are rich in culture, in heart, and minds but not always rich in money.
“They give all they can and that’s why I love the Samoan people,” added Deborah.
The couple then talked about what they described as amazing snorkeling experiences in Asau, and claim that it has some of the best snorkeling in the Pacific Islands.
“We love Asau. We went all around the area there, swimming and kayaking and snorkeling in the area the airport used to be, some of the best snorkeling in all of the South Pacific,” said Robert.
“We saw all different kinds of fish, and usually nobody goes there where new corals are growing there, water was so clear and we had a really nice time there.”
The couple has been in Upolu for a week and are currently staying at the Sheraton Hotel in Apia.
And while in Apia, Robert has been soaking up all the attention he has been getting, since he bought his own lavalava to go with an alo’a—that was made and given by a hotel staff member.
“Since I’ve been wearing it, everybody looks at me and smiles, and many people compliment me, and I feel like I’ve been welcomed into the country almost like I’m part of the community,” he added.
When the couple was asked if they plan to return to Samoa, Deborah said they would definitely be back next year but with more people.