What a day! We had an incredible morning in the village of Utupua. The villagers put on a number of shows, starting with an overwhelming warrior welcome. Men and boys of all ages charged the Zodiacs with bows and arrows, loud hollers, and stern stances. We gathered on benches in the center of the village and got to experience a wide range of dances and performances, ceremonial and theatrical. All dances were elaborate in costume, in chant, and in charisma. We watched as a boy in a dugout canoe was covered in mud and then conjured up by a performer covered in brown clay. The villagers, children and adults, laughed as the boy slowly rose, one limb at a time, as if coming back to life. The laughter of the entire village was infectious. What a joyous and welcoming community. After all the dances were complete, we wandered through town. Groups of us befriended local people and enjoyed personal tours of the village, the cemetery, the church, and the schoolyard. At the end of the tour, we stumbled upon some women preparing a meal of breadfruit and greens cooked in coconut milk using hot stones. They generously shared with us, and we had a scrumptious snack. Sharing food together was a great way to connect with these wonderfully kind people.
In the afternoon, we took Zodiacs to the edge of the reef for a lovely snorkel with beautiful corals and a plethora of fish. Some guests opted for tours in the glass-bottom Zodiac for a look underwater without getting wet. After our fun water activities, we came back to the ship for a fabulous cocktail hour on the top deck as we watched the sunset and the moonrise. What a beautiful place we are traveling in. The beautiful scenery complements the beautiful people.