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Friday, February 23, 2007
A Tuna Troller Approaches Easter Island

Approaching a remote island by sea on a clear day gives one many hours to study its contours. The chart offers a birdseye view from which a course of action is planned, but a surface view provides the real perspective. From ten miles away, Easter Island was a small lump with clouds overhead. The details formed slowly as we ran closer. We cruised along a black rocky shore with green hills sloping up behind. Easter Island reminded us of a worn down Aleutian Island, volcanic, basalt columned, and with crumbling lava rocks strewn around a rugged landscape.

Approaching an unknown island is very exciting for a seagoing crew. Of course we tidied up the boat inside and out as we knew customs officials would scour it with their eyes and poke around for illegal items. I was realizing a childhood dream, not just to explore Easter Island, but to have reached it by boat. My boat was not the brigantine “Yankee” like I imagined as an eight year old girl, but at least it was my own, and we did have one sail onboard for a dire emergency. A fisherman doesn’t often have such an exciting landfall as I did on this misty morning. As if on cue, a rainbow appeared above the black rock beach and under it loomed the ancient image of a long eared statue.


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