Friday, March 25, 2022
We had a shared table of four for the Gala dinner – two solo travelers from Canada. Chuck and I each had the shrimp cocktail and the mixed green salad. He had the beef tenderloin and the grilled shrimp. I had the pan-fried flounder. We both skipped dessert.
We went to the first set of BB King band. Then we went to the show “Fusion Vocal Group.” The group was a trio of singers who sang mostly opera but then also sang a couple of show tunes. I liked it. Chuck tolerated it. However, he said the tenor hurt his ears.
Came back to the room and a towel monkey was waiting for us. At least I think it was a monkey.
We woke up at 7:00 to us sailing into the harbor of Tahuata. I heard the Cruise Director say that this island represents French Polynesia before commercialization. In other words, don’t expect great bathrooms or being able to use a credit card like on Bora Bora.
He also said the port was not accessible to wheelchair or scooter users. If you even had difficulty walking, you needed to be extra careful. Only one tender could dock at a time and there would be steps up to the dock to negotiate. The tender process was going to be very slow.
The day was very overcast and extremely humid. We could see that two tenders were always circling while one tender unloaded. It is so very hot in those tenders even with some of the windows open. My back was still bothering me from the Fakarava day. Given all the negatives, we just decided not to go over to the island.
We walked a mile around the ship on the Promenade deck and then relaxed on the Sea View deck. I worked some more on processing my underwater photos. The afternoon flew by. It was soon time to get ready for our Anniversary special dinner – the Pinnacle Gala.
Hapatoni, Tahuata, Marquesas Islands, French Polynesia
Tahuata pronounced TAH-wah-tuh
Tahuata is the smallest of the inhabited Marquesas Islands, in French Polynesia. Its name means “sunrise” in Marquesan.
Archaeological evidence indicates that Tahuata was inhabited by Polynesians as early as AD 200.
The village of Hapatoni’s main attraction is the royal road. Built on a dyke on the orders of Queen Vaekehu II in the 19th century, this paved road, lined with 100-year-old tamanu trees, extends along the shore. These tamanu trees are slow-growing but will grow up to 30 meters in height. The trunk is usually covered in dark, cracked bark while the leaves are elongated and glossy. Small, sweet-smelling white flowers are produced twice yearly. These flowers then give way to clusters of fruit. The fruit is allowed to fall naturally from the tree. The pale-colored nut kernels are then laid out on racks to dry for 2 months. During this process, these kernels turn a brownish-red color and release a strong, rich oil. Many believe that this Tamanu Oil has skin healing and an anti-aging ingredient that repairs skin.
Many of the inhabitants make a living out of their artwork, such as carved bone and rosewood.
*Travel trivia provided by Wikipedia and Holland America documents.