After being at sea for 3 weeks, Fatu Hiva is quite the sensory overload. Truly majestic green covered (note I didn’t say verdant) volcanic mountains, that go straight down to the dark blue sea. We went ashore our first day and walked up the main concrete drive and were immediately greeted by a group of school kids waiting for class to open back up after lunch.
Chris had a great time practicing French and the kids had a great time practicing English – both with the help of our ‘French for Cruisers’ book. The book has English sentences and saying along with French and French pronunciation. The kids instantly figured out how to use the book and would thumb through it till they could put a question together to ask Chris.
One of the kid’s mother, Reva, spoke decent English and brought us back to her house after class started. This is her partner Poie showing me the different woods he stores for making carvings. There’s tau, rosewood and a few others. Reva makes tapa cloth from the various trees and plants around. They are all natural color with traditional Marquesan designs that she paints on them. She is making up some passport covers out of tapa that we will pickup today. Carving for men and tapa cloth for women is a major income producer for the locals. Most of it goes off to Tahitii to be sold to tourists. Note to cruisers, there are no banks on Fatu Hiva and dollars are not really useful. Euros are more or less OK.
Reva and her husband overloaded us with fresh fruits. Here she is retrieving pamplamouse (aka large, juicy grapefruit) from a tree down the street from her house. We were loaded down with them, along with limes, corossol, and passion fruit. All gratis.
If you look closely at this rock formation, you can see the mothers arms wrapping around the baby
And now for the story of the Bay of Virgins. Its Marquesan name is Baie Hanavave. The English name is Bay of Virgins. It was originally named by the Spanish as Bahai des Verges, the Bay of Phalli – see picture. The missionaries didn’t see that as a fit name and conveniently added an ‘i’ to get Bahia des Vierges or Bay of Virgins. So the bay holds a little hope for everyone who shows up.
Georgia tucked up against the deep green in Hanavave.