17th of may!
17th of may is a huge day in Norway, and it is celebrated wherever there are Norwegians. Hiva Oa is no exception. This was definately the most memorable 17th of may in my life. We were 4 Norwegian boats planning to celebrate together. Adam and Tatiana, a local couple, which we now consider good friends said we could have the celebration in their back yard, as it is illegal to have a party in public spaces in France (French Polynesia). We invited all the boats to this paradise of ours, and Adam invited me to go hunting for the main course; Wild pig. As a semi Vegetarian, it is with some degree of apprehension that I accepted to go along with him. I feel like I have to explain why I am a «semi» vegetarian: I do not want to support the meat industry, as industialized food industry is a huge contributor to global warming, deforrestation, animal cruelty and pollution. However «I eat what I kill» I do fish to eat, or go hunting if I consider it to be a sustainable way of hunting. Here in Hiva Oa hunting for wild pigs has been a tradition for centuries, and it is an honor to be invited. We had to go at night, as that is when the pigs go down from the mountains to feed in the vallyes. So we taped a flashlight to a saloon rifle and went into the jungle. We were 5 guys hunting. It was a bit scary, as the pigs can get up to 100kg with huge tusks and kan be quite aggressive. But we did not see any pigs during the hunt. I heard some weird monkey-like screams though, but when i asked what it was Frankie (one of the other guys) told me it was just the tame oxes calling for the cows, that is the weirdest sound I have ever heard from such an animal. The cows did not look very impressed either… we also came across a couple of huge catepillars, they give a nasty bite, so I am glad I didn’t stumble upon one unnoticed. On the way back from the hunt we were all sitting in the back of a pickup truck on the way down to the village. Suddenly the car stopped, and Adam jumped out of the truck with his .22 rifle and ran into the roadside jungle. Some minutes later we heard two shots. After a little while I was sitting in the back of the truck again with Adam and a 30kg wild pig. Adam was beaming with pride and I could see he had the other hunters respect that night.
He is a good hunter and he is also a great cook. We served wild pig in home squeezed coconut sauce and grilled wild goat. The celebration was a huge success! The Norwegians marched through the village singing the national anthem and waving flags. After the meal was finished Christina perfomed some new songs she made during the last couple of months sailing. Several eyes were watering, mine included! I hope I am able to get a proper recording of her uploaded one day, it is impossible to explain with words how beautiful the songs are.
Since then we have been swimming with Manta Rays, been on a trip with an outrigger and visited a 77 year old guy living alone in a magnificent bay with a white beach, copra plantation and a little fresh water stream. We are planning to leave for Fatu Hiva soon, but we seem to be continously delayed by one thing or another. We are not in a hurry though.
Thats all for now!
17th of may!