|The island of Ua Pou has many striking basalt spires, although we were never able to see all of them on account of the persistent clouds. The town itself is relatively modern looking due to the new construction of roads and buildings, in particular, the post office and city hall at the town center. The check-in at the gendarmarie was very smooth and for the first time, they greeted us warmly and were outwardly helpful. In general, there was an air of happiness and a perceptible vitality around town that we hadn't seen in the other two "cities".
The resurgence of interest in the Marquesian culture began in Ua Pou, including a rebirth of Marquesian dancing and drums, which had been forcefully outlawed by the Missionaries. Marquesians are immensely proud of their heritage, and happy to share it with visitors. The dance troupe put on a show at the recently restored historical Pae Pae Tenei. The drummers were great, and the men dancers were particularly fantastic. Speaking of which, the Marquesas is definitely living up to it's reputation as the Land of Men!
We awoke to the 5 horn announcement that we were in the way of the arriving inter-island freighter/passenger cruise ship. Not since Cabo had we had that kind of wake-up call. So we upanchored and stood off while she manuevered to the dock. One of the other cruiser involved in this scattering was a single-handed sailor that we affectionately refer to as Cousin Billie. He's a happy, mellow guy that looks just like Peter's cousin. The arrival of the ship brings all the townspeople down to the wharf to help with distributing the cargo, and a couple of vendors with refreshments.
In our tour around town, we found a church with hand carved wooden pulpits in the shape of a ship's bow, several schools, including a technical college, the bakery & coffee shoppe, and a fully stocked market. To the girls delight, we also found a cute boutique where we hit upon several great outfits for them, and apparently made the shop owner's day because he gave us a thank you gift of Tahitian Tiare soap and perfume.
Our water consumption has been more than the amount that we've been making, so we needed to load more water. Again we did the calculation for the number of dinghy trips and because the fuel loading at Nuka Hiva went so well, we decided that we would load water from the wharf. Utilizing a similiar plan, we anchored off the cement wharf and with the help of Jason, on Willow, got a long line attached to the dock and then warped back to within 2-3 feet. All was going fine until our lookout spaced out and didn't mention that we were on the wharf squeezing the ridged bottom dinghy. The problem was quicly corrected without any permanent damage to the boat and our lookout promised to be more attentive!