Nuku Hiva in detail - Part 2. 13:00:50S 144:14:03W

Zipadedoda of Dart
David H Kerr
Fri 11 Apr 2008 02:32

To catch up on the blogs, before our arrival in Manihi, I am penning this one during the daytime. The other reason for doing this during the day is that it is cooler below and more to the point out of the sun! WE are REALLY missing the Biminis. Even with factor 30 on, we are just cooking in the cockpit. Hmm now that sounds like a title for a catchy little tune……


Herman Melville??? Yes the same one that wrote Moby Dick. Did you know he lived in the Marquesas for several years….having jumped ship from a whaling ship on which he was crew. He allegedly got several of his ideas for his books here………..


Paul Gauguin. The same one who nearly died working as a labourer on the Panama canal, also lived here for many years. After his death he became a very famous and celebrated artist. His art work today is worth millions. But back in the 19th Century, he was partial to 13 year old girls, (lots of them), anti church and eventually died from drink and drugs. He was a hate figure at the time. Now he is a hero, with a major cruise liner named after him, and even has his own museum in Papeete to celebrate his life. Funny what fame and money can do to the history books……………


The other thing that we will most definitely remember Nuku Hiva for was the fun and the parties. Do bear in mind we had just finished a mega ocean passage, so there was a universal need to let off steam, and to get some much needed exercise. Particularly for the right arm, which due to the sailing N’ drinking embargo on passage, had come in for some serious atrophy!


There were in fact three official gatherings in Taiohae Bay alone. The first of these was at the posh hotel on the hillside on the NW side of the bay. Tony Diment from BWR organised a welcome buffet for the crews of the yachts that had arrived at around the same time as ourselves. This was an expansive buffet meal with plenty to drink and lots of tales to tell. At the end of the evening we were treated to some dramatic traditional Marquesasian dancing, accompanied by the war drums. The grass skirt style costumes were “very” native and the dancing was both sexy and scary! Sadly we were so shell shocked from our passage from Galapagos that we forgot to bring a camera!


A few days later, the mayor of Taiohae, organised a formal reception and party for us on the quay in  the village early one evening. Here we were treated to a wide variety of local dishes, and fruits as well as a local fruit punch. This was followed by the local native dance troupe once again. Only this time, more of them! Their enthusiasm and commitment was palpable….




The lighting made photography almost impossible, but hopefully you will get a flavour of the dancing……Anyway, still photography simply cannot convey the sensuousness of those twitching hips. The girls move well too…………………..


After this event we decamped to our favourite restaurant with some friends. We were then joined by the mayoral party, who gave us their floral head gear as a gift. After some refreshments these came in handy for making our own cabaret.



Next up it was the formal party and Pig Roast at Rose Corser's new yacht club. This building was in fact not ready as a new facility, so we had to make allowances for that. This however did not stop everyone making the most of the occasion.


The Pigs are roasted slowly in a pit, dug in the grounds especially for the occasion. This hole approximately 2 metres wide and 4 metres long and 2 metres deep. A fire is lit in this and when all the wood is reduced to glowing embers, a thick layer of lava rocks are added to the bottom. This is covered with banana tree leaves, before the prepared pigs are lowered into the hole, with various other goodies, and then the whole lot covered up with more leaves. It is then left to cook for about 4 hours.


Then slowly the cooked food is revealed.




This is considered a very important delicacy by the locals so there was much excitement over the event, and many villagers came along to watch proceedings. The pigs themselves tasted yummy, but the cooked fruit and veg' did not do it for me. But as you can see below, we all had a whale of a time………..





 Jennie and Tony Diment watching the party antics




The evening was then rounded up by more native dancing. This time they really went for it and it was a thrilling end to the “party” season in Taiohae Bay. The dancers even dragged some of the Ralliers up to try their hand …..hilarious I can tell you!!


Next, Daniels Bay, Nuku Hiva  and south wards to Ua Pou……….