Captain's log. In Rapa Nui, December 31, 2023.
On how to title this post, I think while I eat lunch and watch the Beau swaying behind some palm trees anchored in the distance in a blue sea and under a light blue sky... simply Rapa Nui. Rapa Nui is "Big Rapa" but it also means blue waters, blue skies, beautiful and mythical corners full of history and mystery.
Who would think of having a “Bistec a lo Pobre” (Steak) for lunch in Rapa Nui? Well, of course, someone who thinks that he will most likely continue to eat a lot of tuna and other fish for the next few months.
The stay on the island has been wonderful, along with visiting places I did not know, I have been able to meet again with people for whom I have great respect and special affection. Hoko must process his passport, which gives us a good time to do other things such as preparing the Beau for the next voyage, programming and developing activities related to the project, spending time with friends and simply relaxing and enjoying the island, its beauties and the special energy it will give us.
The Taputapuatea festival is over. Very picturesque and interesting, the delegations from different corners of Polynesia not only gave color and diversity to this fabulous meeting, but also contributed to giving Rapa Nui and its people a Polynesian context to which they definitely belong. I thought as I enjoyed the show; A different but very similar language, similar clothes and colors, similar customs and habits, each of these peoples is an interesting sample of the different stages of migration and the process of settlement towards the East. Rapa Nui is the last insular expression and the last stage of this "fantastic journey" through Polynesia, which some adventurous and daring navigators later continued towards what would eventually become mainland Chile. Thus, the seed of the Polynesian people makes its way silently and very proudly, among the rich and diverse legacy that constitutes our genetic foundation as Chileans.
There is still so much to discover about Rapa Nui, so many unsolved mysteries that leave room for speculation and proliferation of "free versions" and some very curious creations, which circulate as explanations for those phenomena that scientists have not yet been able to unveil.
The central task, and perhaps the most important that we will have to carry out when we set sail from Rapa Nui, will be to travel the route that our Polynesian ancestors navigated to reach Rapa Nui and later the South American continent. This route will take us to what, according to mythology, is the point from which eastern Polynesia was populated, the sacred place of Taputapuatea on the island of Raiatea. We will bring an offering in the name of all the Chilean people, but especially of our Rapa Nui brothers, to be solemnly deposited in Taputapuatea.
The anchorage at Hanga Roa is "capricious". It is normally protected from easterly winds, which usually blow in the summer months. At this time of the year, westerly winds of a certain magnitude, which blow for long periods, are rare, but still possible. When this situation arises, the vessels at anchor must weigh anchor and seek temporary shelter on the other side of the island.
Disembarking and embarking on the "dinghy" or inflatable rubber boat is a real everyday adventure. This is done in the cove or pier Hanga Roa, where you usually have to wait for the right moment so as not to surrender to the jaws of a wave, the same when leaving the cove. Fishermen and tourism or diving companies use large glass fibre boats with engines of appropriate power to perform this manoeuvre quickly and skillfully through the waves. In our case, we must face the moment with great care and patience.
We still have several days left on the island. During these, we will develop very interesting activities that I will tell you about shortly.
I write these lines aboard the Beau, as the year prepares to depart. To our sponsors, the Chilean Navy and ASIMAR S.A., thank you very much for supporting us and believing in us.
Especially to all those who follow us and accompany us virtually on this journey and great project, I wish you a new year full of satisfaction and love. To all, fair winds and following seas, a big hug and thank you so much for sailing with us aboard the Beau Geste.