This is the third time I have tried to get to Easter Island. I think I may not try again. At least I got to it, though I never got on it. (Got is a verb that sounds more casual than the effort it requires.)
Easter Island was the goal and the reason for most of the people on this ship to embark on this cruise. June, my roommate, and I “did” French Polynesia just last June, adding only one new name to our repertoire: Fakarava. After 10 days of serene seas and unlimited sunshine, we were tired only because we went forward an hour every night as we proceeded east toward Chile. June and I took minimal, but memorable (all but one) excursions in the first days, preferring to save our money and our energy for a total assault on Easter Island and the moai - the name for the giant stone statues with the blunk-out eyes. We leaned that the eyeholes were once filled in with coral eyeballs, installed after the statues were put in place. When I say “put” I should say, dragged, drawn, towed (?), pushed, lifted (?), manoeuvered and set, somehow. There are a number of theories, some of them tested by modern archeologists, as to the methods by which the ancient people on this island managed to move 13-foot stone statues each weighing more than …tons, onto pedestals of similar weight (check). Why remains another question as baffling as how?
I was looking forward to having my picture taken standing in front of one of these monoliths. It was not to be. Deep swells causing large waves in the ocean bounced the horizon up and down like a berserk elevator and made it impossible and dangerous for the ship’s tenders to transport the passengers ashore. We were all waiting patiently in the gathering lounge when the announcement was made and no one complained or groaned. Any one with a will to live
and travel another day could see that it was foolhardy to attempt the crossing from ship to shore.
So as the sun pulled away from the shore and our ship slipped slowly to the east, I raised a glass of Prosecco to Easter Island. It won’t happen again.