Marquesas – Enjoying another 2 weeks on Nuku Hiva

Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Marquesas

So we take out our “post pacific passage” to do list and start with a series of more or less small repairs.

First thing Reto needs to go up into the mast to check what happened to the broken wifi antenna of which luckily after one week in the pacific we had found the loose part down in the net between the two swimmers. We realize that only the cables were broken, the rest must have gotten loose even though he thoroughly checked it just before leaving Panama.

Reto sewing the genua with the good old bernina sewing machine..
structural improvement -the bathing ladder platform is strenghthened with epoxi

Next thing is the provisory repair of the genua with the help of the good old Bernina sewing machine.
The largest bit of work is the improvement of the bathing ladder platform.

Since once again the screws became loose Reto now makes 4 square holes, fills them up with a sponge and epoxi and afterwards a nice layer of gelcoat.

Afterwards it looks better than new and now for sure there is no more water dripping inside…

At the same time we do several small hikes in the surroundings of Taiohae.

Paepae with Tikis in Koueva
a holy tree where the ancestors have been buried

First thing we visit the cultural site of Kouevi about 45 min above Taiohae. After some pictures we flee again thanks to a large number of mosquitoes.

the girls wearing crowns of flowers
it does look like it would hurt…
the students admire the guys doing and receiving the tatoos
the art of wood sculptures
the sticks are pealed and one of their layers gives the skin for the taro
plates and pouches made with banana leaves
the pouches used to be used to put food in the marquesian oven
the two marquesians are a bit quicker than Reto in getting off the coconut bast but still it is hard work..
here the modern way of producing fresh coconut milk
in comparison Reto using all his tools to peel the outside of the coconut

Together with Ellen and Martin we hike to one bay to the west.

Passing the college we realize that it must be a special day.  We find out that it is “marquesian day” and all the students learn about their culture and customs today, rather than maths or french…

We admire the art of tattooing,

the art of making wood sculptures,

the way of making baskets and plates from cocopalm leaves,

the procedure of getting out the tapa cloth from a piece of a branch,

and of course the procedure of making coconut milk which we already have seen at Fatu Hiva, but which once again is impressive (and still a bit more efficient than what Reto does on She San in the meantime…).

Taiohae seen from the west
the over and over green neighbour bay
curious horses disturb our picknick
curious puppies on the way back
Tiki on the beach
on Saturday there are the second election rounds for the French president in Nuku Hiva
thanks to no alcohol on election days a very sober gathering event
the children are enjoying the waves
we are in the canou training path
the ladies team is exercising

Of course when we continue our hike, the sun is almost at its highest and we sweat quite a lot on the way up the west side of the bay. We continue down to a onesome beach where we have picknick in the company of some curious horses that don’t even eat carrots I have to learn.

On our way back we get held up by two curious but very cute puppies that would like to follow us if it was up to them. We instead head for the terasse of the hotel to get some refreshing lemonade and Hinanos, what a treat!

the portal of the former church serving as todays entrance to the church square
wooden sculptures in the church of Taiohae
the church is full with people

Then on Sunday morning we arrive at 5 to 8 am at the local church called Notre Dame des Marquises.

It has been rebuild in 1975 completely out of stone and wood, The numerous wooden sculptures made by local artists are very nice and have features of local people.

We are happy to get a place to sit, because it really is fully packed with people…

At punctually 8 am the mass starts and of course the first thing is singing.

We are absolutely amazed by the way the marquesians sing.

It seems to be naturally for them to meet the different tones and even to sing in canons without having anyone apperantly coordinating who does what…

After 1.5 hours we absolutely do not regret to have joined. It really was an event for us.

we all admire the flight of the drone..
She San from far above
and does she come back again?

In the afternoon Franzi and Pesche visit us with their drone and we get the first closer experience of this “toy for big boys” as Reto says. Some awesome pictures and movies, only sad that the sun is gone already.

Biketour from Taiohae

finally on the bike again!
and once again the bay of Taiohae
above 500 m the tropical rainforest is gone…
the path to the antenna is full of mud and horses
mountain chain of Nuku Hiva – the road to the airport goes over these mountains
on the far end the Baye du Controlleur
and once again Taiohae..;-)

Then on Monday morning we finally get out our mountain bikes. It is the first time since more than half a year in Santa Marta, Columbia.

Apart from some flat tires they are fine and we leave early in the morning to head upwards. Luckily we also have a bit of drizzling rain, just enough to cool us down the first few hunderts of meters.

After 850 meters of height we stand at the antenna that is overlooking the bay. Great views and we are happy to have been able to come up here after such a long pause…

Tatoo from Moana

and the marquesian compass is ready 😉

The following morning we actually had planned to leave, but due to a chat with his sons Reto got challenged to also get a compass tatoo on his arm… We visit again Moana, whose work we have admired already and take the next open appointment he has for Thursday morning.

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