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Saturday, February 10, 2007
Papa George to the Rescue
One week’s running from Easter Island, Brian from Pitcairn made an interesting request. Would we be the search and rescue boat in our area for a small plane who was flying solo around the world from west to east in the Southern Hemisphere? Apparently he was on his way from Papeete to Easter Island and then Chile. We agreed to monitor a special frequency and listen to his progress. He eventually made it to Easter Island safely and waited for us to arrive. We had an “easy-out”* which he needed to fix a broken off bolt on his engine. Without this tool he would have to wait a week for a flight to bring it over from Santiago, Chile. Our anticipation of seeing the moai (statues) and the island itself fueled our excitement to a high pitch. I had driven the 80 miles from Golden Meadow to New Orleans to a nautical store which sold me its one and only chart of “Isla de Pasqua” and now it was time to unroll this thick vellum British chart of Easter Island and tack it firmly to the chart board. We’re talking meters of depth here, not fathoms. The Brits, who invented “fathom”, have thrown it over the side for mathematical convenience.

*(Usually for a broken stud, you would either arc weld a bar to it, and then spin it out, or drill down into it (with a hardened metal bit) and then insert an "Easy out", which screws in and then screws the stud out. (They're reverse threaded.)


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