s/y Nine of Cups
Easter Island
May - June 2004
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Easter Island lies about 2,300 miles west of Chile in the South Pacific.  
Governed by Chile since 1888, Easter Island is one of the world's most
isolated inhabited islands and the farthest point east in Polynesia.  Its
Spanish name is Isla de Pascua and its Polynesian name is Rapa Nui.  
The original inhabitants called their land: Te Pito o Te Henua, 'the navel of
the world'.
Land area: Only 47 sq. miles
Population: 3,800
Language: Spanish and Rapanui
Capital: Hanga Roa (this is also the designated
anchorage area on approach)
High Point:
Currency: Chilean peso (600 = $1 US)
Jacob Roggeveen, a Dutch explorer, was the first European to visit on
Easter Sunday 1722. Archeological evidence indicates discovery by
Polynesians about 400AD.
The Rapanuian flag features a reimiro,
an ancient decorative chestplate.
The voyage from the Galapagos to Easter Island took 19 days.  The return trip
to Ecuador took a total of 29 days at sea, our longest voyage to date.
Ahu Tahai - A path along the shore led through
a grassy meadow and up a knoll to the 5 moai
we had seen from the boat on approach. This
area called Tahai, represents the best restored
archeological center near the city of Hanga Roa.
You can barely see Nine of Cups peeking
through the two moai furthest to the right.
Ahu Nau Nau
This ahu was restored in 1980 by a
Rapanuian archeologist, Sergio Rapu Haoa.
It is one of the best preserved ahus since it
was discovered totally buried in the sand.
Five of the seven moai have pukaos, reddish
topknots which sit atop their heads. The
complete ones are about 20 feet high and
each looks unique.
"Cups" loved the calm anchorage at Anakena
as much as we did. She deserved a rest after
the strain of a 2,000 mile passage from the
Galapagos. After a fresh rainshower wash
down, stainless cleaning and some varnishing,
she was standing proud and resting peacefully
as we, along with lots of tourists,
photographed her from the shore.
Marcie admires a lone moai at the entrance to
the Tongariki site near the Hutu Iti anchorage.
Rano Raraku is called the moai nursery, the
quarry in which the moai were carved "in situ".
The view of all the moai on the hillside was
magical. We wandered a well worn footpath midst
half-carved moai and toppled parts. There were
about 300 moai in different stages of development.
After being the only sailboat at Easter for over a
week, the Armada notified us one afternoon to
expect company in the anchorage: the
Submarino Simpson.
We were invited aboard the Simpson. They
picked us up in the Armada launch, gave us an
extensive tour of the sub, let us play with their
periscope and gave us two bottles of fine red
Chilean wine as a gift.
They provided us with a disk copy of the
periscope view of Nine of Cups. They were
carrying three torpedoes we were told, but
none were aimed at us. Whew!
While making a trip to the Port Captain's office,
we ran into the Rapa Nui warriors who had
provided the welcome dance aboard the
Simpson. Marcie lost no time in making their
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For a more in depth look at John, see
Santic's website about our trip
to Galapagos and Easter Island.
Jean Paul Chassin Trubert was our host on
the Submarino Simpson. We cannot say
enough about the courtesy and
professionalism of the Chilean Armada.
We were all ready for terra firma by the time
we arrived at Easter Island.
This was the first time we had ever
taken crew aboard Nine of Cups.
John Santic, a sailing friend from
the USA, sailed with us from
Ecuador to the Galapagos and on
to Easter Island.
Here we are...sitting in the Ward Room of the
Submarino Simpson. Just another day for the
NOC crew...wow!
Marcie got to play with the periscope after
promising not to mess up all the controls.
They sent an Armada launch to pick us up and
bring us back to Cups. Since the local law
requires that someone remain on the boat at all
times, John remained while we went aboard
and then went for his tour separately a bit later.
The flowering trees and shrubs were vibrant
with color and reminded us we were
indeed, in the South Pacific.
This signpost outside the Capitania's
office reminded us that we were a long
way from anywhere!
Our anchorages at Easter Island:
Hanga Roa - 27S08.57/109W26.015 - 53 '
Hutuiti -        27S07.80/109W16.25 - 30'
Anakena -    27S04.265/109W19.47 - 18'
We re-visited Easter Island  in 2009
on our way across the South Pacific.
See how thing's changed and more
exploration of this exotic island.