Les Isles Marquises are the first of the French Polynesian islands on our route through the Pacific. Arriving at Fatu Hiva after 23 days at sea was amazing; the anchorage was stunningly beautiful, and the people ashore gave us our first glimpse at how friendly the Polynesians can be. On Fatu Hiva the small community of 200 people welcomed us and were generous with their hospitality, inviting us to a Fathers’ day celebration after church. In church we became hooked on the Polynesian singing, which has to be heard to be believed.
After Fatu Hiva we sailed north to Hiva Oa, where we cleared in, re-provisioned (French bread and croissants being a real treat) and hired a 4WD car to travel to the north of the island over progressively bad roads to the small village of Puamau where we saw a famous Tiki site (ancient stone statues carved by the first settlers of the islands) and where again we were invited to take part in a local lunch celebration.
From Hiva Oa we sailed south-west to Tahuata and enjoyed 3 anchorages although the swell in each made going ashore a perilous affair. The highlight of the frist anchorage was spending a lazy hour snorkelling with a school of manta rays. Again in the village of Vaitahu we were overwhelmed by the generosity of the locals, and by the beauty of the surroundings. Lovely, lovely islands.
Date(s): June and July 2007. Album by Gerard Coulson. Photos by Gerard Coulson. 1 - 65 of 65 Total. 7015 Visits.
The Myrdinns welcome us in
We arrive with the supply boat. Dropping off a car
The wharf at Fatu Hiva
Lots of locals gather when the supply boat comes in
Local girls selling trinkets
The sea wall protects the wharf. Supply boat in the anchorage
Tourist from the supply boat, and kids from yachts at anchor watch a coconut being emptied
Our first taste of Polynesian dancing
Luckily all these tourists left after an hour ashore
The boys playing on the sea wall
After the Sunday service
Fatu Hiva anchorage
Ashore on Hiva Oa, at the Tiki site
Ernst, from Myrdinn
The beach at Puamau
The kids play in the surf
These ladies are playing Bingo!
The church at Puamau, where we joined a celbration lunch.
Sailing to Tahuata
We leave Hiva Oa astern
Hanamoena, a beatiful anchorage on Tahuata. Getting ashore in the surf was dreadful!
Leaving Hanmoena astern
Sailing peacefully down the western side of Tahuata
Ashore at Vaitahau
Looking down on Clarabella and Meta in the anchorage off Vaitahau
The cross overlooking a headland
Brother and sister
The vatican-sponsored church in Vaitahau - a beautiful place to enjoy the singing on Sunday