As we prepare to return to Tahiti, we take a moment to look back to the beautiful French Polynesian islands as Windstar alumni Ernst A. Kemper shares his memories of Windstar’s previous Tahitian voyages.
Our first Windstar cruise was in Tahiti on the new MSY Wind Song. From September 1 – 9, 1989, we had Cabin 233 and shared the ship with fewer than 70 other guests. Even then, we wanted to visit the Marquesas Islands. So, when we learned that Windstar was leaving the South Pacific at the end of 2004, we signed on early for the last MSY Wind Star cruise (Voyage 821) from Papeete to the Tuamotu and the Marquesas Islands. Two celebration packages were ordered for the sold-out cruise: Anniversary (our 45th) and Renewal of Wedding Vows.
We left Quai Des Paque Bots at 8:19 PM, Friday, September 16, 2004. Saturday, Sunday and Monday, we were “at sea” sailing for Nuku Hiva, Marquesas. Of the 148 guests, 98 were repeat customers! Tuesday, 8:00 AM, Captain Ian Wardhaugh dropped anchor in the “Baie de Taiohae”, Nuku Hiva (8° 55′ 18.71″ S, 140° 5′ 56.52″ W). We walked the beach that morning, noting the many “TIKI” carved in 1989 for the Second Marquesan Art Festival.
Sept. 21 2004 TIKI & Wind Star at Taiohae
Sept. 21, 2004 Wind Star in Taiohae Bay From Taiohae-Taipivai Road
By 7:30 AM, Wednesday, September 22, we were anchored near Hepapaki Point at Hakahetau, Ua Pou (9° 22′ 48.84″ S, 140° 5′ 36.73″ W). From Wind Star we saw Mount Oave (1203 meters) and Pou Maka (995 meters): the “two posts” that give name to “Ua Pou”.
Sept. 22, 2004: Mt. Poutemoka (683 meters) Hakahetau, Ua Pou
Thursday, we visited the Gauguin Museum and the Artisan’s Culture Center, both located in Atuoua on Hiva Oa. At “Centre Culturel”, we purchased a ten inch tall TIKI From “Kehuehitu Mireille”. The Museum presented an arresting avant-garde wall projection video of Gauguin’s life.
Early Friday, Wind Star anchored in “Baie des Verges” (Bay of the Phalli), so named for the tall volcanic pillars surrounding Hanavave Village on Fatu Hiva (10° 27′ 55.54″ S, 138° 40′ 7.93″ W). European missionaries inserted an “I” into “verge”, resulting in “Baie des Vierges” (Bay of the Virgins)—what a difference an i makes!
Sept. 24, 2004 “King Kong” & Craft Items, Bay Of “Virgins”
The Welcome Ceremony on shore for Wind Star guests featured a “drum” fashioned from a “Arnott’s Cabin Biscuits” tin! Captain Wardhaugh suggested Baie des Verges as the lovely venue for the Wedding Vows Ceremony. So at 5:30 PM, we renewed our vows with champagne and cake for all. It was a brilliant effort from Our Captain, Hotel Manager Frank Ulbricht, and Chef Zomie.
Sept. 24, 2004 Wedding Vows Renewed: “Baie des Vierges” Fatu Hiva
Saturday and Sunday were spent sailing for the Tuamotus and Rangiroa. We snorkeled near Motu Nuki Nuki, Rangiroa on Monday. Tuesday’s at-sea High-Tea was a spectacular spread of pastries, cookies and cake: exploring The Tropic Of Chocolata!
Thursday we arrived in Cook’s Bay, Mo’orea (“Golden Lizard”). At 1:00 PM, we left on Dr. Micheal Poole’s “Dolphin and Whale Watch”. Inside the reef, we saw the eroded tufa spires which is the source of many of the “TIKI” images.
Friday morning in Papeete, we departed MSY Wind Star at 10:30 AM, heading for the hotel. That evening we indulged in “Mai Tai” and recalled the happy moments from the voyage.
We have learned that Windstar is returning to Tahiti after an absence of ten years! April 13, 2014, MSY Wind Spirit will leave Puerto Caldera for a 19-day sail to Papeete. We can’t wait for Windstar to return to Tahiti!
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