2019 HAL World Cruise
Sunday, February 10, 2019
So sometimes, we’re romantics at heart. One of the reasons we chose to take this cruise was to explore the mysterious Easter Island. We knew of it. We had seen moai. We knew there was uncertainty about the history of the island and the meaning of the moai statues. We were eager to learn more; to be in the moment; to garner impressions!
Easter Island is known to the native people as Rapa Nui. The culture dates back to about 500 AD. It was named “Easter Island” by Dutch Admiral Jacob Roggeveen when he spotted the island on Easter Sunday, 1722. The island is famous for the moai, those huge statues, nearly 9oo of them, dotting the island. Each one is carved from a single stone of compressed volcanic ash. The largest standing moai is 33 feet tall and weighs 83 tons! (Archeologists have also discovered larger, unfinished moai in the Rano Kau quarry—69 feet high and 270 tons!)
The Rapa Nui National Park ranger explained to us that the moai are carved in the likeness of ancestors; the point is to honor their forebearers in hopes of protection and good fortune; the moai always face inland (with only one exception) to watch over the population; their backs are to the see because that’s were they came from and where there spirits still reside. (That one exception is the Ahu Akivi. Here seven moai, representing the original scouts left on the island to await the King’s arrival with the original settlers, face the ocean in anticipation.)
We arrived at our anchorage before dawn. I’ll confess, I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. Got Roger up in the black of night to watch the sail-in! So, you might sympathize with our frustration when it was announced that the tender operation would be very slow due to the large swells rocking both the ship and the tenders—not necessarily in unison! We didn’t get to shore until after 2:00pm!!!! But at least we did; by 4:00pm all outbound transport was cancelled and many passengers lost the opportunity to go ashore. From 4:30 to 6:30pm only returning passengers were transported. We were on one of the last tenders. Our 8-hour tour had been accomplished in less than 4 hours! It was a whirlwind tour, to say the least!
Here are the photos:
This was a fabulous port-of-call. I chose to end the series of photos with Traveling Moai because he so perfectly illustrates the joys, education, and opportunities of travel! Our next stop will be at Pitcairn Island, although only an anchorage. We will not disembark the ship. Instead, a delegation from the island will come on board. We look forward to meeting them!!!!!