Posted by: catamarantwooceans | May 9, 2017

Easter Island–Part 2

It was time for a late lunch and surfing the web for weather, e-mails and the like. There is a free WiFi in several location in Hanga Roa and we chose a restaurant right by one of them. Having eaten we made our way to the boat basin. One long look at the breakers in the entrance and I made up my mind to leave the dinghy in the basin and arrange a ride to Two Oceans with a fisherman. We spoke with a guy named Guanijo, who agreed to do the round for water and fuel but told us that the port was closed, showing us a black flag.

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Guanijo on the right

He suggested that we take the dinghy out of the water because the surge would push it against the wall and damage it. “Go to a hotel” he said. We took the dinghy out and put it near Guanijo’s house, which is right behind the dive clubs. Together with him we went back to look at the sea. My biggest worry was the electrical system on the boat; if I was to stay ashore and wouldn’t be able to charge the batteries they might deplete severely. “Come back in an hour” Guanijo said “maybe the sea will calm a bit”. The time was 1830, we went to the WiFi area from which we could see the basin. Surfers were having fun in the breakers.

To my surprise I saw a dinghy trying to go out; it was the Norwegian family from “Explorer”. They started going out and at a certain moment, after being hit by a breaker, their outboard motor quit and they were swept towards shore. I was afraid the dinghy would capsize but a few surfers attached themselves to it and led it back to the basin. We rushed over and found all of them dripping wet, dinghy full of water, phones and laptop soaked but they were safe and the children in a good mood. Right then I saw two fishermen preparing their panga go out, I asked the skipper whether he would take me to my boat and he agreed. I hopped on board hoping that Zulu and Danny would follow later with Guanijo. The fisherman operated his panga expertly, slowing down and even backing to adapt the ride to the incoming waves. At the moment he noticed a lull, he throttled up and we flew outside and towards Two Oceans. On the way he spoke in rapid Spanish, which I understood to be a wish to be given something for his help. When he saw me reaching for my wallet, he said “No, no! I just want one lure” to make me understand they showed me one. “I will give you two” I said and reaching our boat I gladly did.

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Zulu, or was it Danny, took a video of the panga going out through the surf. You can watch it on the following link: https://youtu.be/ecqautIt8i8

Zulu and Danny had to go to a hotel; Guanijo thought it was too dangerous to go out.

27.4.17 – Thursday – Looking at the sea conditions in the morning was not encouraging. Pasqua Radio called to say that they are postponing the yachts checking out until coming ashore would be possible. I spoke to Thomas on Kalibu, telling him what we went through and he told me that he actually capsized in the entrance the day before last. He worked three hours to bring his motor back to life. At about ten o’clock I was relieved to see a panga coming our way; Danny was aboard with Guanijo and our four water jerry-cans (I bought two more the day before to facilitate the water delivery). We filled the water they brought, I took the ships papers and we went ashore to the Armada. We did the departure procedure and then Danny went back to the boat with another round of water, while I took our dinghy out through the surf. It was a bit frightening, the dinghy pitching up alarmingly while climbing the waves but with just me on board the motor was strong enough to take the dinghy out of the danger zone. Zulu and Danny did the shopping needed for the two weeks ahead and brought more water and fuel. Guanijo was paid nicely and we were ready to leave.

The forecast did not allow sailing immediately to Pitcairn; tomorrow a northwest to  west wind of 15-25 knots will blow and the sea state will be rough. On Saturday it would be west shifting to southwest 25 diminishing to 15 and later changing to southerly. We needed a secure anchorage on the eastern side of the island. The Armada guys recommended Vinapu while a cruiser who published an anchoring guide for the island praised the one in Hotuiti bay, opposite Tongariki, almost eight miles further up the coast. I chose to go to Vinapu, thinking that Hotuiti was too far to get to in good daylight. As we approached the Vinapu coordinates we saw some small buoys and came closer to investigate. The one we pulled out to look at was connected to a thick rope, perhaps for a fuel ship coming to replenish the big tanks on shore. I decided to tie to it and not anchor at 19 meters depth on a bottom we knew nothing about.

Slowly all the other boats arrived; Kalibu, Pakia Tea and lastly, when it was already dark – Explorer.

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Pakia Tea

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Explorer and Kalibu in Vinapu

28.4.17 – Friday – Initially the thought was to go Hutuiti and then on Saturday, when the southwest wind would come – to Anakena., but I was so happy with the mooring we took, I preferred to stay put. All the other boats came to the same decision and nobody left. We used this waiting day for a few jobs on the boat. We finally found the time to reinstall the alternator that was maybe fixed in Oceanic garage; for a moment it seemed to work fine but after a few seconds it started emitting smoke, the engine was shut down and the alternator disabled, belts removed. Another job was sealing the leaking escape hatch in the salon floor. While we were working a good size navy ship appeared from around the headland; I was afraid they were going to use the moorings, including “ours” but that did not happen, they anchored a good distance away.

Tomorrow would be the day to decide whether we leave or go to Anakena.

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