Day 8 - TAHUATA (Vaitahu) In 1595, Spanish explorers landed in the village of Vaitahu and opened fire on a crowd of curious islanders, killing about 200. Tahuata is also the site of the first French settlement in the Marquesas in 1842. The large church built by the Vatican, is decorated with beautiful marquesan carvings and a stunning stained glass window.

In the morning, Aranui 5 anchored off the small island of Tahuata. All the passengers were welcomed by beautiful little girls singing the "Mave Mai" ( welcome song).These girls' voices are so powerful that we could hear them from the barges.

As we walked to the island square, we were taken by the very fragrant scent of flowers mixed with the Ocean breeze as well as the kindness of the people.

Tahuata is also known for its exquisite bone and helmet shell carvings.There were so many to chose from.

We met with the Mayor of the island, Mr Felix Barsinas, also a relative. Along with the rest of the islanders, they are working very hard on welcoming the Marquesan festival to their island in the near future.After a great but very short visit, we were given necklaces and these very yummy marquesan coconut biscuits as we said our goodbyes.We felt at home in Tahuata as would anybody visiting this beautiful island.

After Lunch onboard the Aranui 5, it was time to enjoy a lazy afternoon on a white sand Beach and taking a refreshing dip in the Ocean.Our friends from the Aranui crew joined us as well with their musical instruments and snorkeling gear. It was a perfect afternoon spent with awesome company.

Koutau Nui Tahuata!We look forward to going back with our families.

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