We left Galapagos on 16th April and after 17 days and 3,300 miles we arrived in Fatu Hiva, one of the Marquesas islands, joining our fellow Puddle Jumpers, (the affectionate name for sailors who travel across the Pacific). The Bay of Virgins anchorage at Fatu Hiva was a stunning arrival to the Marquesas with enormous volcanic peaks soaring above us - interestingly enough the bay was originally called the Bay of Penis's but the early French catholic priests were not impressed and by adding an "I" to Verge (Penis) the more appropriate name was found (Vierge -Virgin)! The volcanic Marquesas Islands are the most easterly part of the French Polynesian archipelago.
The islands are pretty remote and the climate is very hot with lots of rain which accounts for the majestic greenery that covers the mountains. They are sparsely populated, in fact the people are often outnumbered by the chickens but the Polynesians were hugely welcoming, even inviting us to their home for lunch! After visiting a few islands the whole Oyster fleet met in Nuku Hiva, the largest island, for a major party with local dancing and food with an enthusiastic speech from the Mayor. There is no doubt that the arrival of the Oyster Fleet is a big occasion for the Islands.
Of the many highlights - having lunch with a Polynesian family, yomping up the many mountains, swimming with huge Manta Ray's, mooring in stunning anchorages (check out the photo of Ua Poh!), oh and having to queue at 5:30am to get fresh food from the market - will be the standout memories from our time in Marquesas.
The Meteorite Crew
Debbie, Hugh, Janice and Andy