According to Wikipedia, Herman Melville wrote his book, Typee, based on his experiences in the Taipi’vai Valley on the Eastern part of Nuku Hiva. Robert Louis Stevenson, on his epic voyage to the South Pacific, made his first landfall at Hatihe’u on the north side of the island; then made his way to Taiohea; and continued on to finally settle in Samoa where he lived for the rest of his life. James Michener based his book, Tales of the South Pacific on, not only, Nuku Hiva and other islands but most especially Bora Bora for the exotic atmosphere of the South Pacific. Jack London and Paul Gauguin also found artistic inspiration here.
Studies indicate the island was first populated about 2000 years ago. In 1595, Alvaro de Mendana de Neira came to these islands and named them Marquesas after the wife of Peru’s Viceroy. Later in 1774 and 1791, Captain James Cook came amidst an era of commercial shipping and whaling. During the American War of 1812, Captain David Porter aboard the USS Essex, arrived with his fleet of 10 armed ships and claimed the island for the United States naming it Madisonville; constructing Fort Madison; and building a dock. The US never accepted the claim. By 1814, Thomas Staines claimed Nuku Hiva for the British Crown. Today, the entire area belongs to France. Nuku Hiva is the largest island in the Marquesas and the 2nd largest in all French Polynesia.
Are you wondering when we’ll stop with the history, already, and show some beautiful photos?!? Here they are:
We will spend a couple of days at sea, again, as we head to Papeete, Tahiti.
Our next post will include Tahiti, Moorea, and Raiatea…..
…..before we move on to more sea days on our way to Nuku Alofa, Tonga!!!