Visiting Easter Island (Boat-Based)

Visiting Hotu Iti


The significant swell breaking in the shallows adjacent to Hotu Iti cove. Where the wave ends in the foreground is where the deep water of Hotu Iti cove begins. In the cove itself, the swell breaks much farther in, close to the head of the cove.  

Friday, May 21, 2004 (Day 9 at Easter Island)

Overnight we had brisk northwest winds but the anchor held solidly and we hadn't budged by morning. In the pre-dawn hours we had intermittent rain showers, some heavy, accompanied by strong winds. These were the chubascos (squalls) forecasted by last night's weather report. During that forecast, for the first time in several days the Armada radio operator didn't repeatedly shout "anticyclonico" (which we assume means "high pressure" and fair weather). In fact, he said "mal tiempo" a few times (bad weather), and sure enough it came to pass.

The boat was well anchored and the winds were blowing directly off the land, so there was no danger whatsoever to the boat. The strong winds spun the windgen so vigorously last night that David had to shut it down (only one was in-service, the other is awaiting spare parts). The windgens are mounted over the aft cabin where Marcie and David sleep, and with strong gusty winds so much noise and vibration is transmitted to their cabin that it interferes with sleep. I noticed that one of the overhead hatches in my cabin was dripping water on to my berth, but I hoped that it was from an edge of the hatchcover fabric that had become stuck in the hatch seal.

I went topsides to take in the morning scene, and it was a gray one. The swell and chop was still significant and from the same direction as yesterday. There were several layers of clouds, with a lower layer of ragged broken clouds scudding over the sea, then scattered bleak-looking blue-white cumulus, and overhead layers of blue-gray stratus clouds. Here and there you could see rain showers graying-out the definition between sea and sky. It looked like an ill-tempered sky throwing an area-wide weather fit, and it was hard to tell how long the bad weather would last. Meanwhile, we were hunkered down in a safe anchorage, secure if not a little frustrated by our inability to explore the obvious shoreside features so tantalizingly close.

That afternoon, with windgen power to spare, we watched a DVD double-feature on David's computer. I wanted to watch a Robin Williams movie but the DVD wouldn't play; instead we watched Young Frankenstein, by Mel Brooks. Although you figure it would be a zany comedy, it was surprisingly unfunny, with sparse jokes and wooden acting; also it was in black and white. After that, we tried the Robin Williams DVD again and surprisingly, it worked; we wound up watching the whole thing. It was interesting and well-done but rather depressing (this is the movie where he plays a weird photo clerk in a department store). The whole time we were watching the movies we were also systematically polishing off the whole plateful of cookies that Marcie made yesterday—which was a quadruple recipe! They were delicious and addictive, and they went fast.

I was a little bored and out of sorts, since there wasn't much to do. This is also a typical excuse to overeat, so I ate too many cookies, both Marcie's and store-bought. That night, the fan in my cabin acted flaky again and ground to a halt, so I vowed that tomorrow I would take it apart and fix it. At least it would give me something to do.



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