07 Apr Anaho Bay, Nuku Hiva – Saturday, 07 April 2001
We returned to Taiohae yesterday afternoon in order to be able to go to the Saturday morning market, which takes place at 0430 on the quay. Marquesians are early risers, but why so early? The fishermen come in early with the night catch and do not fish on Sunday and people come to the quay to buy their fish for the weekend. Others bring vegetables and fried bread to sell from the tailgate of their truck. We wanted to check it out.
We are up really early and to the quay by 0500. We could see the headlights of cars and trucks descending on the quay from the boat. We motor over in the dark and by the time we are on the dock, the sun is just beginning to rise. Many small motorboats arrive and the fishermen hoist their ice chests full of fish or whole tuna up onto the dock. Their family is there to meet them, to weigh the fish and to collect the money. All around us people are greeting each other, sometimes by a gentle touch of hand to hand or by the two-cheek-kiss, French greeting. Children are running about with fried bread in their hands and adults with two or three bags of fried bread. We see many familiar faces, the Gendarmarie who signed us into the country; Corliss who was our waitress at a restaurant for lunch; Jean Pierre, the local archeological authority, tour guide and musician Friday night at the hotel, etc. They smile and greet us with a cheerful “kaoha”. We buy two steaming size red snapper type fish. By 0615 all of the fish have been sold and everyone is leaving the quay; Saturday Market is over for the week. We hurry over to the boulangerie for warm baquettes. They are almost out of bread by 0700; on regular weekdays they have bread until at least 0800. We pull anchor and head up to Anaho Bay on the NE corner of Nuku Hiva. We rest up from our early morning and have a quiet afternoon. Anaho Bay is beautiful and one of the most secure anchorages in the Marquesas Islands. There is what was once a thriving copra plantation on shore, with a tiny church and schoolhouse. There were once many people living here to work the plantation, but now only the Vaiaanui family harvest copra and run a small pension in their home. It is a quiet, peaceful place.