We motored over to the east side of the Raroia atoll, dodging the corals and reef along the way for 7 miles. In between the reefs the water is 80 feet deep. We caught up with some friends on a catamaran -- yes, we do actually have cat friends. The boat’s name and their faces have been obstructed – for soon to be obvious reasons. They invited us over to the small motu(island) that is where the Kon Tiki raft wrecked in 1947 for a bonfire. What we didn’t realize was that they were collecting the left over parts of the raft to burn for the evening!
There’s a small monument to the Kon Tiki on the motu. The next night we watched the Hollywood version of Kon Tiki. Pretty tacky movie, but what a great venue for a showing.
Here’s the actual reef that the Thor and his buddies crash landed on. He did manage to show that 5 or 6 Norwegians led by a charismatic non-swimmer could take a leaky raft from Callao, Peru, to the Tuamotus, French Polynesia, in 101 days at sea. Today, most of his theories about Polynesia being settled by early South Americans have been discredited.
Before we left the Marquesas we stocked up on pamplemouse (Polynesian grapefruit) with this 60 lb bag that was harvested for us by tour guide extrodinaire, John, on the north shore of Hiva Oa.