Crusing

Multihulls World Destinations: Easter Island, where the Gods contemplate the stars...

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This isolated Pacific outpost, at the southern tip of the Polynesian triangle, only welcomes a handful of intrepid sailors to its shores. Those who make it are find that their long journey was well worth it. But be careful, as with Polynesia to the west, and Hawaii to the north, it has exceptional powers of seduction! Its magnetism, well known to airline pilots, doesn't just cast a spell on compasses and Sat Nav systems. It all starts with the spectre of almost nine hundred colossal stone heads (known as "Moais") on the seafront, perched on three hundred stone terraces (the "Ahu"). These giants have their backs turned to the ocean, and since the dawn of time they have surveyed the long horizons and starry skies. We know that the stones were hewn out of the basalt from the Rano Raraku volcano, situated in the east of the island, and this is another treat for anyone who sets foot on the island. The summit has gone, leaving a crater which houses a lake. Ochre landscapes, with dense, green vegetation, lakes which change color and the blue of the sea and the sky all come together to offer a magnificent spectacle. In another style, but just as spectacular, Rano Kau at the south-western tip of the island houses a crater with a flat base which is covered by several small lakes and is home to the Pascuan village of Orongo at the summit of the cliffs. Head a little higher to the sacred site of Orongo, a ceremonial village built on the ridge of the volcano. Every year, the most important of all the island's religious festivals Tangata Manu (The Birdman) would take place here. The choice of this site is explained by its proximity to the three small islands of Moto Nui, Moto Iti and Moto Kao Kao, a protected area where the sea swallows would come to lay their eggs. It was a proper competition to find the first egg laid by the sea swallows on the islet of Moto Nui. It's still a remarkable place and well worth the climb. And maybe during your wanderings you might find one of the many, precious tablets which have disappeared. These recounted the history of the natives, which is still a mystery to us. One local myth tells us that they are carefully hidden somewhere on the island...

Destination: Easter Island

A meeting of two divine creations: a Moai and a multihull!

Whilst immersed in this dreamlike destination, don't forget that boats need to be ready to set off at a moment's notice if the wind changes direction. Which is a frequent occurrence! In fact there is no serviceable all-weather shelter. Having said that though, there are several reasonable moorings around the island but they aren't necessarily very practical as they are some distance from the village and its shops. The open mooring in front of the small main town of Hanga Roa offers an acceptable level of protection from the south east trade winds. This is the island's only port, and whilst entry is not recommended for monohulls, it is simply forbidden for catamarans, which thankfully are more stable at ...

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