Off Hope’s aft deck hang three piles of bananas. Our fruit stores below decks are filled to the brim with fresh mango’s grapefruits, lime, golden apples and other tropical fruits. The Marquesans received us warmer than on any other island and we quickly made friends in this green paradise. After 42 days at sea, the warm welcome of the people makes all our hardships worthwile.
Hospitality of a seagoing nation
Even before Christ was born, the Polynesian explorers sailed their canoo shaped ships to the furthest reaches of the Indian and Pacific oceans. The arrival of the Europeans all but decimated the population in the Marquesas in the eighteenth century from 78.000 till about 4.000 beginning 19th century. Now some 10.000 people live on the islands. Living with the sea seems to be imprinted in their genes and they understand the trouble it takes to sail 4000 miles in a small boat. We are received warmly and we get many presents. Three short impressions of three islands of the Marquesan archipel.
The second day on Hiva Oa, Katia and me where sitting on the dock when a Marquesan joined us and gave us fresh baguette and cold mineral water. After a nice talk he invited us to his home on the other side of Hiva Oa. We agree to visit him in a couple of days, so we rent a car and drive to the other side of the island. He gives us so much fruit that the back of the car is sagging in it’s springs on the way back. What a wonderfull hospitality!
Bay of penisses virgins Fatu Hiva
We sail to Fatu Hiva and anchor of in the bay of penisses, virgins on Fatu Hiva, renamed by the Christian French which slept badly because of the original name. Gosh. Sixhundred people now live in the small village behind the bay where we enjoy Sunday church in Polynesian stile with Ukulele, guitars and singing. We walk along the steep cliffs where wild goats bravely feed on the green pastures. We walk hours in a continuous rain and cross a fast flowing river. We are rewarded by a fine mist from a big waterfall in the forrest which covers our faces.
Tropical beach Tahuata
On Tahuata we are guests of a Marquesan which lives in a hut behind the beach under the Palm trees. For a couple of days we spend the morning eating mango’s and big grapefruits on board. During the day we go spearfishing together to hunt together our meal and in the afternoon we make a fire where we grill breadfruit, bananas, fish and octopus on the beach. Other than that we don’t do that much.
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Hope is proudly saling with a Carl Stahl Yachting rig
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