The Marquesas 

The Marquesas are high steep volcanic islands with no fringing coral reef, the first stage of island development. They are very green. After the crossing Hiva Oa seemed like a south sea oasis with gentle breezes waving palm trees – but it did rain. And you get French bread. We did an island tour by taxi looking at sites with ancient tiki statues and collecting fruits (bananas, mangoes and the huge local pampelmousse) along the way. Apart from the route to the airport the roads are little more than a track in many places. We looked at the Gaugin museum and did some shopping, a case of buying whatever was available when you saw it. Next a brief visit to the small island of Tahuata, then overnight to Taihoe Bay on Nuku Hiva for the world ARC get together where we were treated to a Sung Polynesian welcome by the village, displays of local foods, handicrafts and costumes, a traditional evening meal and dancing. We did a hike up to a waterfall and visited Controleur Bay and Taipivai, the location of Herman Melville’s novel Typee. A brief visit to the island of Ua Pou (scenic skyline) where we saw the traditional Polynesian vessel Hokulea come into port with much ceremony and celebration. The it was off to the Tuamotus, a sail of some 500 miles or so.

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