Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 21 Aug 2013 22:47
A Bimble Around Venus Point
Venus Point now........
.......... and then
1. Te ‘aivi no Taharaa - The Tahara’a
2. Te ‘o’a no Matavai - Matavai Bay
3. Te to’a-o-Hiro - Dolphin Bank
4. Te ‘Outu Tefauroa - Venus Point
5. Te ‘afaa no Tua’uru - The Tua’uru Valley
The English navigator Samuel Wallis arrived in Taravao on the 19th of June 1767. Repelled by the Tahitians, he found a safe mooring in Matavai Bay on the 23rd of June. Five hundred canoes carrying four thousand warriors surrounded the Dolphin, Wallis ordered his crew to fire on them at will and caused casualties.
Wallis was ill and had mind to explore and neglected to do anything other than strike up a friendship with Queen Purea but he was mistaken about her political weight. He left the island on the 27th of June, the only traces of his visit were a Union Jack and venereal disease.
In 1768, Captain James Cook set sail to explore the Pacific on the Endeavour. In particular he was to observe the transit of Venus across the solar disc and calculate the distance from the earth to the sun. The ship drops anchor on the 13th of April 1769 in Matavai Bay. Cook stays for three months in Tahiti.
To protect his crew from attack he has a fort built between the beach and the river. This proved to be a useless waste of time, as the Tahitians did not show any hostility. His astronomical results were a dismal failure. It was impossible with the instruments of the time to accurately measure how long it took for the planet to cross the solar disc, on the other hand Cook made some brilliant descriptions of Polynesian culture in his journal........
To commemorate the observation of Venus by Captain Cook the French authorities erected a pillar capped by a sphere in 1901, brought about by the indignation of A. K. Anderson, This English visitor was indignant that nothing had been constructed to commemorate the event – what event some may say.........
HMS Bounty dropped her anchor in Matavai Bay on the 26th of October 1788 and Captain Bligh and his crew collect ‘uru - breadfruit plant seedlings. The fruits are expected to be free food for the slaves of the West Indies colonies.
This memorial stone was erected by the descendants of the mutineers, paying homage to the ship’s crew who found refuge on Pitcairn Island.
This memorial we found in a poorly state, the paving was broken and land crabs have had a field day digging holes everywhere within the walls
The Duff arrives in Tahiti on the 5th of March 1797. Missionaries from the London Missionary Society are on board to evangelise what they consider to be a pagan society. On the 7th of March, Captain Wilson and a few of the missionaries are received by King Pomare II On the 16th of March, the symbolic scene representing the ‘conveyance of Matavai’ to the LMS missionaries is held. “A kind of needle pointing to the sky” is how ethnologist Bengt Danielsson described the monument. The pebbles inlayed in the walls represent the islands of the Pacific that were converted by the LMS.
Construction of Cook’s Lighthouse began in 1868 under the aegis of Earl de la Ronciere, the imperial commissioner at that time. Brother Gilbert Soulie, famous for his expertise working on religious buildings (Rikitea Cathedral 1841-1848. Papeete Cathedral in 1856) built the lighthouse with the assistance of Mangarevans, up to eighty feet. The square tower and the eight storeys are made of coral stone. The engineer who designed the technical part was the father of Robert Louis Stephenson. Inauguration took place on the 23rd of April 1868. The light was first run on pressurised gas. In 1963 another twenty three feet was added and electricity was introduced in 1973.
An example of a long house looked resplendent beside the lighthouse.
Over a little bridge we went to look at the beach.
The black sand beach was massive. We had a little bimble but sadly time to go.
ALL IN ALL SO PLEASED WE HAD TIME TO STOP