Crystal got up and exercised around 5; Justin blissfully slept in. The view from the deck was very similar to two days earlier, except this time Tahuata was on our right instead of on our left. We got breakfast in Ryan and Henry's section so that they wouldn't give us any grief. At 8:15 we met in the Grand Salon with everyone else that had booked the boat's tour. Tahuata was the only island where we didn't book a private tour, rather than purchase one of the boat's tours. We wanted to book the private tours so that 1) we could get more interaction with local people on the islands, 2) have full-day rather than half-day tours, and 3) not have to move in a herd of several dozen people. But for Tahuata, we couldn't find any solid information on tour operators that were recommended. We would have done one of the dive tours, but the dives were for people with 50+ dives, and we're nowhere near that.

But it turned out that the tour was quite nice. We were all on the first tender, and the water was fine getting over to Hapatoni. As usual, there was quite a few people greeting us at the pier. There were several women who were calling out to our tender, and there voices were impressive; quite the set of lungs. We were in truck 14, but somehow ended up with no one else in our truck, so we each got two leis from our driver, who was a sizeable human being - the kind you see in Hawaii playing a tiny ukulele. Because we had no one else in our truck, Vahinerii from the travel concierge joined us. She had not been to the Marquesas, so she was going on the boat excursions to get a better idea of what all is involved so she can provide more information to passengers for future cruises.

The ride to Vaitahu was incredibly bumpy. There didn't seem to be any flat land anywhere on Tahuata, so the road was just a 4x4 track with lots of switchbacks that went up out of Hapatoni's valley and then did more switchbacks heading into Vaitahu's valley. The drive was about 45 minutes, but seemed much longer. Justin was in the passenger seat, and that window didn't roll down, and in front of him were some fuzzy dice and other items that were jingling constantly from all the bumps. Crystal had no seat belt in the back, and had to hold on to the door handle to avoid bouncing around. We drove past some really old breadfruit trees, which supposedly were planted by the first settlers of the Marquesas many centuries ago. Otherwise, the drive to Vaitahu was uncomfortable and an (understandable) letdown from the previous couple of days.

At Vaitahu, however, we were greeted by an elaborate welcoming ceremony to invite us into the village. Then at the main meeting area there was a lengthy song and dance presentation from the village, again with haka dances by the males and some limited dancing by the females. Humorously, our driver who looked like a Hawaiian ukulele player was in fact the town's ukulele player. There were also several drums and lots of singers. After the show was over, we looked around at the various arts and crafts that had been brought out. Justin mentioned to Crystal that he had read that morning that Tahuata was famous for its bone carving, but that he unfortunately couldn't remember the name of the individual that was the most reknowned.

Crystal found something she liked and asked Justin about it, and he recognized the name of the business card on the table - it was Teiki Barsinas, which clicked as the name of the guy Justin had read about that morning. Someone was looking at the piece Crystal wanted, but the second he put it down Crystal snatched it up. As we were paying Mark Eddowes came by and commented on it; we asked if he thought it was a good piece and he responded "I would have bought it if you didn't." So we took that as a good sign. Now we just need to figure out what sort of bone it was carved from - our best guess is a Sperm Whale Tooth.

Once people got their shopping in, we went next door to a small but interesting museum. Because it was so small and there were so many people in the group, the room was uncomfortably hot. So we didn't hear what Mark had to say, as we were meandering around to the areas where other people weren't. After the museum, we took a short walk to a nearby church, which had intricately carved doors and nice stained glass behind the altar. We went north of town a little bit, which had a carved Virgin Mary statue and a panoramic view of Vaitahu.

The drive back to Hapatoni was better, as Justin sat in the back along with Crystal, and we were able to open both windows. We got back to Hapatoni around 12:30. We walked around the village, and took a nice stroll along the beach pathway, walking past a bunch of baby pigs and also a nice coral tree. Similar to Vaitahu, there was a small church, a cemetery, and a covered meeting area where the villagers were selling arts and crafts. All of it looked great, but there's a limited amount of space in our luggage and in our home. There was a big petroglyph somewhere in Hapatoni, but we never found it. We took the 1:30 tender back, and made the 2pm lunch cutoff just barely again. After lunch, Justin slept for about 3 hours while Crystal read and took a short nap of her own.

The sunset was very nice, and we were heading away from the island, which is actually the best vantage point from the ship, as at the back of the 8th deck there is an unimpeded view for a 180 degree span. We had a drink at La Palette, and chatted with fellow travelers about Egypt and India. We had dinner at Le Etoile and then drinks at the piano bar. We talked with Ray for a long time about an eclectic number of topics. Marius asked us if we had any requests for the piano, but all the songs we wanted he didn't know. That wasn't really a problem, because we liked the songs he was playing as it was. After the piano stopped, we grabbed one more drink at La Palette, which once again cleared out when disco started at 11 - maybe that is the plan after all.