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Taputapuatea and Other Yard Photos
It's taken a few days to get this page together but we're finally there. There are several photos of the Taputapuatea site, along with some more information.
From the informational signage, here's more on the site. "The paramount mare of this complex is the Taputapuatea mare. Its present day shape is similar to that of its last period of occupation. To date, the actual foundation date or the marae which allegedly took place between 1200 and 1700 AD, was never exactly established. The ahu (the rectangular structure) is composed of coral and beach rock slabs and two basalt slabs, one of which reaches 3.65 m high." Why a square? How did they make the right angles? Who can say, now?
This is our starboard primary winch with its outer case removed. The photo shows the complexity of the gearing for a very strong, two-speed winch. The brass shaft holds the actual stainless steel main shaft, and that also has gearing at the bottom.
This is our friend and helper-for-hire, Richard. Richard is French Canadian by birth but lives in North Carolina, now. He spends 6 months here in French Polynesia each year where his early years of Canadian French are helpful. He's got a metal and woodworking shop in a Conex, so can produce work of high quality.
This is our bungalow, showing the flow-through ventilation system that keeps the place cool, even in hot weather. There are interior walls, but no ceiling: everything opens to the roof.
This will elicit little appreciation, but one of my sailing heroes is Bernard Moitessier, the great French sailor. He was famous for many things, but he also made his own boats. This is his last one: Bernard Moitessier's last boat. He welded it himself and always used telephone poles for masts. There is an older woman at the helm, and that's the woman who shared his life for many years. I'm glad to see the boat out on the water.
These are local chiefs conducting ceremonies at Taputapuatea, taken from a photo. It seems that enough of the original religion has survived.
I'm unsure of the dating or purpose of this stone, but it's been accurately cut and drilled. It's near the entrance of Taputapuatea, but there's no mention of it in the literature.
If you've been following our trip at all, you know that I have little love for roosters. Regardless, they're beautiful. This one, in particular, looks just like his ancestor Asian Jungle Fowl. He was wandering the grounds at Taputapuatea.
This marae is Taputapuatea, the namesake for the entire complex. This stone platform is the "holy of holies" of the South Pacific, and the religious and political center of tens of thousands of square miles of ocean.
I'm unsure of the name or actual purpose of this structure, but it has become a repository for gifts and offerings. It's a touching structure.
This is a closeup of the necklace seen in the previous photo. These are cowrie shells, often used as barter goods. The stone appears to be carved to resemble a fish.
This imposing marae we have mistakenly thought to be Taputapuatea, but is actually Hauviri. Sitting on the water's edge, it was the location of embarkation for those intrepid voyagers who found and colonized the Hawaiian islands. Look at these right angles! When these walls were built, the world revolved around these structures: pre-European.
Here's another look at the structure, showing the double-layer walls and the stone "backrests" scattered here and there.
This is the side of Taputapuatea, showing the lovely dry lay stone work.
Moorings is a world-wide sailboat chartering service. Note the keel damage: a collision with a reef is the likely cause.
This is our French refrigeration expert, Benoit. His location is proof that being shorter is a benefit in boat work.
This is Benoit, again, this time measuring the electrical current as he works on the compressor. At his right, on the floor, is a tiny, battery-powered pump. He's got great gear for traveling to boats.
This is the cap for our Mercury outboard gas tank. The gauge (left end) in the top has an indicator needle showing the volume of gas in the tank. The needle is actuated by this very clever system. The central metal piece is free to rotate in the holder at right. The float, the yellow thing, rides the gas level within the two metal rods. As the float rides up, for example, it rides over the twisted section and turns the metal, thereby turning the needle! I hope the engineer got both a patent and a raise. It's simple, it's un-powered, and it's fairly accurate.
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