Tuesday 14 April 2015

Hakahetau Bay (Welcome in Marquesian)

We were to start the drive from Hakahua to Hakahetua at 9 AM. Upon arriving on shore it was determined that S/V OM was drifting. The crew headed out to resecure their stern anchor & it was decided we would all wait for them. At 10 OM came back to report they had reset both anchors & were unhappy with the result so they were going to sail the 4 miles to Hakahetua.  During this time Chapter 2 was observed to be drifting as well & it was determined upon investigation that the strap used for the stern anchor had chaffed through & Chapter 2 was swinging. 
We then started the 45 minute ride over the mountain, past the airport & the white sand beach.
  On route we were told that during the drought a few years back all the donkeys & horses that grazed on the high plateau we were traveling over died due to lack of food & water. Upon arrival we were welcomed by young ladies of about 12 who put a woven necklace around our necks that had flowers attached. We walked through an isle made by drummers & warrior dancers. We were then treated to a Marquesian dance after which the men were taught to do the courting dance of the island. 

Some of the guys really got into the guteral grunts & the hip movements. It was now 11:15 and we were served the welcoming meal of fruit, salted octopus with cookies, and a type of bread or pancake with a fruit sauce or syrup. We had barely finished & the lunch was served which again included octopus, goat, breadfruit, and rice. The joke was they were attempting to fatten us up prior to eating us as their ancestors had done. They were doing a good job. The 2 meals were so close together because we arrived so late. 
Later we were driven to a self contained farm where this German fellow has been making chocolate for 40 years. On the return trip we visited a waterfall which was enjoyed by all 

And learned which plant could be used as a natural bug repellent. Some of us then went snorkelling to an area the children of the community are trying to get reserved as a marine sanctuary. We saw a great number of fish & some coral. Our guide was spear fishing & got an octopus. When we returned we played the local version of Boccie ball with metal balls that are smaller than the ones we use at home. We then watched the warriors perform the fire dance & a dance to the white man. 

The warriors then unburied the pig and other things cooking in the ground since 4 AM. We had a great feast followed by another dance lesson to learn the pig dance. 

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