Pacific Ocean

Contretemps: Hunting on Eiao

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The nice surprise at the beginning of the month of June was a trip with some local hunters to the island of Eiao. They had booked the cat for 4 days, including the voyage. It was the best season to go there, or rather the least bad; the outward trip should be good – 75 miles, the anchorage too. The return leg would be tougher. The island was inhabited before the arrival of the first Europeans in the Polynesian islands. An oral tradition tells that there is a fabulous Peruvian treasure on the island, brought there by the Spanish. Others tell of a German submarine during the Second World War which anchored here secretly to hide a significant amount of booty. So we embarked 4 hunters, along with the authorization of the territorial administration and valid hunting permits. In half a day, we loaded the hunting and underwater fishing equipment, the rucksacks, the salt for the sheep killed, the kai kai, the crockery, six fruit trees to plant, a battery, a few beers and even the sleeping bags! The biggest cool box, 270 liters and full of ice, blocked the entrance to the saloon along with a thing we took for a device for cutting up the sheep, made of metal beams, welded in the shape of a cross! We had a wonderful meal, then they fell asleep all over the boat, outside, “to get some air!” After sleeping for four short hours, the hunters left directly for the mountain, carrying on their backs the metal beam structure and a can of spray paint. They had a good laugh when we told them about our misunderstanding; their tool for gutting the sheep was in fact a cross, taken to the top of the mountain to give thanks for a miracle. In the evening, cutting up on the spot, loading the rucksacks and descent. It took the whole day and part of the night to finish everything. Dave went off to find the lunch, around fifteen surgeon fish, eaten raw with coconut milk. The captain likes this philosophy of life, its suits him well…

Who: Cécile & Joni

Where: Eiao, Marquesas, French Polynesia

Boat: Fountaine Pajot Mahé 36


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