April 18th, 2002
Message from the Marquesas
Baie Tahuku, Atuona, Hiva Oa     

We have been in Hiva Oa since arriving here directly from San Diego on Sunday,
April 14th. We are anchored in a breakwater-protected area with about 14 other
boats. The view here is spectacular; the lush green mountains are a welcome
contrast to twenty-one days of monochromatic blues. The disadvantage is that
this bay is polluted and has sharks, so we cannot jump in to cool off.

The first day was taken up with immigration and posting of the bond at the bank
in the village of Atuona. On Tuesday, we took a bumpy 4-wheel drive island
tour with a guide. It was a fun tour, winding through the mountains and
villages, with panoramic ocean vistas and lush rain forests. We had a
Marquesan lunch in Iipona, called "the Tiki Village" on the opposite side of
the island. We then visited the archeological site of Puamau, where we stared
in wonder at the largest tiki in the world, standing at 2.43 meters (8 feet).
In addition, the massive terraces and other statues of the tiki's wife, the
fertility god, etc. made it a most interesting visit.

Wednesday was recovery day for Lois, who ended up with the Marquesan version of
Montezuma's Revenge.

We will be leaving Hiva Oa today for a little anchorage at an idyllic island
called Tahuata, about nine miles away. This island is supposedly the place to
purchase carvings and obtain a genuine Marquesan tattoo. Our buddy boat,
Makoko, has already stopped at this island on their way from Nuku Hiva to meet
us here and returned there yesterday. From there, Pacific Bliss and Makoko
will sail south to Fatu Hiva.

Then it's on to Ua Pou, touted as the most beautiful island of this chain; we
plan to exit the Marquesas in Nuku Hiva, where Lois plans to post the stories
and photos: Passage to the Marquesas and Exploring the Marquesas. This island
reportedly has an internet facility. We shall see.

Hello to All!

Gunter, Lois, Doug and Armin




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