July 31, 2011

The Marquesas Islands, Les îles Marquises, Te Fenua ‘Enata, Te Henua ‘Enana – Adventures on and off the Aranui 3, July 2011

Kaoha nui!

This year has been very adventurous for Nāwa‘a and me – we’ve been privileged to spend most of 2011 in the South Pacific, especially on the Tuamotu Atolls of Rangiroa (Tiputa) and Fakarava (Rotoava), Tahiti and Moorea, as well as many of the Marquesas Islands. 

Nāwa‘a and me on Ua Pou, Marquesas (Photo by Father Moki Hino)

And no, that is NOT our yacht behind us!  We took a different type of voyage this trip (at least for us!).  I was asked by the Aranui 3” (386-foot freighter/cruise liner) to give a series of lectures regarding the Marquesas. So, for two weeks, Nāwa‘a and I cruised from Pape’ete, Tahiti, to Fakarava, and then throughout the Marquesas archipelago.  What an incredible journey it was!

Aranui 3
My three lectures were presented in both English and French.  Nāwa‘a most graciously interpreted the first lecture for me – he is a walking encyclopedia and I am very fortunate to have had him accompany me for this journey.  His wise guidance, friendship, encouragement and support, as well as his incredibly helpful French, is awesome!  I cannot thank him enough...

Randy Nāwa‘a Wichman
My lectures were:
Early Ethnology of the Marquesas
Archaeology of the Marquesas
Material Culture of the Marquesas

Also, I cannot thank the Aranui crewmembers enough for their endless professionalism, warmth, and friendliness.  They are all brilliant Pacific jewels, and the Aranui is fortunate to have them as part of their family (as well as their passengers!).

The Aranui is a great way to visit the Marquesas Islands, and I highly recommend this adventurous cruise! The unique freighter/cruiser is very, very comfortable and clean, heaps of fun on-going activities, superb food, and many memorable adventures! Not your typical posh cruise liner - more for the adventurous types...  I hope to lecture onboard the Aranui again next year [**UPDATE: I'm confirmed for 2014, Aug 30-Sept 12, Voyage 12] – you should join me too!!! Please feel free to contact me if you would like more information. Also, check out the cool Aranui website (www.aranui.com) to learn much more.

I would love to write a bit about each of these unique Marquesan islands - but that will have to wait for another post in the future.  The following slide shows are a small sampling of more than 1,000 photos we shot during this adventure. 

Life on and off board the Aranui 3

Nuku Hiva

Omoa, Fatu Hiva

Fatu Hiva

Hiva Oa

Atuona, Hiva Oa


Ua Huka

Please check back soon for more adventure postings as I am seriously behind (we finally have decent Internet!!!).  Nāwa‘a and I have had several other amazing adventures since this Marquesas voyage such as our ancient rock wall restoration project in Nu‘alolo Kai with Nā Pali Coast ‘Ohana, as well as more aerial photos of another preservation project at Hui Mālama o Kāneiolouma in Po‘ipū, both located on our beautiful home island of Kaua‘i, here in Hawai‘i.

Nāwa‘a and I are so very blessed - the greatest gifts from all our adventures are the many new lifetime friends we have created along the way!!

Koutau nui!

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