Saturday, June 02, 2012

Connecting with a Marquesasan friend from a 2006 Goat hunt. Laundry

June 1, 2012
Anchorage position: 08°49.3236'S 140°03.8678'W

Baie D' Anaho, Nuka Hiva, Marqueses, French Polynesia, South Pacific

On my last visit to Baie D' Anaho in May of 2006 with crew Karl, Kitty and Julie aboard my old mono-hull s/v La Vie we slipped into the bay just after sunset and dropped anchor. Seeing a small bonfire on the beach we launched the dinghy and headed to shore and met some local guys. Teheke, David and Leopold were cooking chunks of goat over an open fire and sipping the local beer Hinano Tahiti Biere de Luxe. Within in minutes these generous locals offered us all a Hinano. Considering that these guys collect copra for a living and a beer might represent a days work, their generosity was nothing short of enormous. We reciprocated by heading back to the boat and whipping up some side dishes to go with the goat and returned with a bottle of rum as well. Despite a nearly complete language barrier we made fast friends. I attribute much of this to Karl who is one of the most energetic, animated and positive guys you'll ever meet. Before the end of the night Karl had arranged a plan to go goat hunting the next day. Teheke led the hunt with an old rusty 22 and David carried other essential goat hunting equipment. For our all day effort of scaling the high ridges around Baie D' Anaho, Teheke shot three goats and made some priceless memories for the rest of us. I especially recall Karl with a goat slung over his shoulders and the well endowed Billy goat balls slapping Karl in the cheek as he made his way across the uneven terrain. Priceless!

I was really looking forward to my second visit to the Marquesas, French Polynesia as I wanted to catch up with the locals here in Baie D' Anaho. Shortly after we arrived I started to ask around for the guys, but as far as we could decipher with our broken French, no one was around. Several days passed as we explore the area around the Baie D' Anaho and then I spotted my friend David. We agreed to meet up after he was done working and share a beer on the beach. In the interim I wanted to deliver some fresh Mahi Mahi and Tuna to David's house, but I was digging pretty deep to find the right path after six years. We thought we'd found his house and gave the fish to an old woman who was working in the yard. Later we found out it wasn't the right home, but it was all 'C'est Bon' (very good) as he got the fish anyway. So we met up for a beer later on the beach and caught up. Of course David wanted to know where Karl was at! This time I was buying the Hinanos and brought a few ice cold beers from the boat. So, we found out that Teheke and Leopold now both live in Baie D' Hatiheu. We talked hunting, coconuts, fishing and about other interesting archeological sites we might visit. I was most interested in caves that might be burial caves. David warned that climbing up to the caves would be Marquesasan 'mea hauhau' and French 'dangereux' (very dangerous) as the prolific goats M. 'Keukeu' or Fr.'Chevre' that roam the hills are always kicking stones loose from above that could kill you as you scale the cliffs. This seemed like good advice so we'll pass on the burial caves.

The most interesting story was one of a spear fishing expedition that occurred two Sundays ago. David, Teheke and Teheke's younger brother, a little boy, were all spear fishing off Motu Poiku which is the next point to the East outside of Baie D' Anaho. They had just entered the water and had not yet speared a fish when the little boy was attacked unprovoked by what we translated as a bronze colored shark. The shark bit the boys head with razor sharp teeth cutting his scalp on the top of his head and his lower jaw. The boys dive mask took a good deal of the blow and the glass mask shattered and was carried by the shark. The boy, was taken to the hospital and stitched up, the wounds being fairly minimal given the fact that a shark bit his head. Kathy and I listened with interest and several times confirmed the location of the attack by drawing maps in the beach sand. Yikes! This was less than a mile from where we'd spent several hours the previous day snorkeling for lobster. This makes for two confirmed shark attacks since we've been in the Marquesas. The other was a local school teacher who was seriously bit in the forearm while swimming with her students in Daniel's Bay.

Laundry day went well as we were invited to use the water and laundry lines at the small pension (small family run hotel). The propiters were even so kind to share a batch of deep fried bananas which were delicious. We reciprocated with a gift of several kitchen knifes.

We've been getting lots of inquires about sailing in French Polynesia, South Pacific the last few days. I guess my frequent blog posts must be increasing our Goggle search results.

That's it for now.

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