Visiting Easter Island (Boat-Based)

Anakena Walkabout (continued)

Looking at the cinder cone next to Anakena beach; the dark hole is a small cave supposedly used by Hotu Matua, the founder of the Rapa Nui colony.

Marcie and David atop the cinder cone, with a group of German tourists at the base examining Ahu Ature Huke.  

Monday, May 17, 2004 (Day 5 at Easter Island)

In the morning I did some chores like greasing the big turning blocks on deck (which were starting to squeak). I figured out how to take them apart and cleaned, lubed, and reassembled them without dropping any parts or tools overboard. I was glad to get some boat work done because both Marcie and especially David do huge amounts of boat work. As crew, I need to contribute some effort, but frankly it's not going to be possible to keep up with them task for task.

In late morning, we upped anchor and moved closer to shore. David thought the boat had drifted farther from shore due to the anchor dragging in the offshore breeze. When he dove on the anchor yesterday to inspect its set, he saw it was lying upside down in the sand with its shank in the sand but the flukes sticking out. Without the flukes digging in, the anchor just acts like a 110-lb chunk of metal, so it provides poor holding. In a location like this, the usual reason the flukes don't dig in is that there is only a thin layer of sand on top of a solid rock bottom; with so little sand the anchor can't dig in.

We were thinking of going ashore to explore but it's clouding up like there might be afternoon rain. Nevertheless I was up for a walk though David and Marcie wanted to stay on the boat for a while; David dinghied me to shore. I still wanted to climb a hill to check out the view so I climbed up the hill just east of Anakena cove. This is the hill that has a hole in the side that looks like a cave; according to legend, the first Polynesian settlers came ashore at Anakena and used the cave for shelter. The hillside trail was steep and in some places slick so I had to grab on to weeds to steady myself. Unfortunately the weeds were gummy with sap and my hands got sticky. When I reached the cave, it was disappointing because it was so small it would have been a poor shelter then or now. It was hard to get a good picture of the cave because perched on the hillside as I was, I couldn't stand far enough away to capture the whole scene.

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