Day 231, Year 1: The Tikis of Taipivai
Date: Monday, June 5, 2006
Weather: Beautiful Day with Wind Returning
Location: Hakahaa, Comptroller’s Bay, Nuka Hiva Island, Marquesas

This bay is a very peaceful place to be at anchor. It is not the most dramatic in terms of scenery, but it is still beautiful. Savoir Vivre sailed out early this morning, leaving just Procyon and us behind. But just after they left, Stillpoint came sailing in. We had been listening to the VHF and knew that Stillpoint was sailing with two other boats-both single-handers. Bamboo is a trimaran with Herbert as captain, and the other boat is Araby with Jonah as captain. On the way here, Jonah lost his dinghy and had to turn back to try and retrieve it. Bamboo went along to help. They made a successful retrieval and sailed into our little bay later in the morning.

At about 9:30 am, we picked up Randy and Sherri of Procycon and headed to the village of Taipivai. We first tried to dinghy up the little river to town, but we went aground in our dinghy and had to turn around. We went back out into the bay and came back to the area where we had landed our dinghy yesterday. We made a successful landing, and then our goal was to walk into the village, follow the road along the river, and find the very steep path to the tikis of Taipivai which are among the best known in the Marquesas Islands. Our only directions were to go past a vanilla plantation to a path that zig-zags up the hill. We had to ask for direction by just saying “tiki” and finally we found the right path. It was steep and muddy, but we made it to the site of Paeke which has several large tikis and a huge me’ae-ceremonial platform. The mud here is like red clay and it is really slick. We felt very good when we got back down to the road and no one had fallen. We also felt very good that we had actually found the archaeological site. Other cruisers who have been here in the past week were not so lucky and never found Paeke.

We returned to our boats and talked with Ed and Candice on Stillpoint. Mark and I invited everyone in the anchorage over to Windbird for sundowners and then proceeded to get Windbird ready for the four-day passage to the Tuamotus. The weather looks good and we feel it is time to move on. So early tomorrow morning, we will be underway.

We enjoyed our evening with Randy and Sherri of Procyon, Ed and Candice of Stillpoint, and Jonah of Araby. Stillpoint will leave with us in the morning for the Tuamotus. Procyon will return to Taiohae to get the contents of their freezer from the hotel that graciously kept their food while they were waiting for refrigeration parts to arrive. They will head to the Tutamotus on Friday or Saturday, but we probably won’t see them again until the fall in Tonga. Araby and Bamboo will head around to the north side of this island before heading to the Tuomotus. We all cross paths, but then we head out in different directions. Meeting other cruisers is almost like meeting strangers in the night. They come and go and then come again. We cherish our time with everyone but we also look forward to our four-day passage to the Tuomotus where we will see no one for the next four days or so.

It is a good life out here.

060605 Day 231 Marquesas, Nuka Hiva–Tikis of Taipivai