We came back 25 miles to Nuku Hiva yesterday so we could find a pharmacy and some vaseline. It was a pretty bouncy ride with 15-18 knot east-northesterlies just forward of the beam and big easterly seas. You would think that on an island where there are 2 tatoo artists who keep pretty busy that the pharmacies might realize there is a little market for vaseline, but no such luck. And knowing we were heading to the Tuamotus next where supplies will be scarce at best, we knew we had to come back over here.
The stop in Ua Pou was fun and interesting. One way to see the Marquesas is as a passenger aboard the Aranui III, which is a combination coastal freighter and cruise ship. Not a luxurious cruise ship by any stretch, but the only game in town. It carries 100+ passengers and brings freight to and from the Marquesas, Tuamotus and Papeete. Occasionally during stops the locals put on shows for the benefit of the passengers, and we happen to be on Ua Pou when that happened this week. There was some lovely dancing followed by a delicious Marquesas buffet lunch. Nice afternoon.
After that we went up to a little Pension up on the hill above the harbor to watch Terese from the boat Coquillicot get a huge manta ray tatooed to her back. The guy appeared to be a very good artist, and his procedures of using new needles and ink and gloves gave us the confidence that tatoos in the Marquesas would be relatively safe. So we returned yesterday morning and Brit and I got tatoos with Marquesan designs on our feet.
Now we’re back in Taiohae Bay for a visit to the pharmacy and one last stop at the grocery before we head south. The weather has completely deteriorated into squalls and rain, though, so I think we’ll stay put one more day here. We were going to leave this morning but it really doesn’t appeal to us to head out into 30 knot squalls when we can safely stay anchored here. This system should ease up mid week next week so we’ll see what the forecast looks like tomorrow. For weeks I whined about light winds and now it’s gone completely the other way!