Visiting Easter Island (Boat-Based)

Sailing To Hotu Iti (continued)

 
The worn and shattered cone of Rano Raraku (where the moai quarry is located) as seen from the anchorage in Hotu Iti cove.   The eroded flanks of Maunga Pukatikei adjacent to Hotu Iti cove; the tiny pointy islet is Motu Marotiri.

 
You can just make out some moai standing on the flank of Rano Raraku.   The 15 moai of Ahu Tongariki. The ahu restoration was funded by the Japanese. In historic times, a tsunami toppled the moai and washed them inland. Also, on the shoreline near the left side of the picture you can see a small white object. This is the single navigation light that I mention later in the story.

As we neared the Hotu Iti anchorage, we saw the shattered and worn cone of the volcano Rano Raraku, where the moai quarry is located. There are supposed to be numerous moai here in various states of completion, right where the ancient stone carvers hacked them out of the solid rock of the volcano. Far in the distance, we could see numerous erect moai on the outside flanks of the volcano, as well as a restored display of 15 moai on an ahu close to shore at the head of Hotu Iti cove.

On the other side of the cove we saw the huge volcano Maunga Pukatikei, with the seaward side eroded to sheer cliffs displaying the layers of lava flows that formed the volcanic cone. We saw some people ashore near the landing at the head of the cove, although from our present viewpoint the landing itself looked untenable in the swell. We anchored without difficulty in about 50 feet of water over an uneven bottom, but in a very good location to protect us from the strong north to northwest winds.

After our arrival and anchoring chores were completed, Marcie baked a huge batch of chocolate chip cookies—yay, Marcie, way to go! I stayed up late (11:00 p.m.) to catch up on my journal, but Marcie and David went to bed at the usual time (8:30 p.m. or so) after a long and busy day. In the evening, Pascua Radio called us and gave us a weather forecast for tomorrow. It sounded very unsettled, with clouds, rain, squalls, and strong winds. The good part is that we are in the perfect location to keep us in the lee of the island. The swell might be rolly and uncomfortable, but at least we won't have to worry about being blown on to a lee shore. The worst thing that can happen here is that we could be blown out to sea, and there's nothing out there to run into for thousands of miles.


 
More views of Rano Raraku.

 
A fisherman surfcasting along the rocky shore of Hotu Iti cove.  

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