Fatu Hiva, our first and most southerly island, was
the least developed and a delight. It was also the wettest! On our
second day Peter, Nick and Meryon set off to find the waterfall mentioned in the
pilot. Although unsuccessful despite meandering through rain forest for
some time the trip was by no means wasted. In the middle of nowhere they
came across a hut in which an old woman was making "tapa", a material for shirts
which is made by endlessly beating or tapping the bark of particular trees, the
type of tree determining the colour. Her two sond were also there and we
tried to do a trade for papaya and bananas but had nothing they wanted.
Later however we spotted the father with the remnants of a roll up stuck to his
bottom lip. A trade was now on using some of Andrew's fags.
On the way back to the village we met up with the
two sons again and did another trade, this time ten huge grapefruit for a litre
That evening we all went to dinner at Katherine's
house, ($25 each) where we met up with a number of other yachties and had a
On the 28th we left the peace of Fatu Hiva bound
for Atuona on Hiva Oa, some 45 miles away. THis island is much more
sophistocated, gendarmes, everyone in 4 wheel drives, scholls etc etc.
There was some excitement in the bay though as the supply ship arrived at 0500,
forcing us to move. Then a crane barge arrived to lift some junk of the
sea bed and we had to move again. Finally we got into town where we
visited the Paul Gaugain museum ( he is buried on the island) and all agreed
that he must have been unbelievably egocentric. At 1800 we left bound for
Nuku Hiva we we dropped anchor at 1030 in Taiohae Bay alongside some 15 other
This is a much nicer town than Atuona and has a
most wonderful church, bay and seafront, market and so on. We will enjoy
our stay here. Nick and Andrew will, sadly, leave us on Monday hell bent
to cast their votes in the election and to play there part in ensuring that
neither Brown nor Clegg have any say in the running of the country. They
have talked of little else for the last 3 weeks to we must all pray that their
flights are on time!
We now await Tim and Pim and when they are settled
in we will head to the Tuamoto Archipelago en route to