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Thursday, May 22, 2014

Taiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva... Day 21-23

Rain, rain and more rain. A day inside to watch movies and read, discover more leaks and make clam chowder. A wonderful time and place to finish up the Herman Melville novel “Typee”, where Melville recounts his adventures after jumping a whaling ship in 1842... exactly here.
Carolyne... standing a little too close

Global cruising kids
France, Australia, US & New Zealand
Swimming and playing in Daniel's Bay 
 We were approached by a Frenchman named Oliver on a catamaran with 3 daughters our first day here who invited us to accompany them to Taioa Bay (or Daniel's Bay) sometime over the weekend. Lovely family! Jim stayed behind to do some internet and chores (and to have some peace and quiet, I suspect). A couple of Australian teens also joined us for the trip, just an hour away from Taiohae.

The kids had a blast, swimming and hiking and playing on the beach. Oliver and his wife Dania dinghied to fetch fresh water from the little village inside the riverlet while the kids and I hiked around the cliffs to meet them at the river. The ground was soggy from the rain the day before and I was covered head to toe in my long clothing to protect my skin from sun and insects. And when we reached the river the kids swam across in their swimsuits while I tried to locate a shallow spot to walk across. It was unfortunately rising tide and there seemed to be no shallow spots left. But, I was told I just had to see the beautiful village. So I rolled up my pants and got soaked up to the waist anyway.

There are only a few inhabitants here in this hamlet, but what beautiful surroundings! We didn't have time to hike up to the waterfall – the 3rd largest in the world - it was getting late. As the kids and I meandered through the fruit trees we were suddenly greeted by a splendidly savage looking man resembling descriptions of the Polynesian natives in Melville's novel. He was so beautifully fabulous that I had to have a photo of him. Mia, Carolyne's new French friend, interpreted for me and the Marquesan agreed --- only if I was in the photo with him. Looking quite sweaty from our hike and still sopping in my drenched clothing I tossed vanity to the wind. He sported brilliant tattoos on his head, face, arms... and a cannibalistic design ran from his chest to his navel. He had a bone earbob in his left lobe and his head was shaved on both sides. He was glorious! And he could ham it up!

I promised him a photo – a promise I plan to keep... once I can find someone with a color printer.

We will sail Hotspur back to this spot in a day or so – Jim just has to see this place and hopefully my new friend is still around.

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