A couple of day ago we motor sailed from Haahopu Bay Nuku Hiva to the main town Hakahau Bay Ua Pou. We went to town and immediately started to provision for our finally weeks in the Marquesas and the trip back to Hawaii. We were pleasantly surprised to here from the locals that the Hokule’a, Hawaiian double sailing canoe, was also on its return trip from around the world and for the first time since 1995 made a stop in Ua Pou. Around 11 am Ua Pou men dressed in traditional clothes beat on the drums and an older woman sang to the sea.
As the Hokule’a approached the fire department shot water out of the fire truck and sounded their sirens along with the police vehicles. After the Hokule’a anchored the Hakahau village made several trips in a 6 man outrigger canoe to pick up the captain, crew, and escorting sailboat crew and bring them to the beach. Once all of the Hokule’a crew was on the beach the mayor of Ua Pou gave a loud Marquesas hello and the woman of Ua Pou brought flower lei’s to wrap the head of the crew. The crew stayed on the beach as the warrior men of Ua Pou performed a traditional warrior dance and two women performed the Marquesas bird dance. We were very impressed the mayor said kind words thanking the Hokule’a for visiting Ua Pou in Polynesian, French, and in English. As a return and equally impressive the Hokule’a thanked Ua Pou all in two minute Hawaiian speech. After a Catholic singing prayer was given for safe travels and food. We were invited to join the crew, Ua Pou, and other cruisers anchored in the bay to feast on goat, possion cru, breadfruit, and other assorted dishes prepared by the local women.
We wish we were a poet because only a poet could describe the energy that both Ua Pou and Hokule’a shared. We look forward to returning home in the next couple of weeks in ole Hawaii!
Wade and Sara
Hakahau Bay Ua Pou Marquesas Anchor Coordinates: 9° 21.507′ S, 140° 02.826′ W
Update: After returning to Hawaii we searched for the Hokule’a pictures from their visit to Ua Pou. If you look careful behind the right shoulder of the guy smashing breadfruit with stone picture, you’ll see a blurred smiling Sara, haha.