Karmic dance party

Pura Vida at anchor in Hanemanenoa bay

A Robinson Crusoe day in Hanemaneoa Bay.
We had the beach entirely to ourselves, learned to climb coconut trees, flailed around trying to open one but managed to get it in the end!!!!

Passionfruit baseball with a very large stick

daddy love

Good bye Tehuata!

The next morning we set out to return to Hiva Oa...
needed some internet ( having to register our Rosetta stone to open the next lessons????) and a small restock and then we thought to head for Nuka Hiva...
Caught our first YELLOWFIN on the way over!
FInally, SUSHI again!
As we came in to anchor, a couple of local dudes were in a fishing dingy and came to help us with our stern anchor-this is a very helpful thing in a full anchorage with lots of wind and swell. I had nothing on hand to offer for thanks and I really wanted to say thanks, so I found a bottle of rum handy and passed that along. I knew something was up when I saw the look on their faces. Apparently, the cheap-o, Costco  $8.00  Mexican bottle of rum costs like $60.00 here! It immediately confused and embarassed the poor Marquesans, who tried to even out the score by inviting Jon Boar Hunting.
"Sure," said Jon.
"Maintenant!" they nodded.
Jon said he could not go right away but maybe another time and we left them with smiles and them shaking their heads.
Oh well, better to be more generous than less-especially as it's exactly how the people who live here seem to treat everyone.

Caught at 7:30 am! Breakfast sushi anyone?

We set about tidying up and Jon had an interesting time helping a boat that lost his stern anchor and fouled the line in his prop-all in close proximity to other boats and the shore. Wind and swell and current, packed anchorage, total nightmare for the other skipper....we had to break out a scuba tank for that one in order to help sort it all out.
There are no pics  of this incident( no point in embarrassing the vessel and captain) but the interesting thing is....
This was the SAME boat who had given us ignorant Americans such a bad time last week!
Ah-ha! Perfect karmic circle!
Lo and behold.... the Universe found an opportunity to  teach some lessons about non judgement and we were right there for the front row seats!
 It was a pleasure for Jon to jump in the dingy and re-anchor the poor man five times ( and there was a tiny bit of satisfaction in watching him eat a little crow) and  we were happy to be the most helpful, cheerful Americans ya'll ever laid eyes on. He had treated poor Jon quite rudely before, but he was very kind and gracious about that whole icky business and gave us a bottle of RUM for Jon's troubles!
So here was the Universe at work again...
and we had a bottle of rum right back to us, not even half a day since we gave one away!
These karmic reformers have also invited us all for drinks, which I politely declined as our dance card is quite full these days with local engagements...
As some ignorant American once said, 
"Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice and...well...you can't fool me a second time."

The next morning, we walked into town for baguettes at 8:30 am and we didn't get back to the boat until 6:30 pm!!!!
On the way into the village,  Marie Jo offered us a ride...we  said wanted to walk but Hunter jumped in her taxi anyway...off went our eight year old with the Marquesan Taxi driver. She spent the rest of the day delivering things with Marie Jo and even went to the airport to bring home a local women and her two husbands (???) and they made her a traditional lei to give her when they picked her up and while they waited at the airport (40 minutes from the boat) then picked mangoes in the forest for us to have back on the boat.
Meanwhile, on the way into town,  the local guy, who asked jon to go boar hunting...who I will call the Marquesan Kal Drogo (Game-Of-Thrones-fangirl reference ) drove by on his red scooter and asked in French where we had been? He had been waiting on the dock for Jon since 7:30-oops missed that one in translation! They agreed to meet on Saturady morning at 4:30 am.  Kal Drogo told Jon that he would be using a gun, although Kal would just use his knife to tackle and kill the wild boar. Okay. Oh-kay..., Kal does not speak a word of English and Jon has no French and I am not going-so they should have a lot of fun!

In the big store on the island we met up with Moee-best friend of taxi driver Marie Jo. I asked her if she knew where Hunter and Marie Jo were and she said "Non" but we could go with her-we had lots of bags of groceries-and she would help us find them. 
We climbed into her impossibly dilapated Suzuki Samurai and sped off. Now, just so you know,  I only speak very rusty schoolgirl French and most people here do not have much (if any) English. So sometimes, I really don't know exactly what the hell I am agreeing to...
Moee asked if we wanted some Pamplemousee and we said sure as the store was out but she assured us she had tons at her house.
Five seconds later we pulled into a house where her husband was working on his boat-it was her uncles house-and before you knew it we were there for two hours. No English just laughing and smiles.
After receiving a huge bag full of mangoes  that uncle ( ton, ton) Leon picked fresh for us from his towering  mango tree, i said we should go and get our groceries back into the boat. WE offered to pay for some of the fruit but they just looked at us like we were crazy and pointed to the huge tree bursting with mangoes. Moee  asked us if we could drive and when we said yes, she threw us her car keys-told us to drop our stuff off at the boat and come back in an hour for a bbq....
We were sort of baffles but they were so nice we said okay, what can we bring? They said nothing...or rum? 
Well, we just happen to have a bottle of rum that has been going around in quite good faith, these past few days so....we said we would be delighted. We would be back in an hour.
LItttle did we know, it would be just Moee and her family, it happened to be a holiday here on Hiva Oa and any holiday is an excuse for a bbq and bring out the guitars and the ukuleles and the synthesizers! Invite all your coolest tattooed uncles and cousins and some funny white people you found at the grocery store and Voila...its a Marquesan party!
Somewhere in there, Marie Joe returned Hunter to us and we raced home and got the rum and made some Tuna sashimi from the Yellowfin we had caught and the rest of the day, we spent in a real Hiva Oa home, not speaking a word of English just learning French and Marquesan and singing and dancing and laughing and sipping rum and a local moonshine( only tiny sips or it will make your eyeballs explode), the food was wonderful and fresh and the generosity we experienced was beyond belief.
Tomorrow we are up at 6am for a hike with this whole family up the 4000 foot mountain towering over our heads...
the next day Jon is boar hunting and the day after that i have agreed( I think)  to get a tattoo from a man on the other side of the island.
This is only our FIRST stop on this French Polynesian tour...
How on earth are we ever gonna make it though French Polynesia in six months??!!
Moee and her cousin Freddie

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Everybody jammin'

Ton-Ton Leon was a skydiving instructor in Moorea. 6000+ jumps!...Before the crash that shoulda woulda killed a lesser man!

Moee and her husband Joeseph


  1. Ooooeee, Mooeeee! Hot diggety-dee!! And you're not even Irish. Hell, now I've got it, that business with the coconuts, you're Swiss!!!

  2. Oh my goodness it looks like you've gone home again!!!

  3. "Suki is one hell of a writer... you can tell her for me. I'm jealous of that flow and ease...." - comment forwarded from a writer friend of 70+.

  4. I'm glad to see the Beach Gorilla is no longer hampered by a shoulder problem.

  5. speechless........
    so amazing!!
    ALL OF IT!!
    Life! xxxoxoxooxoxxoxo