Friday, 5 January 2007

Diving Easter Island

Today we went to dive in the "gin clear waters" of Rapa Nui. Even from the coast you have fantastic views of the deep sea floor through picture perfect blue.
We did two dives, one to a wall/dropoff with platform that was almost straight out in front of our camp site and the other, to some bommies off the front of Hanga Roa where a fake Moai has been sunk. Unfortunately there were no dives to Motu Nui which is the famous dive site here when we were around but the dives we did were good.

The visibility was a dizzying levels at over 30m both times. The hard corals had really interesting formations and the fish life while not as prolific as some places, was very friendly and colourful. We had a Jurel (there doesn't appear to be a translation for this fish) follow us around dog-like as you find groper doing in Sydney looking for sea urchins. The Moai while kitch is fun to see and now has sea urchins in it's eyes like the way there were shells in Moai's eyes originally which is quite cute.

The operator we went with Mike Rapu is right down on the harbour and we were the only two divers with the divemaster. They were friendly and relaxed but efficient and all the gear was in good order. They even were thoughtful and offered me an extra vest so i wouldn't get cold! The water temp was still about 21-23 so very comfortable. These are boat dives and it was easy to get back on the boat which are local fishing boats used by every operator here.
During our surface interval we saw the resident turtles of the bay that hang around near the fishing boats one of which is over 1m.

We also got an explanation for the large boxes of rocks you see in the boats. The locals have a particular way of tieing them to the line as a weight when fishing and then it slips out when they pull up the fish. The bigger rocks they use as anchors, very organic!

For sunset we went down to Tahai, the one first Ahu and Maois to be restored on the island which is within Hanga Roa. It is a complex with three Ahu (alters) with 5, 1 and 1 Moais on them. It is a great place to watch the sunset into the sea behind the statues especially as the natural amphitheatre of the site provides numerous spots for the hoards of people who come down here each night with their cameras. It was almost as much fun watching the crowd including a bunch of kids playing soccer in the flat in the middle and the horses and dogs that cruise by.

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At 13 January 2007 at 22:54 , Blogger Colleen said...

Love catching up on the news- all Easter Island and Santiago at once. Sounds like a great time -someone will have to fill novice me in on what 'labels' mean- I thought perhaps photos but this doesn't seem to be the case..

At 15 January 2007 at 20:53 , Blogger Kate D said...

Hi Kat and Tom,
sounds awesome so far, can't wait to see more photos - especially of the diving and Easter Island. V. jealous but only 3 more sleeps till I head off on my own trips (and I am actually packed pretty much - can you believe it?!?!) Will send you an email as well...

xx Kate

At 29 January 2007 at 00:59 , Blogger byng said...

Easter Island! Omigod! I am sooooo jealous!

xx, take care, A

At 29 January 2007 at 08:36 , Blogger fishers said...

I recently came across an invaluable book on ‘Alien Art – Extraterrestrial expressions on earth’ and feel you should know the real facts about Easter Island in case you’ve been mislead into believing that mere humans were capable of creating the moais without the help of cleverer beings ‘Erich von Daniken believes that somehow a group of extraterrestrial visitors became stranded on the island and they taught the native inhabitants how to carve intricate designs with some advanced form of laser device. When the Westerners approached the island, the severe-looking statues wore red helmets that had been carved separately and raised (sometimes 60 feet) on top of the effigies. They also had wood panels around their necks with a still-indecipherable language on them. Mysteriously, the wood had somehow been imported from elsewhere. Were the statues made in the image of the extraterrestrial visitors, so that their race would find and rescue them? What is certain is that whoever the mystery craftsmen were, they left suddenly, abandoning 200 unfinished statues in the quarry.’

I’ll keep you posted on any other sites you may visit, the sections on Macchu Picchu and Nazca are very enlightening also.


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