Sunday, March 09, 2014

Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia

Our early morning arrival in Taiohae harbourOur early morning arrival in Taiohae harbour, complete with rainbowOur early morning arrival in Taiohae harbourOur early morning arrival in Taiohae harbourA rainbow to welcome us in the early morning to Taiohae harbourLookout over Taiohae harbour, the town, and the ship
Lookout over Taiohae harbour, the town, and the shipTaiohae harbour and townDriving through pasture landPasture landPurple flowersPink and white flowers
Community at the head of the inletHorse in a tropical pastureSnacks: grapefruit, papaya, fried banana, tapioca, breadfruit chips, coconutBeach at the head of Comptroller BaySailboat anchored in an inletCatholic church carvings and alter
Commemorative to Catholic priest

Nuku Hiva, a set on Flickr.
March 9, 2014 – Sunday –Nuku Hiva, French Polynesia

I wake up ahead of my 6:20AM alarm, and look out the cabin window to see that the ship is very close to the coast of Nuku Hiva. I grab my camera and go out on the Promenade Deck to take some photos as we enter Taiohae harbour. The light is wonderful, and a rainbow appears as the ship anchors in the harbour.

My excursion assembles in the Showroom so early, so I don’t have time for breakfast or even a coffee. I’ll just have to suck it up and survive, since the tour will end mid-morning. Private vehicles are waiting to take us for a drive. I luck out on two counts: our driver speaks some English, and I get the front passenger seat in the new Ford Explorer 4X4. Our driver owns the car rental agency on the island, and has worked in Honolulu.

We drive away from the harbour, over the mountain ridge, and into the next harbour and valley. It is a pretty drive, and we stop for two photo opportunities along the way. The first stop is a lookout high over the harbour. The second stop highlights the Survivor Marquesas location, and gives us great views of a long inlet with very pretty colours and interesting topography, with a community at the head of the inlet.

We drive down to sea level through the Taipivai valley and the community of same name. A river runs beside the community, and we eventually come to the head of an inlet called Comptroller Bay, where there is a little community called Houmi. There is a nice beach and a single sailboat is anchored in the sheltered bay. Our stop here includes fresh fruit snacks, and the obligatory crafts for sale. Since it is Sunday, most people are attending church this morning.

We then return along the same route back to the main town of Taiohae, stopping at the local historic Notre Dame Cathedral, and then return to the departure point near the tender dock. By this time, it is starting to heat up, so I’ve had enough and head straight back to the ship on the next available tender. As always, it’s great to be back aboard the ship, where I can shower, change clothes, and have some lunch (in the Rotterdam dining room), and that much-needed cappuccino afterwards!

The ship departs on time at 3PM, cruising along the coast of Nuku Hiva before setting a course for San Diego, which will take us six days.

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