We thought we’d post some photos of Taiohae, where we’ve been for the last few weeks. More to come in the next post but here’s a glimpse of some of what we see around us day to day…
Taken from the waterfront. The buildings on the left of the quay include a snack shop, a small clothing and souvenir store, the offices of Nuku Hiva Yacht Services – where almost anything can be arranged for visiting yachts – a restaurant, a small boat repair shop, and the farmers’ market.
This isn’t the only dinghy landing; it’s just less crowded than the “dinghy rodeo” down the way, where there are a couple of ladders for climbing up the wall and where space is at a premium because most people prefer to climb up ladders rather than tires. It isn’t that difficult to climb up tires. Really. Ruth is looking at sea urchins and crabs while waiting for Randy to take this photo.
Cafe Tematapuaua is one of the cruiser hangouts. It’s covered and open-sided, so is often cooler than outside. There’s this thing called “coconut time;” it’s the time from when the sun first hits the coconuts on the trees until it leaves them in shade again. Locals go home and we try to be under cover during “coconut time” as it is the hottest time of the day. This is when we update software, download weather data, update journals and blogs, and catch up with emails and news. Oh, and socialize. And enjoy a cold beer. And talk about weather, the cruiser’s favorite topic.
One of the noticeable things about every village we’ve been to here in the Marquesas is the absence of trash. Of course, you will see some, but it’s remarkable how little of it there is. People dispose of garbage by either burning it or burying it. We might feel these aren’t the most environmentally sound ways of disposing of garbage, but choices are limited on the islands.
There are five local “magasin” or grocery stores in Taiohae, all fairly small. You can buy canned and dried foods including milk; a selection of frozen meat cuts; household cleaning products; personal products like soap and shampoo; and, of course, limited beer and alcohol. There’s usually a small “hardware” corner, too. And all of them sell baguettes, potatoes (russets) and onions. These last vegetables are not found in the farmer’s market; only in the magasin.
We’ve discovered several new-to-us fruits and vegetables. One we like best so far is breadfruit (found only in the farmer’s market or by asking someone with a tree in their yard). The ripe pulp mashed with diced onion, salt & pepper, an egg or two and a bit of flour can be fried into delicious patties. Great for breakfast, lunch or with dinner. A Marquesan favorite is to slice the fruit into “french fries” and deep fry.
And there’s always boat work to do. A couple of days ago Randy decided it was time to check the raw water strainer in the bilge. It’s been in place for more than 5 years without sign of corrosion or age. But the boat is now in warm, salty water all the time. Clearly, a new bilge strainer is needed. This one was put back, temporarily; a new plastic one will arrive in Papeete next month, with relatives (Thank you!). The replacement will, we hope, will hold up in this corrosive environment.