Passage Note #85 - Goodbye Marquesas!!!
“Enana au i oto otou ho’upo”
Following November on the east coast of the U.S. for our family Thanksgiving tradition and our return to Hiva Oa via Tahiti for the much anticipated Matava’a Marquesan Cultural Festival in December, it was time for the holidays in the tropical heat. The 2016 austral summer was in full swing. While we waited out the cyclone season this El Niño year in the Marquesas, we revisited several of the islands and many of our friends in the subsequent 5 months. Couldn’t think of a better way to wait for the weather to settle until it was safe to sail to the neighboring archipelago of the Tuamotu Islands!
After nearly one year in the wonderful Marquesas, we are both very sad to leave these beautiful islands with their beautiful people......we leave but a part of us remains. In Taiohae, Nuku Hiva, Henri helped us plant a pampelmousse tree so one day we hope to return and harvest the fruit. We also became sponsors of the Children’s Va’a (outrigger canoe) program for the youngest kids who needed pint-sized canoes, paddles, and life jackets. This is their national sport so the younger they start, the better chance the Marquesas will have to excel in Polynesian competitions. Besides fostering pride, it will promote better health through increased exercise. We sealed the deal over dinner at Philippe and Cecilia's home with svKandu. Six months later, the project was put in place with the purchase of two new va'a and all the necessary equipment. The smiling faces of the children say it all. We are particularly proud to "pay it forward" with this sponsorship. Watch the special videos in the Media section of the website. One is the traditional baptism of the va'a and a second is a "thank you" performance for us.
These are threads to keep us connected to a place and people we have grown to love. So Linda bids farewell to our local friends in their own Marquesan language (which she speaks better than French):
“Enana au i oto otou ho’upo” (“I am Marquesan in my heart”)
“Koutau Nui” ("Thank you!")
What follows are a few visual mementos of our island reprise and experiences during our last five months in the Marquesas Islands.
Holidays and lots of socializing!! An excursion to Taaoa - a sacred site that was used as a dance venue during the Matava'a Festival. Chuck replaced some rigging wires and installed our new windvane rudder. Friday night dinners at the roulotte (food truck) on the quay. Watching the children dance at the school festival (Kermesse). Cool showers at the public facility on hot afternoons. Internet at Hiva Oa Pearl Lodge.
Protestant Church dedication in Vaitahu on Linda's Birthday. Visits with Cyril and Hemana in Hapitoni. Lots more snorkeling. Anchoring at Hanemenino. Return to Hanamoenoa (which we nicknamed "Green Flash Bay" since there was a green flash almost every sunset) and visits with Steven.
Car tour with Jerome to see the west side of the island. Visit to say goodbye to Marguerite and Keith.
Good times at Henri's cafe on the quay. Dinners with Deborah Kimitete and Philippe and Cecilia. Sponsorship of the Children's Va'a program. Linda's Studio Maluhia.
TAHITI IN TRANSIT
Returning from our US family visit in December, we overnighted in Papeete, Tahiti and went to see a wonderful annual dance competition with our visa agent's aunt, Corinne.
FAREWELL - "APEI"
One of our last Marquesan sunsets in Hanamoenoa Bay (we nicknamed it "Green Flash Bay" ) where we made landfall almost one year earlier.
MORE PHOTOS: In the "Photo Gallery" for Passage Note #85
Next: Off to new adventures in the Tuamotus!!