Easter Island - Profile
- Lying at the south-eastern point of the Polynesian triangle, yachts increasingly call at this isolated island the South American coast is over 2000 miles away while its nearest neighbour is tiny Pitcairn, 1200 miles to the west.
- Easter Island, or Isla de Pascua, belongs to Chile and is also known by its Polynesian name Rapa Nui.
- There is good protection inside the small harbour at Hanga Piko, on the west coast, but access is difficult without local knowledge and the port captain insists that a local pilot is employed, who will charge about $US100 for his services.
- The anchorage off the main settlement of Hanga Roa is open but sheltered from the prevailing south-easterly winds. If the wind turns, one can move to Anakena Bay, site of some of the most interesting excavations and statues on the island, or to Huituiti in the east. Swell is a problem in all these anchorages.
- Tourism, fishing, agriculture and on-going archeological studies are the primary activities of the island. The 3500 inhabitants, most of whom are Rapa Nui of Polynesian descent, live around Hanga Roa, the only town.
- A different way to visit the island is to fly from/to Papeete, thus leaving your boat safely in Tahiti while enjoying a visit to the island.
- Approximately thirty yachts visit Easter Island every year.
From October to April the SE trades prevail. The summer, mid-November to mid-February, is when winds tend to be lighter and the seas calmer. May to September are the rainier and colder months, when westerlies predominate. The island falls outside the cyclone belt. The climate is subtropical, with an average temperature of 20C (15C-27C) and the mean humidity is 77%. The coolest months are July & August. The month averaging the highest average rainfall is May.
WX reports are available 3 times a day by listening or calling the port captain's office on VHF CH 16 (Spanish, French & English spoken). Wind changes will be announced so you can move your boat to a safe side of the island in time.
A useful guide to South Pacific weather resources complied by a Noonsite contributor, Rory Garland.
The Port Captain can be contacted on channel 16 (Pascua Radio) to make sure no swell advisories are present.
* indicates port of entry