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Date: 25 May 2015 00:03:14
Title: Fw: Marquesas to Tahiti

10:21:4S 141:45:6W
Saturday 23rd May 2015
What a Night!
Squall after squall. We made good progress though with 145 miles travelled. But, last night soaked to the skin was the first time I’ve felt cold in about a year. As it became obvious the rain was not going to let up, I resorted to my wonderful Musto MPX coat, I gradually dried a little, but at least I was no longer cold.
Nuku Hiva – AMAZING!!
What a stunning place. We rented a four wheel drive from Kevin at Yacht Services – the cheapest available. Our explorations took us to deserted coves, hidden mountain passes, deeply wooded vallies. We stopped at Yvonne’s Restaurant on the far side of the island for Octopus Curry, delicious, but so much we had to leave some. We were entertained by the remains being cast into the small stream at the side, within moments huge eels were swimming up from the beach to fight in the shallows for the remains of the meal – truly gruesome, those were big toothy fellows! We traversed Snake Pass with shear drops and crumbling roads to visit the airport. Tikis (small statues looking like aliens) are archaeological remains, mentioned in Herman Melville’s Typee.  We climbed, played tennis, got the folding bikes out, visited the local museum, Rose and American who has lived here for years has made it her hobby and the locals certainly had a warring past each tribe against the other, using paddles as weapons.
Strange Customs
The third son in a family is dressed and raised as a girl. Therefore, the community is dotted with pantomime dames. They look very masculine, even marry and have children, but still wear make-up and ladies clothes with their man feet etc. Girls are not allowed a tattoo until the have their first period and only if they have a tattoo can they then marry. Wife beating after drink is a real issue, therefore, there are no bars.
Most of what you can want, fuel (gas and diesel) is in short supply and rationed to visitors. Shops seem fully stocked. Things can be sent in – like our new shrouds from Tahiti. We got our bimini fixed by Yacht Services who also arranged to collect water and found a visiting yacht who had a lathe and milling machine on board, who could fix our Morse engine control. Restaurants and a friendly population happy to chat, but don’t expect them to want to do much! The island and their lives are subsidised by France, they have all they want in a beautiful place...why work hard? However, they don’t like France as they are trying to make them similar o the French and they are vehemently not!
To some up the place is wonderful, but you have to be prepared to sweat 24/7!

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