Sunday, December 11, 2011

Wrap-up tour

Ana Kai Tangata - Today at Easter Island we went cave exploring at a cave whose name means "Cave Assemble Man", or in other words, a place where man gathers. Paintings of the Sooty Tern bird are on the cave ceiling, but now, with humidity and the presence of man, only fragments remain making them impossible for us to distinguish. The Sooty Tern is the bird whose egg was sought in the Birdman Competition at Orongo.

But it is a great view of the coastline from inside the cave or from above it. With a tide variance of only 1 m on Easter Island, you are always safe inside the cave.

View from inside Ana Kai Tangata on a calm day

Museum - The museum is small but has some interesting artifacts of note. One being fragments of an original moai eye that was discovered beneath an ahu (platform) at Anakena beach in 1978 shown below...

Red scoria & white coral eye

As very few eye fragments have been discovered, it is thought that they were only used for particular ceremonies on some moai.

There are only 2 replica Rongo Rongo tablets on display as the 27 original are all in other museums overseas. The script on these wooden tablets is still a mystery today. Are they some mysterious language? Are they symbols used as an aid in story telling?

Basalt fish hooks, dental and sewing implements, sketches of boat-shaped houses, obsidian spearheads and other weapons...just a few of the many items to view. Only a small percentage of the 15,000 artifacts in the museum's collection are displayed.

13:30 and it was time to return the motor scooter after 3 days of harried exploring.

Moto and moai

Back at our mooring, we once again watched the 2 resident sea turtles swimming about. They don't seem to be afraid of humans and hang out interested as the fishermen clean their catch, but of course they don't eat fish. We also found 1 that was lazily soaking up the sun in the shallows. The turtles we saw all had shells about 1 m long.

Two torpid turtles

The local fisherman gave us 2 more delicious fish today for 1 beer and 1 cola - sounds like a good deal to me! Then this afternoon, Jordan cleaned the bottom hull of Sea Turtle. It had a few gooseneck barnacles but otherwise was in good shape. And the ocean water was also fairly warm.

Another sailboat, Odyle, arrived today but as it was too big to be in Harbour Piko, it anchored out where we had been the first night.

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