Log Entry Start Date -
May 6, 2007
Log Entry End Date -
June 4, 2007
Location(s) Covered -
Marquesas; Fatu Hiva, Hiva Oa,
Nuku Hiva & Ua Pou
Latitude: 10.27.88 S
Longitude: 138.40 W
Weather: Sunny - 90
since last entry:
2904 nautical miles
Part of the French Polynesia
MARQUESAS The stunning Marquesas Islands were originally named "Te Henua Enata" (Land of Men) by the native Polynesian people. Located about 930 miles northeast
of Tahiti the Marquesas includes 12 islands (2 are small rock islands), and of that total, only 6 are inhabited. Largest Island: Nuku Hiva
Shrouded in an almost constant cloud cover, all are wild, rugged and lush, and considered to be among the most beautiful islands on the planet.
First discovered by the Spanish in 1595, they were later made famous by Captain James Cook, then immortalized by novelist Herman Melville, and by the painter Paul Gauguin,
Local population once exceeded 80,000, but fell dramatically because of diseases (like smallpox) introduced by uninvited visitors. Population today: 7100
|Our first landfall after 21 days at sea crossing the
Pacific from Galapagos to Marquesas. This is the
most beautiful anchorage of all the islands we
have visited to date. Originally named by the
Polynesians as Penis Bay with its spires rising
high above the country side, later changed to "Bay
of the Virgins" by the Catholic missionaries.
|Desire' - Local Tapa artesian
giving demonstration to the
Fatu Hiva is the last Island in French Polynesia where tapa cloth is still
made. Tapa is made by peeling the bark off one of several species of
trees. These relatively dry strips of bark are soaked and kept wet while
being pounded thin with wooden mallets over a log.
Here you see the wet bark folded into layers and
placed on a stone. Once it has been pounded
thoroughly it is then opened up and dried, ready for
painting. Tapa can be drawn on and used as wall
coverings, artwork and floor mats. Usually decorated
with geometric designs.
Northern Winds - Wing on Wing
On our way across the Pacific
with following winds
Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut.
Coconut oil is traditionally extracted by grating or
grinding copra, boiling it in water. It was developed
as a commercial product by merchants in the
South Seas and South Asia in the 1860s.
Nowadays, the process coconut oil extraction
is done by crushing copra to produce coconut oil. Making copra,
removing the shell, breaking up, drying — is usually done where
the coconut palms grow. Today, large plantations with integrated
operations have appeared, but in former years copra was collected
by traders going from island to island and port to port in the Pacific
Copra Drying Racks
these drying racks spekle
copra from the
hillside in sacks
Fatu Hiva is the southernmost island of the Marquesas archipelago, 35 miles southeast of
Tahuata. The island is wild and spectacularly beautiful. The jungle greenery begins at the waterís edge, with narrow
ravines, deep gorges and luxuriant valleys briefly open to view as the boat glides past, close to the sheer cliffs that
plunge straight down into the splashing surf. The Bay of Virgins was sculpted by Nature in her most generous mood.
Rock curtains, which Catholic missionaries said were formed as veiled virgins, enclose Hanavava Bay. White patches
of goats and sheep look down from their green mansions above the quiet harbor.
Blessed with abundant rain and rich, fertile soil, sweet and juicy citrus fruits fill the gardens. Large, tasty shrimp live in
the rivers that rush through each valley and rock lobsters are plentiful. Dried bananas are a specialty of Fatu Hiva, as is
the Umu Hei Monoi -- a delightful blend of coconut oil, sandalwood, spearmint, jasmine, ginger root, pineapple, sweet
basil, gardenia, pandanus fruit, ylang-ylang and other mysterious herbs.
|Turtle Motif made for
us by Desire' while
we were in Hanavave
Roadside Wild Mangos
Plum size Mango packed a punch -
small pits and super juicy
In the steamy jungle above the
village of Puamau is the Oipona
me'ae temple and the 8-ft. tall tiki
Takaii, the largest stone tiki in
French Polynesia - Hiva Oa is the second largest island in the Marquesas Islands, and the largest
island of the southern group. Its name means “long ridgepole” in South Marquesan. The Marquesas
Islands are the island group farthest from any continent in the world. Famous French painter Paul
Gauguin and Belgian singer Jacques Brel spent the last years of their lives in the Marquesas.
|Another interesting tiki is the one known as the Makaii taua
(te) pepe, believed to be one of the only representations of a
female, this one shown in a horizontal position, possibly
FINGER BANANAS The banana tree looks like a palm, but is
actually an enormous herb with elongated fan-like leaves that can
grow to over three meters in length. It grows a completely new
"trunk" every year and dies back to its roots after it has flowered
and fruited. Lady finger or Sugar are tiny finger bananas often no
more than 3-4 inches long. They have a creamy flesh and a very
Bob opted to hang the
Bananas well off the
back of the boat only to
find them missing
hours later. The heavy
swells in the area broke
them loose and after
much thought he
decided they must have
dropped and floated out
to sea. As you can see,
after a ding ride he
found them outside the
Litchi - Ramboutan
Characterized by a red envelope and a white fruit which pulp sticks firmly
to the seed.
Grown in French Polynesia as it prefers more fresh climates. Very sweet
and succulent fruit that you can suck the white flesh from the seed.
|The drums were made by Henry and
his family and are played on the
weekends during a local gatherings in
the town common. Bob at his best!
Nuku Hiva was one of the
most beautiful islands we
have visited. The land-
scape is breathtaking and the hike
inland brought us to the 2nd largest
waterfall in the world.
Bob: Wheres the juice?
|Waterfall in background - took us
about 2 hours walk
|Crossing 1 of 5 rushing rivers on our
way to the waterfall
hike to the waterfall
One of the bays we visited while at Nuku Hiva was Daniels Bay, a secluded bay
tucked in behind rock that resembled a volcanic crator. Once anchored it gave the
illusion that we were sitting
in a lake with-in a volcano
|From a distance it looked like a scene
from Lord of the Rings
visiting us while
in their outriggers
I took pictures of
them and gave
them "foto" which
made their day.
While they waited
they told Bob
language by placing their foot in the water and quickly pulling
it out and by making a fin on their head with their hand - that
he should NOT swim because of the sharks.
|Bob and Bobby getting the
best of the coconut
Ua Pou has one of the earth's most dramatic skylines. A wilderness of fantastic peaks, thrusting 4,000 feet into
the ocean sky. Great Cathedral spires, strange obelisk-shaped columns that give the island its name - the pillars.
the Marquesas archipelago. We made a brief stop over here before heading to the Tuamotus.
May 27, 2007 - June 14, 2007
guide Henry spotted a ripe stalk
hanging off a cliff side Banana
It was then we learned that the
Banana Tree is actually Not a tree
but a grass, as he chopped it down
and brought us our B'nanners.