Te Fenua `Enata or The Land of Men.

Today, wednesday,July 6th, we are in Taiohae Bay on Nuku Hiva since saturday. We continue to be charmed by the Marquesas and its people. Nuku Hiva is the second largest island of French Polynesia after Tahiti. It is the administrative capital of the Marquesas islands. Today about 10.000 people live in the Marquesas. In the 18th century population was at 78.000 but western diseases such as measles and smallpox reduced the population to 4000 at the beginning of the 20th century.

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The bulk of the Marquesas Islands are of volcanic origin, created by the Marquesas hotspot that underlies the Pacific Plate. The Marquesas islands group is one of the most remote in the world. We arrived after our passage in Hiva Oa, then sailed to Tahuata, from there to Fatu Hiva and then back to Hiva Oa. From Hiva Oa we did a night sail to Nuku Hiva, where we are now.We will visit a couple more bays here and then sail to Ua Pou.

We arrived on Nuku Hiva at 9 AM after a night sail from Hiva Oa. It was another beautiful view ! When we took Flipper to the dock it was immediately clear that this was a more commercial island. There were a couple of restaurants, 2 stores and the supermarkets carry a lot of “gourmet food” such as lots of frozen vegetables (a nice change from canned food), Belgian chocolate, frozen lamb, Rocquefort cheese , “President” real butter and “Bonne Maman” jelly! During our discovery walk of the town we were invited for a festive dinner (at 6.30 PM) and traditional dance in preparation for the festivities of July 14th (Bastille Day). We met with Ann and Yvan from Kruibeke (Belgium) from the yacht Vaguebond. We were lucky to have just met them since the next day they were already off to the Tuamotus Islands. So far we have met only one other Belgian boat…We had a great evening ! The drums were fantastic and the dancers even better! I had steak and french fries for dinner with a glass of red wine!! It tasted soooo goood :-)). Yesterday Stefan figured out what the problem was with our batteries AND FIXED it !!! I continue to be amazed in how good he is in fixing all our problems…I love it ! We also had a nice 2 hour hike in the late afternoon and picked up part 1 of our laundry. Today we had lunch at Keikahahuni restaurant, I had “poisson cru” (raw fish) and Stefan had fettucine in a creamy sauce with fish, we enjoyed the peace and quiet of the restaurant, only accompanied by 3 kittens waiting for leftovers (which there were not). Tomorrow we will pick up  part 2 of the laundry, get diesel and leave for supposedly one of the most beautiful bays, Hakatea, just next door.

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Traditional dance for the 14th of July festivities.
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The drums were fantastic !

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Taiohae bay on Nuku Hiva.
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Sanuk captain, with Taiohae bay in the background.
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Notre Dame Cathedral on Taiohae, opened in 1977.
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Inside the cathedral.
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At the Temehea tohua site (ancient ceremonial meeting site)  along the seafront with sculptures carved by artists from the island.
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View down in the Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva.
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The Bay of Virgins on Fatu Hiva.
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Walk to the Vai ‘e’enui falls. The scenery is just gorgeous!
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Refreshing shower and swim at the Vai’e’enui falls.
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Sunset at Puamau bay.
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Main street,  Puamau.
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On our way to the Me’ae Te i’i pona site, a well restored ceremonial site of the Na’iki tribe.
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This is the statue of the priestess Tau’a pepe who died giving birth to a male child. The statue is carved by her husband.

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On our return we met Sevrin who was going to cut coconuts for copra. He would show us how this was done. Again the scenery was just beautiful.
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On the left dried coconut meat which is gathered for the coconut oil industry in Tahiti. Monoi oil is made from coconut oil.
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Sevrin is showing us how he cuts the meat out of the coconut.
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Sevrin slashing the coconut open. He invited us to his home to give us grapefruits, lemons and “pommes cythere”, a kind of sweet apple. We took the family for a visit on our boat, which they loved !
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Sanuk in Puamau Bay on Hiva Oa.