Tuesday, October 19, 2010


DAY 29 This is another, but our last, up early to go ashore day. Breakfast is delivered to our room at 7:00AM and by 7:40AM we are sitting in the Oceans Lounge with other Cruise Critic members waiting for the tenders to be called. And waiting, and waiting, and awaiting, etc., etc., etc.!!! No PA, no nothing until 8:30AM when they announce that tender service has started. Of course, we all have tickets for the first tender and we have not been called so how could it have started?

Finally, about 8:45AM, they call our tender ticket number, #20, and we all proceed down to A Deck to board the tender and go ashore. By a little after 9:00AM we have met up with our tour provider, Jocelyn and have boarded her PU truck. Carolyn gets in the front seat and I get in the back seat along with a couple from Bellingham, WA. The other four persons get to sit in the open back of the truck on benches! Don’t you just love 3rd world tours?

Nuku Hiva is made up of very jagged terrain and, in fact, the harbor at Taiohae, where we land, is on the edge of a caldera from an extinct volcano. Leaving the harbor area, we turn left and then begin to climb out of the caldera on a steep, narrow road with frequent hairpin, switchback turns. Upon reaching the crest of the steep cliffs surrounding the harbor, we stop of a look back down into the harbor below.

We continue on, heading either up or down hill but never level for several miles. We stop at and over look for the site where the 2002 Survivor Micronesia was filmed.

When head steadily down toward Taipivai where Herman Melville lived for several years. At Taipivai, we are back to sea level and then we begin another climb up a river valley. After several miles, the pavement give way to a dirt and gravel road and we begin to kick up dust which coats the people in the back of the truck. We stop to view a very crude industrial facility that is processing cocoanuts into copra

and to look at waterfalls dropping hundreds of feet into the valley. At the bottom of these falls is a small electrical generating station using the falling water to produce electricity for the town of Taipivai and its environs. We drive to Hatiheu Pass for what is considered the most beautiful view on the Island the overlook for Hatiheu Bay, It is truly beautiful! Then we turn around and head back the way we came after.

On our return, we head a little ways toward the other side of the island to see the change in the vegetation and make a stop at a developed overlook and get a spectacular look down into the bay in which our ship is anchored. We can also see the rim of the largest extinct volcano, there are three on the island. Our guide also uses this stop as an opportunity to collect her fee of $55US or 5,000XFP per person. From here we return to the dock area; everyone in need of a restroom!

We visit the craft vendors and hope to find wood carvings as these are supposed to be the craft of choice on this island. Unfortunately, all the good stuff has been snatched up while we have been sightseeing or there was not much to be had. After examining everything to be had, we buy a carved letter opener with a tiki on it and a swatch of Tapa cloth with a black symbol drawn on it. Carolyn says the Tapa cloth will frame nicely and will make a nice addition to our art collection. The beach doesn't look that wonderful so having exhausted our options, we head back to the ship.

As we are about to get underway, one of the Cadet Officers gets his fingers smashed between the tender and the dock as he is attempting to remove the mooring line. After much backing and filling, he is brought onto the tender and sits just above us. His fingers are badly injured with one of them having a nail just hanging by a thread. He tells someone he can move them so maybe they are not broken but his right hand will be out of action for quite sometime judging by its appearance. This is the second accident while tendering on this trip. Fortunately no one was hurt on the first one. The tender captain’s skills have been so poor, we hope there will be no reason to need the tenders on the way back to San Diego!

After returning to the ship we put on swim suits and head up to the pool for a swim and a dip in the hot tub. That done, we return to the cabin and gather a snack from the Neptune Lounge along with a club sandwich from room service then nap and read until sail away. There is deck barbeque for Oktoberfest, but the menu doesn’t sound good so we wait for our regular seating. We visit with our friends at the next table and invite then for wine and snacks in the room on the 17th. We will get some food from the lounge and try the two French wines we bought in Papeete. Dick goes to bed after dinner and Carolyn goes the showroom to see "Songbook", which turns out to be the best show yet!


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