July 11 - Taiohae Bay

I've heard that the singing alone was worth going to Sunday Mass at many of the Catholic Church's in the Marquesas. Forget that you can't understand a word- since it's in the local dialect-which is similar to Hawaiian and totally different from Tahitian. The acapella harmonizing was out of this world- no instrumental accompaniment needed. The Cathedral suits the landscape, and the Marquesan wood carving art work was a sight to behold. The crucifix as well as the stations of the cross were all locally hand carved; the alter a simple slab of stone. None of the overdone opulence I'm used to seeing; no stained glass....beauty in simplicity, the open rafters and overhangs keeping it well ventilated and cool.
Another thing not to be missed is the traditional Marquesan 'body art', ie tattoos. We were happy to see our single hander friend Keith on Atalanta here, and he was interested in getting his first tattoo. He was disappointed to learn they are no longer administered in the traditional manor of etching with a sharks tooth! We were pointed in the direction of the local artist named Brice (pronounced Breeze), and accompanied Keith to his appointment. He now has a beautiful permanent souvenir, as do many other sailors who have come this way.
So, we've been enjoying meeting folks from all over...taking turns with sun-downers on different boats. We had 11 in our cockpit....it lasted a bit past sundown - 10 pm saw the lst dinghy leaving! A good time was had by all!

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