World cruise 2013

Trip Start Jan 04, 2013
1
7
33
Trip End May 01, 2013


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Friday, February 8, 2013

Today is Sunday and we are approaching Easter Island in a rolling sea on January 20, 2013 the 15th day of our voyage. The Satellite is still not working so no internet and little television. Just got a note yesterday that we may not be up before February 3rd, oh well it is relaxing. Thor Heyerdahl the gentleman who sailed a reed boat in the 1950’s sailed to Easter Island when I was in high school to prove that the stone age ocean crossing was possible only he felt that they came from South America instead of from Asia as most anthropologist now think. They carried plants, animals and tools they would need to survive in a new land, sinse they never intended to return home. Their course was wherever the wind and current carried them and settled on the new land. Easter Island has a modern airport with one of the longest runways in the world and NASA could use it for the shuttles to land if necessary.

The Island is about 45 square miles and has several names Easter Island came from its discovery in 1722 by Roggoveen a Dutch explorer, officially it is called Rapa Nui :"big Rapa. The Spanish name Isla de Pascua is also used . There are approximately 3000 residents, many working in military or government service. As in all South Pacific Islands volcanoes spawned this island and there are three on each point of the island.

The island Moai date back to 1000 years ago and were part of a religious cult being placed over ahu or burial chambers. The moai are from 20 feet to 40 feet tall and weigh several tons unfortunately the eyes are usually gone stolen by early explorers since they were made of obsidian. Some 600 of Easter Island’s famous statues have been resurrected. All have similar features the one difference is weather they were made by the long ears or the short ears. Two competing tribes who flourished at the cost of their land and this eventually caused their decline, and almost extinction. They cut all the trees down and could no longer retain the soil to grow food or build boats to fish off shore. The Bird Man cult was the last on the island and in the 1800’s the explorers said there were fewer that 1000 people on the island. Eventually overpopulation caused their decline something that we must think of in our world with the rapid growth in the world population.

Well we arrived at 6AM and the seas are large with a strong off shore breeze and large swells so we hope that our shore excursion at 13:35 will not be cancelled. We had breakfast in the dinning room and heard over the loud speaker that they started to bring passengers ashore so we went to the Gym then showered. We picked up our tender tickets number 30 and had a little lunch. When we got to our room we heard they were canceling all shore excursions, there goes our chance to land on Easter Island and take lots of photos of the Moai. Next stop Pitcairn island two days away.

At dinner that night we heard that Dan our table mate was taken ashore and sent by ambulance to the hospital at Easter Island, he had a bad cough but it seemed to be better the last few nights. He had 2 daughters in Pittsburg, PA.. and hopefully they will either come down or see that he is transported home. We now get back to sea days which include going to mass at 8 AM followed by gym,and then breakfast, before going to the onboard activities which include lectures, cooking demonstrations, games ,cards and socializing, a very tough life. We also had a theme night about Pitcairn Island and a formal dinner to dress up in my tuxedo and Mary Ann's formal wear. Fortunately the McNultys made it to the island and they promised to give me their photos.The day we sighted Pitcairn Island we are told we won't meet the 53 islanders because of an outbreak of influenza and one third of the islanders are sick so we can only take pictures of the island and their inhabitants from a distance. The Pitcairn Islands are really four islands the others are Henderson, Ducie and Oeno Islands and they make up the last remaining British overseas territory in the Pacific. They were apparently Polynesians on the island for several centuries although they left in the 15th century so no one was there when the Bounty arrived in 1790. The island was discovered on July 3, 1767 by the crew of the British sloop HMS Swallow and this was know by all British ships only though its longitude not latitude, so the mutineers thought they would be safe from the British Navy. The ship was set on fire after their arrival to not draw any attention to the island from passing ships. The island looks like a very inhospitable place from the deck of a ship and this kept them from being discovered for almost 20 years, and by that time all the mutineers except one were dead, only John Adams survived with 9 women and 23 children. He was taken to England were he was tried for the mutiny and he was pardoned. He returned to Pitcairn where he lived the rest of his life. Today there are less than 60 people, from 9 families, making it the least populated jurisdiction in the world.   We tried to get the best pictures, but you can imagine our disappointment now this being the second set back so early in our voyage. . We were told that two of the tenders bringing people to and from Easter Island were damaged one had a front window blown out due to a big wave and the other was slammed against the ship and had a crack in the fiberglass hull causing a stream of water to come into the boat and the bilge pumps helped until they could get the people off. The tenders have been repaired and are now ready to go. Our friends Pat and Peggy Mcnulty from Hawaii got to Easter Island and gave us all of their photos of the Maoi on the island. Peggy is a nurse practioner and Pat was a carrier pilot.

The great thing about traveling by ship is that there is no fatigue due to jet lag, we set the clocks back one hour at a time so there is no real adjustment to make in your daily schedule. The many sea days are handled by going to mass every day, the gym, eating and going to the various lectures that interest us. Then there is the many people you meet while eating, going to the movies the gym and any place on board. Everyone has a story to tell and these all come out as the voyage unfolds.

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Comments

Mary Hunt on

Enjoyed the details of your trip. Too bad the many island stops were unavailable
The Qof P gala was last night. It appeared to be quite successful Looked like 36 tables.. Don't know if all the visiting clergy were guests though.

John & Maria on

we are enjoying the blogs. The gala was fun and seemed to be very successful. .We have a program for you as well as 2 of the souvenir glasses
Have a wonderful time and stay healthy Love J&M

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