Visiting Easter Island (Boat-Based)

Cruising Lifestyle

Two views of Nine of Cups at Anakena. The right-hand picture is taken from the landing and shows David returning to the boat after dropping me off.

Laundry day, finally! I was running out of clean clothes and really needed to do my laundry. The weather was rainy enough that it was tough to come up with enough clothes-drying time.  

Tuesday, May 18, 2004 (Day 6 at Easter Island)

This morning was cloudy and rainy and darker than normal due to the cloud cover. The rain foiled our shoreside plans so we stayed on the boat all day. It rained off and on and during one break in the clouds, strong morning sunlight came streaming through and produced a very bright rainbow over the island. It was a double rainbow and the main rainbow had extra color bands on the inner part of the arc, beyond the purple end of the spectrum.

To pass the time I read the Paul Theroux book and just puttered around; Marcie worked on the computer and sewed a courtesy flag for Tonga and a new one for Ecuador; David put a couple more coats of varnish on the teak trim topsides, working around the rain showers.

By afternoon, it had stopped raining and it turned into a beautiful day, but we stayed on the boat and enjoyed a relaxing afternoon. Shoreside, quite a few people came by to swim at the beach or look at the moai. I had been watching through the binoculars and nearly everyone who took a picture also took a picture out to sea that included Nine of Cups as a prominent feature. Over the past few days, we have probably been in many dozens of photographs. Frankly, I was a little bored and wouldn't have minded going ashore for a walk. I didn't really feel like doing chores, but I couldn't get motivated to do anything else, either. Despite the lack of activity, the day passed quickly, as it usually does.

We had a trip-planning meeting to discuss what else we wanted to do at Easter Island. Some of the possibilities: visit Rano Raraku (the quarry where the moai were carved), visit the moai at Hotu Iti, visit Orongo (a restored site where the Birdman culture held ceremonies), perhaps visit another anchorage on the north shore (a few miles to the east, at Bahia de La Perouse). Then there were a bunch of touristy things in Hanga Roa: the Artisan's Market, the anthropological museum, revisit the moai in the shoreside park, buy and mail post cards, check our email, and try a telephone call to Mom. Plus, there were boat-related things like provisioning trips to the supermarket and fresh market, and procuring fuel at the gas station.

The deciding factor, however, will be the wind: where we anchor and how long we stay depends completely on the wind direction. For the past several days the wind has been favorable for northern anchorages (like Anakena), but unfavorable for western anchorages (like Hanga Roa) or southern anchorages (like Hotu Iti). Until the wind direction changes, we're pretty much stuck at Anakena. Despite the beauty of this location, we're running out of things to do here and really would like to visit other places. The Armada allowed us a total of 14 days at Easter Island and we've used up six as of today.

The chefs at work. Marcie is making something-or-other flambé (I don't remember what); David is making pizza and I snapped the picture just as he tossed it up into the air, spinning.

David is refilling the built-in propane tanks from the big honkin' propane tank he bought in La Libertád. He had to rig up a series of hoses and adapters and futz with things, but he got it to work. We were careful not to make any sparks—there was enough wafting gas that things would have gone BOOM!.  

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