Galley Wench Tales

Exploring the world through the people we meet
and the food they eat.

Cutting a dashing figure under a Huahine
coconut tree, “safely” wearing my scooter helmet
and bulging fanny pack with its dangling camera case.

“Do not stand, sit, kiss or park under a coconut tree,” Kevin, the Nuku Hiva Tahiti Crew agent sagely warned us when we rented a car through him.  It was nearly his only caution on a rugged island.

That’s why when Wayne made the rare request to borrow my camera on our Huahine scooter road trip, I was surprised.  It didn’t occur to me at the time I was 

  1. snapping photos while standing under a coconut tree, and (but?)
  2. still wearing my scooter helmet

“They told us in Fiji, the only people who get killed by getting hit on the head under the coconut tree are bad people,” our cruising friend Patty of Armagh claimed.  

It reminded me of the line in “True Lies,” when Jamie Lee Curtis, who just discovered her supposedly milk-toast husband, played by Arnold Schwatzenhager, is a CIA agent.  She asked, him “Do you kill people?”  Yes, he replied, “But only the bad ones.”

Huahine local kindly proffers me
a coconut ready for drinking,

Instead, I just snickered, and asked Patty, “And you bought that?”

Seriously, much as I love coconuts (click here to learn about our coconut hunting pursuits) we do try to be careful about nonchalantly hanging out in in bombing range.

As well, Wayne shares my apprehension with using machetes to crack coconuts, though he’s demonstrated some prowess there (click here for that).

Thus, when I noticed a Huahine work crew nearby slashing coconuts for their lunch refreshment, I asked if they’d be willing to share one.  Gallantly, they quickly proffered one up, its top machete-lopped off for my drinking pleasure.  

Glug! Glug! Glug! This thirsty Galley Wench
greedily drained the coconut.

Thirstily, I chugged it down, with great gusto and satisfaction.  The locals were unwilling to accept anything but my thank you for the coconut and their efforts.  In fact, all the locals we saw on our Huahine island tour were incredibly friendly and welcoming.

Once drained, I brought the coconut to the same place I noticed they’d put their empties.  

“Do you want the meat?” one fellow asked.  Sure, I replied and he pointed me to his machete.  I cluelessly started lining up a swing.  He stopped me, miming that my approach would’ve likely cut my foot off.  He took the machete, cut the coconut in four easy stokes, pulled out some meat and handed it over with a smile.

Again, I thanked him and asked if the group would allow me to snap a keepsake photo of them.  They seemed to enjoy it even more than I did.  

Friendly Huahine locals hamming it up for the camera.

Location Location 

We anchored outside Huahine’s most populous town, Fare (S16.42.943 W151.02.321) as the starting point for our island scooter tour. We’re currently on our way to Bora Bora. That will be our last stop before our 90 day visa expires July 21st. Then it’s on to Tonga with a stop in American Samoa and potentially Cook’s Suwarrow on the way. Will set several catch-up blog posts to run while we’re on passage, internet permitting.