Visiting Easter Island (Boat-Based)

Cruising Lifestyle (continued)

Today's weather was quite pleasant with a light wind from the southeast; we must still be under the influence of a fair weather system. This is also our 14th day at Easter Island, when we should be leaving, but David doesn't want to leave today because the wind is not favorable for traveling towards the Juan Fernández Archipelago. I was disappointed with this decision, because I thought the benign weather would make it an ideal day to go ashore to check-out with the Armada, raise the anchor without the bow plunging and rearing, and basically have a peaceful start to the trip. Maybe we wouldn't make a lot of miles in the first day, but it would be more than the 0 miles we would make sitting at anchor. Also, we are not in the trade winds, so we'll have to cope with variable winds anyway, just like during the latter part of our passage to Easter Island. Nevertheless, we'll postpone our departure for a day.


 
Marcie on the coachroof restitching the jib's UV-protection fabric using the trusty Singer sewing machine.   David and Marcie dinghying past White Haze.

We took advantage of the light wind to drop the jib and make more repairs to the stitching on the UV-protection fabric. While the jib was down, David retensioned the headstay since it was a little loose. I worked on the light fixture in the forward head, which wouldn't light, plus a screw was stripped.

After we finished our chores, David and Marcie decided to go ashore for a while, for one thing to talk to the Armada about staying an extra day. It was a very pleasant afternoon and I spent the time in the cockpit reading, taking pictures, and snooping with the binoculars. It was sunny and warm with very light wind, certainly the nicest weather we have had on Easter Island. While I was sitting in the cockpit, I thought I saw a sea bird floating on the water so I checked it out (surprisingly, sea birds are uncommon at Easter Island). But when I looked with binoculars, I saw that the "floating bird" was actually a swimming man's head; he swam all the way from the inner harbor to the submarine then climbed aboard and went below.

There was still a lot of Zodiac traffic for the submarine (which is supposed to leave tonight). Today was the second day of the regatta (yesterday was for practice and today is for real). The Armada had asked us to raise our sails to make it look like we were participating, but that would have been risky while at anchor. Instead, David and Marcie tied together a whole bunch of courtesy flags, signal flags, and burgees to form a 50-foot long string of flags. They pulled one end up to the masthead and tied the other end to the goalposts to dress Nine of Cups for the regatta.

Part-way through the regatta, the Dutch couple returned to their boat (they both went ashore at the same time because it had been so calm and they had put out two anchors). They immediately dressed their boat with signal flags, too, then flew an extra-large Dutch flag from their stern.


 
Nine of Cups and White Haze dressed with flags for the regatta.

Later on, the man from White Haze rowed over in their small dinghy. We invited him aboard and he introduced himself as Akko. After we chatted for a while he went back to his boat and returned with his wife Ada (pronounced AH-dah and not AA-duh). They were quite personable and we all chatted for quite a while about our various cruising adventures. They have been to the Juan Fernández Archipelago and liked it a lot. They had also taken their boat around Cape Horn (via the canals), and had even visited Antarctica where they had gone ashore and walked with the penguins. They had a very successful trip with excellent weather, and people told them that the Antarctic weather had been unusually warm and peaceful this season. They started their voyage in Holland and have done all of this cruising in just under one year. After Ecuador, they plan to go north, all the way up to Alaska, then come down the west coast of North America. Their boat White Haze is over 40 years old and has a steel hull but a wooden superstructure and mast, which is an unusual combination. It was quite interesting hearing about all their adventures.


 
The shoreside scenery on a sunny day.  

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