Tuesday, February 25, 2020

February 22nd & 23rd – So Near, But Yet So Far on Easter Island

Never has a distance of 500 or so metres seemed so far. That’s as far as we were from Easter Island for two tantalising days, but that was as close as we got.

This is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, which means that the Pacific Ocean has thousands of uninterrupted miles to build up some very heavy swells. This, combined with the fact that there’s a very narrow entrance to its little harbour, means that cruise ships unfortunately have quite a lot of difficulty getting in here.

It had all started off so promisingly – the sun was out, we could see some Moai in the distance, and initially the seas didn’t seem too bad. Then we took the stabilisers off, and we could feel the ship start to roll. With every roll, the tender area would get badly flooded, and the tenders (and zodiacs) would bounce about. It was simply too dangerous to load up the boats from the ship.

In spite of having two days here (two days of rolling as it turned out), and the flexibility of zodiacs, it just wasn’t meant to be. We will have to wait until the 2021 World Cruise for another attempt to get a closer look at those mysterious Moai.

But, as one positive, a troupe of local dancers did manage to get onto the ship – the poor things had to climb up precarious rope ladders up the side of the ship. Maybe the adrenaline rush of their bumpy boat ride across to us inspired them to give one of the best and most energetic local shows that I’ve ever seen. From the handsome male dancers, there was more suggestive hip-thrusting than a Tom Jones concert plus more buttocks on display than a nudist beach, while the women were equally attractive and athletic. We may not have got onto their island, but at least we had some of the exotic atmosphere of Easter Island brought to us.