July 6 - Taiohae, Nuka Hiva

Nuka Hiva (pop. 2600) is the second largest island in French Polynesia (after Tahiti). It has varied terrain, from steep wind swept cliffs to lush river valleys and deep bays to a third of the island being desert. The main town of Taiohae serves as the capitol for all of the Marquesas. (Only six of the fifteen islands are inhabited). It is also where Herman Melville (Typee) jumped ship in 1842 and hid out near the village of Taipivai.

In between drying the boat out, cleaning, and even recaulking a few deck and rail fittings, we've walked the waterfront road. On the road heading east is the hospital, P.O. and gendarme, and going west are found many small stores (magazins), stalls, a bank with ATM, artisan boutiques and historical sites. We found Rose Corser at her Museum/Boutique. She settled here with her husband Frank (now deceased) after many years of sailing, opened an Inn and has been a friend to cruisers ever since. She sold out to a Tahiti conglomerate 3 yrs. ago and is building another Inn/Restaurant which will be adjacent to her Museum/ Boutique. Two evenings ago we went to the cultural center to watch a part of the celebrations leading up to the July 14th Fete celebrated throughout French Polynesia. Locals perfomed traditional dances in native costumes and singing and drums accompanied the troupes from the various villages of the island. It was very well attended and we really enjoyed the display, even though we didn't understand the MC's explanations - it was all in Polynesian!
There's a lot of history, culture, and traditions to read and learn about...and many different bays to explore. We'll be watching the weather for any subtle changes in the easterly winds, to prepare for departure to check out other locations.

No comments: