We have spent the past several days since arrival clearing Customs (which took 3 days), reprovisioning, and hiking around the gorgeous harbor. Each morning we dinghy to shore by 0730 to catch the fresh “pain chocolate” sold at most stores, and stock up on baguettes, which are a staple for cruisers in these waters. Hinano is the beer of choice throughout French Polynesia, and now that we are safely at anchor, we gather in the cockpit early evenings for a libation or two before dinner.
On our second day in Taiohe Bay, Carl, Travis and I took a full day guided tour around the island. The tour guide, a French woman named Jocelyn, covered all the same historic sites Travis and I saw when we were here three years ago, but since there were only Americans in our group, her narrative was entirely in English. On our original tour, everyone but us spoke French, so the guide would spend five minutes explaining historic facts in their language, then turn to us and say, for example, “This is a bone pit,” and move to the next topic in French. We learned a lot about human sacrifices and cannibalism, as well as the island’s flora and fauna.
I turned 71 May 4, marking the third time in the past 4 years I have celebrated my birthday outside the continental U.S. on a boat. My 68th was in Papeete, 69th on a mooring riding out COVID with my ever-tolerant wife in Caneel Bay, USVI, and tomorrow in Nuku Hiva. Thus far, my retirement years have not been dull.
We all went out to dinner to help me celebrate at The Pearl, an exquisite French restaurant overlooking Taiohae Bay. It was refreshing to finally eat a meal without worrying about one’s dinner plate sliding off the table.
While we have not had to dip into our 4 Jerry cans of diesel, our main tanks are almost drained. We have made several trips to the fuel dock, only to be waved off and told to come back at another time. After 3 days of this drill, we finally got served and immediately headed southeast to Fatu Hiva, an idyllic island 155 NM distant.