National Geographic : 1950 Jan
Shores and Sails in the South Seas kneeling, head on the ground, in position for childbirth. Although I got to the shore about 5 p. m., it took us more than an hour in the whaleboat to get through the surf to the schooner. Through Bordelais Strait we moved on to Tahuata and Reso lution Bay (Baie Vai tahu), named for Cap tain Cook's command ship, which visited here in April, 1774. The valley sloped up to the mountains from the water's edge. The ruins of an old French fort are visible, relic of a campaign to subdue the natives. A monument to com memorate French sol diers and sailors who lost their lives in fight ing the fierce tribes of the island was erected 50 yards back from the beach. The tidal wave of April, 1946, tore the monument from its foundation. The huge slab of concrete top pled over. The plaque is gone, possibly to Goggle-eyed furnish metal tips for The author saw many the natives' fishing centuries-old stone f spears. An old ship's cannon remains, however, pointing out to sea. The morning of December 9 I awoke to see the jagged spirelike peaks of Ua Pu (pages 92, 102, and 103). We were anchored at Hakahau Bay, and dozens of native canoes were coming out to visit the schooner. In 1815 the sailing ship Matilda, under Captain Fowler, put in at Hakahau Bay for a cargo of sandalwood. Controversy over women caused the natives at night to cut her anchor chain. A heavy sea was running, putting her on the rocks in short order, and she sank before daybreak. The 1946 tidal wave washed ashore the hull which had been submerged for 131 years. Never was the old ship more needed, for most of the buildings along the beach had been carried out by the tidal wave. Images Reflect Hiva Oa's Pagan Days toppled tikis, or gods, some measuring nine feet. This igure is believed to represent a woman in childbirth. Landings any place on Ua Pu are dan gerous. Bays are short and poorly protected. Certain bays are calm in one season, dangerous and difficult a few months later. At times the northeast trades blow this way, causing bays on the north side to have heavy surf. The Chief of Omoa The middle of December we reached Fatu Hiva.* At Omoa we anchored well in. The general orderliness of the small settlement was conspicuous. A small avenue runs from the beach for half a mile up the valley. On either side, native houses have neat yards with grass and flowers. * See "Turning Back Time in the South Seas," by Thor Heyerdahl, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE, January, 1941.