Location: anchored @ Hanga Roa, Rapa Nui (Easter Island)
Position: -27d 08.625' S -109d 26,087' W
Wind: 8-12 kts N True
Seas: swell = ~ 1.5m @ 8 secs N
Weather: early AM showers and cloud, burning off for another clear day
Sea temp: 78.9F
Air temp: 76.8F
Had a very good day ashore yesterday afternoon and evening. Met up with Charlie and Elaine, two of the people I’d been introduced to before getting here. Charlie is an archaeologist/geologist who has been coming here to Easter Island for over 30 years and Elaine is a retired high school teacher who is here for 3 months teaching science in the local schools. I met up with them at the beautiful hotel Otai and we spent the whole afternoon getting to know each other, talking about Easter Island. They had a WiFi connection at the hotel so I was able to get connected and start the long process of downloading all my Emails from the past 2 weeks, updated weather reports and otherwise catching up with things online. It is a very slow connection, I believe there is only one line into the island and being Sunday afternoon my guess is that everyone was online and so it was slow but it was a connection!
Charlie and Elaine are both from Wyoming and I also met up with some of Charlie’s students who are here doing various projects on the island. Four of us went out for diner to round out a very good day ashore. The stars here are quite phenomenal. Both because there is so little light anywhere near here that you get no interference and the stars are all very bright and contrasted against the blackness of the sky, but also because these are very different stars being down here below 27 degrees South of the Equator. The famous Southern Cross is very visible for example and I need to get out my various star charts and programs to learn a bit more about all these new stars and planets that I get to see from this vantage point. One of my major and fun areas of learning (one of thousands) on this adventure is understanding the whole set of spatial relationships between the earth, moon, sun and stars. I’m working on learning to use my sextant as part of this and as always I continue to enjoy and be fascinated by the fun combinations of the very very old with the new. In this case here I am, about as wired up and high tech as it gets with GPS, sat phones, chart plotters and the like and yet balancing that out with celestial navigation, sextants and sight reduction tables. Fascinating stuff and so much to be learned and understood in the process.
After diner Ruby and I went back to our dingy and headed out to Learnativity which continues to be solidly anchored off Hanga Roa and spent a bit of time when we got back to admire and study the night sky a bit more. However it wasn’t able to focus on those incredible stars for too long as unfortunately I seemed to pick up some food poisoning from the meal and started to feel strange shortly as I was leaving the restaurant. As I got back to LTY, my eyesight began to go all crazy, no peripheral vision, seeing lots of purple lines like broken safety glass overlaid on everything I looked at and a very upset stomach. Got rid of some of it out one end but didn’t vomit and it eased up a little, but then a fever like condition set in, making me very cold and shivering. So I drank a lot of water, dug out my long unused comforter and went to bed early. The fever continued all night alternating between cold and hot but I was able to get some sleep and kept drinking lots of water and by 6am the fever had broken and it had all passed and I feel fine again now. Guess I need to stick to my own cooking! <g>
The anchorage was very rolly last night as the swell is now coming in from the North and the wind is more from the East so it puts us broadside to the swells and the boat rolls back and forth from one side to the other, sometimes heeling us over 30+ degrees. When you’re laying down it is quite pleasant and like being rocked to sleep but certainly makes moving around a challenge.
This morning it was a similar weather pattern with light showers and cloudy skies about 4-6am and then it starts to clear off as the sun rises. So I’m back up in the cockpit, doing this morning update for you and enjoying the sun as it breaks through the remaining clouds. I’ll head ashore later this morning for more exploring and also to start checking out facilities here. If possible I’m hoping to find things like a Laundromat, some car batteries to replace my failed starter batteries and ideally a sail maker or even a sewing machine that I can use and try to salvage and resew my large spinnaker sail that blew out shortly after leaving Galapagos. Fortunately the wind was good and strong the whole way from Galapagos to here so I didn't need or miss the spinnaker too much until the last day. But it will likely be lower winds and more downwind sailing for the next month on the way to Pitcairn, Mangareva (Gambier) and French Polynesia so I’m very much hoping I’ll be able to find a way to salvage the spinnaker and have that to help keep us sailing in these conditions.
Charlie and Elaine and some of his students are all very intrigued by the notion of traveling by sailboat and so I’m going to bring them out to see Learnativity late this afternoon. And I’ll be looking into tours and renting vehicles or horses to get out to some of the sites on the other parts of the island.
I’ll be back to you with an update tomorrow to see how successful I was at finding the various facilities on shore.