In this part of our voyage, we are following in the path set by Captain James Cook in his second journey (1772-1774) navigating around a treacherous and moody Cape Horn towards the Marquesas Islands. He was a navigator extraordinaire, no GPS nor even a chart to follow. Some of his sailors felt they would possibly sail off the ends of the earth. He improved nutrition as well as insuring his men had a ration of beer each day, which probably kept their hydration up.
When we have sailed in the Pacific, many of the soundings noted on the charts were made by Captain Cook. Some of his journals are kept at the State Library Of NSW and you can request a viewing of these historic documents.
We are on our way back to Nuka Hiva to collect a container, now divested of it contents from Papeete and full of copra or bananas. You have to admire the efficiency of the crew of Aranui in getting the containers on loaded so quickly. We have a bit of time and go into Taiohae to see some replica Tikis in the park.
These tikis remind me of other prehistoric stones and instances of ancestor worship we have seen in Europe. It reminds me of sacred places the world over, where ancient man would use stone and sites to worship their ancestors or perhaps use them as a nemonic system. Wouldn’t it be great to ask them?
We repeat the loading exercise in Ua Pou and then we depart at 4:15 pm for the return 40 hour journey to the Tuamotu and the island of Rangiroa.
The Tiki at the me’ae or marae in Puama’u were in a wild setting. Here you find the largest tiki in French Polynesia. Called Takaii you see a tiki that was taller than most about 8 feet high; a monument to a great king perhaps. The tikis needed protection from the environment, so they are now under huts arranged by UNESCO.
There is also a large stage that was used to kill enemies on a sacrificial altar.
One of the tikis was of a well-loved queen, who died in childbirth and the tiki is a monument to tell her story and it became a place women could come and ask for help with their own pending births.
We returned to the ship, and were mesmerised yet again watching the Supercargo add the containers and reposition the barge, the fishing boat and the backhoes as if they were moving pencils and pens on a desk.
We had lunch on board in a much calmer, Vaitahu Bay. Aranui often finds a lovely calm anchorage at meal times and even until the early morning hours so that we could get a good nights rest.
After lunch we went to a church built with an aesthetically pleasing reference to the Hiva Oa’s crafts and its environment. Sadly in a storm, they had lost two panels of the stained glass windows and I hope they are able to replace them. Notice the beautiful carving.
Tomorrow we are up early to watch the spectacular manoeuvre to anchor in the narrow harbour of Vaipaee.
We left Bodrum after morning coffee on Monday, not sure if we would have access to electricity or internet, we planned on one last coffee. Off to the Gulf of Gokova Korfezi, an area resplendent with beautiful anchorages.
We did the gulet run and sailed up to Orak Adasi for lunch and surprising us after lunch here comes the Algida ice cream man. How did Algida/Streets know that these Magnum fans were in this little bay? Actually, I think they do a roaring trade with the gulet traffic and it’s very similar to cappuccinos at Yeoman’s Bay.
On to Cokertme, please note I don’t have all the Turkish letters on my keyboard, so the actual spelling is very different. Here we went to the redoubtable Rose Mary’s, Rose Mary’s have showers, electricity and we ate on one of the piers under the sky for dinner. The scene sounds romantic but the pier jumped like a trout in August. Every time one of the young waiters ran to the next table with their food orders the whole pier lofted into the air and then thudded back into the water.
The next day, we journeyed on to Okluk Koyu. Here we passed the mermaid, who sits on a reef, saving many a hapless sailor from ruining their keel. Heikell says the sculpture was erected by Sadun Boro, the first Turk to circumnavigate the world in a yacht. The setting is verdant with a market garden and quite a bit of corn being farmed, perhaps for the cows’ dinner. You go in and select the dishes you want from the fridge cabinet in the store and then they cook your meal and bring it out.
Our sojourn on Wednesday morning was to Seven Islands or Yedi Adalari, a beautiful bay with the meltemi funneling through whipping white water up over and through the islands, islets and rocks. Once we battled through the bay to the East Creek, we were able to anchor and lower the swimming platform and spend the rest of the afternoon in the water.
Happy Birthday to Philippa Gray, hope you are spoiled.