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Pitcairn and Easter Island


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Anyone ever go to Pitcairn and/or Easter Island from California or Baja?

I am trying to figure out how to work them into a Southern Pacific Cruise. I mean, you could go to Easter Island straight from California, but that is a long haul. And you might not even be able to visit depending on the weather. And at that point I think you would have to skip the Marquesas. They might be kind of close reachy from Pitcairn. You could go to the Gambier afterwards. Maybe the austral islands.

What about the standard California/Marquesas/Tuamotus/Tahiti then head south into the variables and/or prevailing westerlies to get back to the longitude of Pitcairn?

I have always been intrigued with Pitcairn and Easter Island. And visiting Pitcairn is not very easy unless you sail there. But I am wondering if it is worth it.

Any thoughts on the topic are encouraged.

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I have never done it, but I have bumped into people that have done Marqueses to Pitcairn and then Gambier, Tuamotus etc. There will be some upwind, but, the SE trades are quite variable and can blow N of E for a few days at a time.  In addition, at the moment there are severe restrictions for cruising boats in French Polynesia meaning it may be difficult or impossible to anchor in many places. This is unrelated to Covid, and may render cruising through French Polynesia nearly impossible.

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My wife and I went from Panama to Ecuador (month of backpacking in Ecuador and Peru), Galapagos, Easter, Pitcairn, and then on to Gambier and northern part of FP. Anchoring is very difficult in both Easter and Pitcairn. Check for blogs online, someone dove at Easter and identified two areas of sand off Hanga Roa. The shallower one (60') is squarish and big enough for four boats if they anchor near the corners. Other one is about 100' feet deep. Depending on conditions you can find other spots of anchor in what passes as the lee of the island. Weather/wind is changeable. Very enjoyable place even beyond the statues. We could not anchor at Pitcairn at all as swell (from three directions) made it untenable. You need to anchor quite close to the land to get shallow enough water. Folks from the island will come and get you for a nominal charge while your vessel stands off. I thought I would circumnavigate the island but couldn't because there was zero wind so just sat and relaxed. The island is quite beautiful. Sailing from Galapagos and Easter was easy although a bit spirited at times. Mostly close-hauled but not hard on the wind. To Pitcairn was lightish and pleasant. Both well worth a visit.

Should add that Mangareva is quite lovely and one of the most relaxed places I have ever visited. Anchorage in the lagoon was very protected. You need to order your (wonderful) baguettes the day before and we would spend considerable time deciding whether to order for morning or afternoon pickup (or both). The island gets three flights in during each two week period. Can be quite windy in the southern part of FP. When we left Mangareva for Tahiti the forecast was for winds to 25 knots. We got into the low 50s and were knocked down - Bristol 45.5 so it is not east to knock down, or at least I thought so.

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I do believe the film 180* South (which features Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, who wiled away part of his wasted and mis-spent youth wandering around to surf and climb the length of N. and S. America, which the film recounts, and does it in the current day) shows scenes of sailing to/anchoring at Easter/Rapa Nui.  Fun film.

Re: Pitcairn, friend of mine sailed there years ago.  If you go, you better be ok with multi-generational incest... :-)

 

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5 hours ago, jhc said:

Read "Glory of the Seas".

Can you elaborate? I found two books titled "Glory of the Seas" the first a work of fiction by Agnes Hewes from 1933, and the second a non-fiction piece from 1970 by Michael Mjelde about the clipper ship Glory of the Seas. No obvious link to Pitcairn or Easter that I could see. At the minimum, maybe you could clarify which book you are referring to (like provide the name of the author and year of publication).

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6 hours ago, Jud - s/v Sputnik said:

I do believe the film 180* South (which features Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, who wiled away part of his wasted and mis-spent youth wandering around to surf and climb the length of N. and S. America, which the film recounts, and does it in the current day) shows scenes of sailing to/anchoring at Easter/Rapa Nui.  Fun film.

Re: Pitcairn, friend of mine sailed there years ago.  If you go, you better be ok with multi-generational incest... :-)

 

Had an interesting surfing connection while anchored at Hanga Roa. To go ashore you passed between two surf breaks. The gap was narrow enough you could talk to the surfers on either side. You motored in fairly quickly (6 hp Mercury so not that quick) and made an abrupt left turn into a tiny, artificial harbour used by dive boats and the like. One day it was rough enough that the two surf breaks linked up. On our last day the surf built while we ashore shopping (great ice cream btw) and we got a  tow through the surf from a dive boat going out.

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5 hours ago, mckenzie.keith said:

Can you elaborate? I found two books titled "Glory of the Seas" the first a work of fiction by Agnes Hewes from 1933, and the second a non-fiction piece from 1970 by Michael Mjelde about the clipper ship Glory of the Seas. No obvious link to Pitcairn or Easter that I could see. At the minimum, maybe you could clarify which book you are referring to (like provide the name of the author and year of publication).

The second book.

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On 11/8/2021 at 11:24 PM, kiwin said:

[At] the moment there are severe restrictions for cruising boats in French Polynesia meaning it may be difficult or impossible to anchor in many places. This is unrelated to Covid, and may render cruising through French Polynesia nearly impossible.

From what I have read the anchoring restrictions seem to apply to Tahiti and the Society islands. Is this also true in the Marquesas and Tuamotus? When I visited the Tuamotus many years ago there were only one or two boats at a time, but maybe more people are going nowadays. Also I can't imagine the Gambier and Austral islands would have such restrictions.

Anyway, thanks for alerting me to this.

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I am not sure. There is a thread on cruisersforum about this. It looks pretty prohibitive, and may well make any crossing of the South Pacific much more difficult. I believe the restrictions Include atolls in the Tuamotu such as Fakareva. I can't imagine not being able to stop in the Marquesas. That would mean prospectively a trip from Panama to the Cook Islands non stop, something like 5000 miles. Doable, but not optimal.

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On 11/8/2021 at 11:24 PM, kiwin said:

 In addition, at the moment there are severe restrictions for cruising boats in French Polynesia meaning it may be difficult or impossible to anchor in many places. This is unrelated to Covid, and may render cruising through French Polynesia nearly impossible.

Just out of curiosity, what is this all about (since it’s not Covid-related).  Not that I’m anywhere near to heading there, but just curious - seems like one of the real uncertainties of cruising: bureaucrats changing rules!  But that’s a huge huge area to have anchoring restrictions in!

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I believe that the government extended cruising permits to 3 years ( from 1) which led to overcrowding. In addition it may have been a cause celebre for certain local politicians who felt that most of the financial benefit from cruising boats was going to French owned businesses, and not the local Polynesians. 

Tonga did a similar thing some years ago, but soon reverted. 

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