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_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Nuku Hiva - Peter

Our first impressions of Taiohae Bay were of the vivid green hills surrounding the anchorage. Beautiful clouds move past, and rain showers are common.

Taioa Bay sunset

The sounds of doves and the aroma of tropical flowers fill the air.

Nuku Hiva flower

Hibiscus maybe...

The anchorage was spacious. More boats were French than not, but we spotted a couple of fellow American boats. We rigged Marcy with the customary awning, appropriate flags, and after laundry added drying clothes to complete the “cruiser” look.

Marcy at Taiohae

Taiohae harbor view

Taiohae harbor view 1

We went ashore and absorbed the ambiance: friendly people conversing in French and Marquesan, Polynesian music on people’s radios, 4wheel drive vehicles driving slowly down narrow streets, dogs, horses, pigs, and chickens everywhere. We are in the biggest town in the Marquesas, and there is only one stop sign here.

THE stop sign in town Taiohae

Downtown Taiohae

Taiohae is exactly like the descriptions that Peter’s mother gives of Hawaii in the ‘30’s – laid back, warm and friendly. Complete with the corrugated tin roofs and streams crossing roads.

main highway across Nuku Hiva

The check-in process was painless - we visited Polynesian Yacht Services and visited the gendarmes, and voila! We were legally in the country. Anne at PYS in her charming French accented English gave us good local shopping information, told us “don’t drink the water,” and suggested a visit to an archeological site in the hills.

This feels tropical! Nuku Hiva

All around there is evidence of the Marquesan existence before western contact – statues, stone platforms, and the distinctive patterns of woodcarving and tattoos. The stylized big eyed statues are everywhere – bank lobbies, front lawns, and street corners.

Taiohae statues

We were intrigued and hiked up the valley to visit Koueva, an ancient site that has rebuilt structures on the platforms.

Peter at Koueva

Ginger at Koueva

We heard of another ancient site in a bay to the north, so Marcy moved to Daniel’s Bay, notorious because the TV show “Survivor Marquesa” was filmed here. We had to laugh at the thought of having a tough time finding food. We dropped a lure over the side and pulled in fish after delicious little fish. It took no more than a minute or two before another fish was hooked.

Blonde Ginger

The hike into the hills reminded us of our travels in the Cascade Mountains in some ways. The air was rich with oxygen, and we forded rushing streams and scrambled across rock fields. Pig wallows and ominous grunting from the undergrowth, as well as the strange variety of plants and birds reminded us where we were. The site was amazing, with walls, platforms, and stone paths next to a beautiful mountain stream. The area was lit by dappled sunlight filtering through the trees. There were many fruit trees and coconuts. It must have been a wonderful place to live.

Peter crossing stream at Hakaui

Further up the trail is a pool at the foot of a tall waterfall. We eagerly stripped off our clothes and jumped in to cool off. Enormous blue-eyed eels came out of the depths to regard us curiously. Crawfish nibbled at our feet.

Waterfall pool Hakaui

Waterfall eel Hakaui

As we returned to the canoe and paddle out to Marcy, we felt lucky to have visited the ancient Marquesan valley of Hakaui.

back to Red Dogfish Hakaui

Daniel's Beach

Back onboard, we pulled out the charts to plan the next leg. We need to work our way south in the Marquesas, then a several day passage to the Tuamotu Islands.

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