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After a few day's journey out to sea, I finally set eyes on the shores of Isla de Pascua (Easter Island) or more properly, Rapa Nui.  The morning was hazy and cool.  The cliffs of Bird Island rose out of the water, barely visible in the distance.  My excitement grew as we got closer, piqued by the fact that I couldn't see everything as clearly as I would have liked.

We anchored outside of the small harbor town of Hanga Roa on the island's eastern shore.  As always, the first few hours in port were a bustle of activity, arrival briefings, arrangements for various services, like water taxis, food, garbage collection...all the things we take for granted on a daily basis.

While we waited for the work to end and the anxiously awaited announcement of "Liberty Call", one of our sponsors from the island, Benito Rapahango, came aboard and asked if any of the officers would like a private tour of the island.  Sunset was several hours away, and we decided that we'd see what we could see in that short time.  Little did we know that we would get to see most of the island by nightfall.

Rapa Nui is a small island, its farthest ends about 12 miles apart.  When we arrived, the island had a population of about 3000, made up of native Rapa Nuians and Chileans.  

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