The King of the Castle

(Hanamoenoa Bay, Tahuata, Marquesas, French Polynesia)

Bad news bears for the lobster trap this morning. After its bamboo-top refit yesterday, we went out and set the baited trap on the reef last night. We were using our flat, official CFL football as the float. Greg insisted this was because the football is harder for any potential thieves to spot, but I’m pretty sure it’s because we have been incredibly, unable to shake this useless football regardless of many attempts on Gregory’s part. Somehow it always makes it way back into our lives. That is, until this morning.

Gregory went out early and eager to see if the trap modifications would result in a successful haul, only to be severely disappointed when the trap was nowhere to be found. He found a couple of pieces of shredded bamboo and not a sliver more. Milk crate, rope, zip ties, weights, football – all gone. Greg has his theories as to what got it – maybe a shark, maybe octopus. I’m leaning more towards the latter. Some relative out for revenge no doubt.

Perhaps in an effort to get away from the disheartening water – really more for the adventure – we took Marie over to the bay to the North of our anchorage and scurried up the brush covered hillside to hike the high, overlooking ridgeline. Once we reached the lofty locale we followed a goat trail up and inland – its construction confirmed by the large herd of wild goats grazing ahead. The elevation and distance we quickly gained offered a stellar view of Oceanna and the rest of the boats anchored down in Hanamoenoa Bay.

Maybe it’s something about living perpetually at elevation zero that gives any gain in height, slight or large, such a grandiose feeling, but there’s something about having the endless horizon stretch out at the same contour line day after day, that when we hike up any new hillside I literally feel on top of the world. Looking down on Oceanna, a mere white speck in the distance, playground chants from my childhood were brought to mind. I, of course, am the Castle’s King and Oceanna and all her water bound friends are most certainly the dirty rascals.

We hiked the ridgeline for as far as possible; wrestling thick scratchy bush and low gnarly trees in an attempt to round the horseshoe ridgeline and return on the opposite bank of the bay then we started. Alas it was not in the cards. My legs bore enough wounds already, and the trail was not thinning out in any way. So we turned to and headed out the way we came.

The grassy highlands were an awesome way to spend the morning. Trekking around watching goats run, Oceanna sit pretty, and your place in the world get monumentally smaller as the big, beautiful world extends forever all around you. And Doug, you’d be happy to know the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree – or the rock from the cliff for that matter. When we reached the point, Gregory took to dropping rocks over the cliffside just like you did at the Kettle Valley Trestles. Although everything that Greg does undoubtedly has a more is more vibe to it, so he was rolling more boulder-sized rocks than the stones you would choose.


Hiking up the grassy, brambly, hillside with Marie sitting pretty down in the bay.


I made it the goat trail and my boat legs need a break.


A great new view.


Just up one more rise and Gregory had muffins in the backpack! Oceanna is one of those white specs down there.


Enjoying the view.


A panorama of the two bays that hold our boats. Marie to the right, Oceanna to the left.


I spy with my little eye – Moondancer, Escape Velocity, Wairua, and Oceanna!


Still going up!


Gregory building is Transformer-esque inukshuk


Moments after this picture was taken the wind blew over Greg’s precariously balanced inukshuk.



One comment

  1. Have you watched the mutiny. Or know the history that inspired the movie? If it’s along your way, You guys should stop by the island where the ancestors of the mutineers still inhabit!

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