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Published: November 1st 2017
THE CEREMONY HOUSE
Many of the native ceremonies take place in these open air huts.
Our seven day crossing of the Pacific Ocean took us across the equator to our first destination of Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Islands. We have been here a number of times as it is the first substantial piece of land encountered cruising south. Because Nuku Hiva is mountainous, the ship’s radar can pick up its image about 97 miles away according to Captain Roberts. As we came around the corner and sailed into the lovely curved bay, the green hillsides and anchored boats were quite a change from seeing only waves for so many days.
We took our first of many tender rides from ship to shore. Few of these remote islands have docks or piers for visiting cruise ships. Most of the wharves here were built by Sea Bees during WWII. Of the 12 ports we will visit on this journey, nine are tender ports.
We went ashore to catch up with our friend Rose Corser who built a restaurant, boutique, inn and museum on Nuku Hiva. Rose and her husband were sailors who arrived in the Marquesas in 1972 from the U.S. and they promptly fell in love with the culture, the people and the islands
THE SOJOURN IN PARADISE
The beauty of the South Pacific is in her seas and skies. We like to say, "We get high on water."
in this archipelago. We met up with Rose and toured her museum and had a nice lunch before hiking around the horseshoe bay back to the ship. The Marquesas are famous for their tattoo styles and unique dance. Rose’s museum has a collection of the tattoo art as it has been practiced for centuries and now some educators are using her collection to do research for a film on this ancient art form.
Our next stop was in Fakarava in the Tuamotu chain of islands. Since this is an atoll, it is very flat and has two passes into its lagoon. It's rich in sea life and produces copra products derived from coconut trees. UNESCO has declared Fakarava a Biosphere Reserve because of its immense lagoon . The atoll population is just several hundred lucky folks. But it must be growing because we saw lots of kids. We went in search of a snorkeling beach and when we found one we were surprised to see two sharks resting just a few feet off shore. We decided to let sleeping sharks lie and moved on to another more user friendly spot. After enjoying the tropical waters firsthand, we stopped by
Sojourn has 4 tenders that also serve as life boats.
These have twin Diesel engines and bow thrusters.
a pretty little church constructed entirely of coral.
The next day the Sojourn made her way to Rangiroa. We had to arrive early in order to enter through the narrowest of passes on a favorable tide. Since this atoll has one of the largest lagoons in the Pacific, when the tide ebbs or floods, the current really rips through the skinny pass making for rather tricky navigation. On our departure we made sure to be up on the bow of the ship as it is quite a sight to see several dozen dolphins swimming straight for our boat. We were told that the dolphins enjoy riding the fast current in and out of the lagoon.
We had another sea day before reaching Tahiti. A friend of ours, Hyperion Knight, a virtuoso concert pianist, offered to perform a special concert for our group. He has a profound insight into music and shares that knowledge during his performances. His concert included selections from Chopin, Gershwin, and the Beatles. A delightful way to spend an afternoon at sea.
Tot: 0.659s; Tpl: 0.052s; cc: 39; qc: 128; dbt: 0.0779s; 1; m:saturn w:www (184.108.40.206); sld: 2;
; mem: 1.6mb