After check-in procedures in Hiva Oa the World ARC fleet started to cruise the Marquesas islands towards the welcome rendezvous in Nuku Hiva.
Clearances went smoothly WCC agent, Laurent, and participants were quickly able to arrange necessary supplies onshore and explore, and move to the neighboring islands, Tahuata and Fatu Hiva.
First contact with locals showed the great generosity of the Polynesian people, and many boats reported spontaneous dinners ashore, or surprised with local fruit gifts.
Also joining the WCC Team in Hiva Oa were Cameron and Cibele, two long term cruisers and residents of Polynesia, who will be accompanying the fleet until Bora Bora, sharing their local knowledge and insights.
After a few days of free cruising, the fleet came together again in Tahiohae Bay, Nuku Hiva, for the official rendezvous, and welcome party.
The Tourist Board and local community prepared a warm traditional welcome. Greeted with flower lei garlands by dancers, musicians playing ukuleles, a variety of local fruits and delicacies to taste. Workshops on traditional handicrafts, such as flower leis and weaving. As this is the first stop in the Polynesian triangle, participants were happy to experience this introduction into a unique culture, and there were many smiles on both sides.
Later that afternoon, there was a Skippers' Briefing prepared by Cameron and Cibele, using their extensive experience sailing in Polynesia, an in depth discussion about sailing the Tuamotus and Society islands.
At sunset participants made their way to the party hall, where a traditional underground oven was opened, and a giant local feast prepared, followed by the Prize Giving ceremony, with winners receiving local wood carvings as trophies.
For the leg of Galapagos to Marquesas, the winner of Class A was Arabela, followed by TBC in second place, and Aurora in third; In Class B, the winner was Taistelai, followed by Skyelark, and Altair; In the Multihull Class, Hanna came first, followed by Misto, and Exit Strategy.
A special mention prize was given to Atla, who was delayed in Panama, visited the Galapagos after the fleet left, and yet arrived in time for the rendezvous in the Marquesas!
The highlight of the evening was a traditional dance show, complete with local history, legends, singing and large traditional drumming. World ARC members were invited to participate and learn a few local moves!
A good time was had by all and a sense of having "arrived" in Polynesia prevails throughout the fleet.
Next stop, the Tuamotus!