. What a nice send off from French Polynesia! (Update: Found out later that the beads were actually Fertility Beads, given to me apparently because I had a flower on my right ear stating I was single! She was trying to marry me off to her 13 year old daughter. Ha!) A local band is coming on-board at 6:00 PM to perform before we raise anchor and head to Isla del Coco (Cocos Island), Costa Rica, our next stop after 18 more days (3,300 nautical miles) of open Pacific Ocean. I cannot believe I have been gone for two weeks already!
We will cross the equator in a few days while heading northeast towards Panama. They are going to have an Equator Soiree (like we need a reason to party on this ship!). It remains very hot during the days and still around 80 degrees at night on deck. The constant trade winds are a godsend. I wear the flip-flops Bill bought for me almost exclusively aboard ship as anything more is too hot. Thankfully, my cabin and ship interior spaces are air conditioned. Living the dream!
Update: The Nuku Hiva Polynesian 'band' that came aboard and performed at the Tropical Bar included hot Polynesian male & female dancers dressed in real grass skirts. They all did an excellent job and were fabulous to watch. Had to have a few Hinano beers to cool me down after that!
022410 Nuku Hiva, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia: We arrived early morning and dropped anchor at the deep protected harbor off the village of Taiohae. This is another beautiful volcanic island with mountains topping 3,700 feet high. I took one of the first tenders to the village. We were greeted by a colorfully dressed Polynesian woman. She handed out small, white, scented flowers (to be worn on the right ear by single men). A Polynesian man was drumming on a hollowed out piece of wood. I still felt like I was moving, even on dry land! This was the last chance to spend the rest of my Polynesian Francs. I watched a local man carving a drum out a piece of rosewood. He sold me a very nice wooden bowl in the shape of a fat canoe. He told me he spent three weeks carving it out of rosewood. Then I bought two locally designed Nuku Hiva shirts from the same family. They let me take pictures of the artist and family after I spent all of my Francs. As a gesture of thanks, the matriarch put a strand of hand carved rosewood beads around my neck and insisted I take it without charge