The Trip to Easter Island, Episode 18, Odysseys in Paradise

Rich did not look back at Juan Fernandez Island. It was only after certain the island slid beyond his view he dared look aft. And when he did, a sudden uneasy gloom cast a spell over him; he was alone again.

“Perhaps that is for the best,” he thought to staring back toward Robinson Crusoe Island. He smiled. “I always thought Zeke was judging me.”

Two days of vigorous sailing passed before acquiring a reading. During that time a 275 to a 280-degree course was held steady. The Odyssey sailed better than 250 miles with over a little more than 1600 remaining before approaching Easter Island.

“I wonder if Zeke goes down to the dock every day waiting for The Odyssey to return?” Rich thought. “I have nearly called for him a couple of times, only to catch myself with the realization he is not here. When will that pass?”

A pod of dolphins sprung starboard. They remained at least 50 yards alongside. “If Zeke were here he’d be barking himself hoarse. And the dolphins would toy with his fears and curiosity. They are like squirrels.”

Near the halfway point to Easter Island, a storm kicked up abeam. It did not impede so much the progress of the voyage as it did the attention needed to remain on course. The rains brought with it, cold winds and it beat steady and long.

“How did explorers ever find the island? It really is the proverbial needle in the haystack. Maybe the inhabitants moved there to get away from civilization and what it had become; war, deceit, famine, disease, crime, human sacrifices. How long, though, did it take for those things to spring from within? There seems to be a flaw in man.”

Rich spoke to The Odyssey. “When you were being drawn and laid out and nailed together, did you ever think of being this far from your home port? Is this, a part of your dreams also? You will do what few vessels do. You have already done what few vessels do. You have proved what you are; a good vessel. For what it’s worth, Sam would be proud of you.”

Reading proved easy for Rich, whether in the cockpit near the helm or below at ease on the bench.

“It is strange,” Rich thought as he laid a book on his chest as he rested below, “a man in Ohio reads about the sea and a man at sea reads about Ohio. Few are where they want to be.”

Gray skies hid the sun on the tenth and eleventh day from the Juan Fernandez Islands. “Gray days merely mean you must provide your own colors. An imaginative person can overcome gloom.”

“What will I do on Easter Island? Does something await me?”

On the twelfth day, Easter Island appeared as nothing more than a clump in the sea best left alone. Nothing seemed extraordinary or exciting about it, except for the fact it was different than the sea surrounding it. Some islands bear a distinct signature, this was a dull “The End” typed on a sheet of paper.

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