(Bay of Virgins, Hanavave, Fatu Hiva, Marquesas, French Polynesia)
Fatu Hiva is home to two small villages – Hanavave where we’re anchored, and Omoa about 10 miles to the south. Their combined populations don’t even reach 1,000 people. Don’t let the small numbers fool you though, they can still put together enough football (aka soccer) teams to warrant a proper Saturday tournament.
Upon hearing this news from our new Norwegian friends aboard Doris, we easily made plans to attend. With Henrik and Marius with us, and newly arrived Roger and Sasha in their own dinghy, we motored on down to Omoa. When we found the soccer tournament, I won’t lie, we were a little disappointed. Yes their were teams playing soccer and a reminiscent twinge of so many days spent in small-town hockey rinks filled my mind when I saw the kids running about playing their own games and dutiful Moms manning the concession peddling home-baked goods. But it was not the tournament we expected. They were playing in a concrete building and the skill was less the natural-talent-of the-tropics we’ve come to expect and more a-little-out-of-shape stop-and-go ball.
No harm, no foul, We found plenty of things to make our trip worth while. In the local store the boys jubilantly purchased their first cold beer in days and Marius shared with me my very first taste of the delicious Australian import Tim Tams!
Instead of a green grassed soccer pitch we spent our day at a fresh water creek. Watching small crayfish swim by our feet, listening to the washed-out road waterfall tumble persistently by, and enjoying a many sunny day cervezas. (Shoot, I have just realized I will have to translate this delightful word over to French. Though I doubt it will have the same roll-off-your-tongue wonderfulness that the Spanish provides. So perhaps I’ll just stick with it a little longer regardless of the ruling country of our present location?)
Before we ventured back to our home anchorage, a certain When In Rome factor came into play. A little further south of Omoa’s bay was said to be home to a surf break. A sight Gregory could not let go unseen. We went, we saw, Gregory got real excited, and Marius – to our viewing pleasure and his feet’s severe displeasure – climbed aloft a solitary offshore reef outcropping. The accomplishment was impressive, and hands were thrown in the air. Be warned though, the ocean rarely let’s you get away with pulling one over on her. She’s always there to even the odds and remind you she’s completely indifferent to your presence. Aka, she sent a crashing wave right up and over Marius’s victorious position.