Just another day in Nuka Hiva
04 June 2012 | Taiohae Bay, Nuka Hiva, Marquesas Islands
The wharf consists of the Crepe stand, another food stand that usually has 2-3 items to choose from and changes their menu every day(based on what's caught that day), Yacht Services, sometimes a fruit stand, and a souvenir store. Both the crepe stand and the food stand are very good places to eat. Yacht services has been wonderful, they do laundry, refill propane tanks, rent cars, buy Wi-Fi time and pretty much point you in the right direction.
While spending the day up at the wharf, we met several cruisers, 2 of which are single handers; meaning they crossed the pacific ocean all by themselves on their vessel. WOW, now that we have done it, we can't imagine doing it all alone. Big Koodo's go out to them! Anyway, we had lunch, chit chatted with the other cruisers, caught up on emails, dropped off one of our propane tanks, picked up our laundry and did a little shopping at a corner store (bought freshly baked French bread!). That evening, we all decided to go out for pizza.
When we arrived at the wharf that evening, the local fishermen all had their catch of day, tuna, spread out along the tables, gutting and filleting up the fish. There were sizes from 30lb to over 100lb tuna. The fishermen would give the scraps to the local kids and the kids would toss the scraps down into the water to feed the sharks. Yep, that's right, we have sharks here in the bay. They're not big and their not the kind interested in chomping on humans either. Actually, the first day we arrived here in Nuka Hiva, we went for a swim around the boat to cool off, and Tom had his mask on and saw a shark just below the hull of the boat. Tom reached out to the shark, but the shark swam away. Anyway, we could have bought some of the tuna, but we were on a mission for pizza.
The conversation over pizza was very interesting and consisted primarily about our experiences while doing the pacific crossing. Every single person sitting at the table said they would not do the crossing again; there was one exception to that, my husband, Tom. Tom loved doing the crossing, in fact, a day or two before we hit the Marquesas, he told me he could continue on sailing for an additional 40 days!!! I laughed and said I could do another 2 weeks if I HAD to, but not another 40 days. We were both surprised that out of a table of 9 people, not one other person felt the same as Tom. Oh, and my opinion right now is that I have no desire to cross another ocean. Give me time, maybe I will feel different. One woman cruiser said "maybe it's like having a baby, you forget the pain." Maybe she's right. Just about everyone's biggest complaint was about the seas; choppy, confused seas from different directions. We agree. Other interesting thing we found out, we all hit squalls but Tom and I were the only ones that had big storm's to deal with. One couple ripped two of their sails and had a fire on board their boat. Bummer trip for them. We were the only ones that saw lots and lots of dolphins and we were also the only ones that had Mahi swimming alongside of us for days. I like to think that since we had the storms, we received the gift of seeing the wonderful sea life. We all saw turtles and Boobie birds, and we all agreed that the Boobie birds are not very smart; actually the words used were they are dumb birds. All in all, we had a fun night, with interesting conversation and yummy pizza.
We've been asked what the local Polynesians are like. The Polynesians are very friendly, will help you without you even asking and enjoy upbeat dance music. They do have their own dialect, which is different than the Tahitian dialect. French is their secondary language and is taught in the schools. When we have sat and listened to the locals talk, it seems they mix their language with French, when talking to each other. A few locals speak English, but not that many. We have been stumbling with French and often say something in Spanish, which after being in Mexico for a few months, comes out of our mouths easily. We're slowly transitioning to French. We really need to get out our French CDs and listen to them. There is one thing we learned several years ago, when visiting Bora Bora, which we forgot about, until we were sitting at the Crepe stand a few days ago. Transvestites. It is common, widely accepted and part of their culture to raise a boy as a girl here in Polynesia. In fact, the transvestites will marry a woman. They are not gay, it is just the way they are raised, and like I said, part of their culture.
This morning, we drove the dingy over to the fuel dock and filled up our new gasoline jerry can. We paid a little over $7.00 a gallon for unleaded gasoline. A 12 pack of beer costs even more at $5 a can! Our cruising kitty will be happy when we depart Polynesia.