Easter Island Sends Off Circumnavigation Of The Rgs With Music And "Sea Words"

Российские кругосветчики на церемонии проводов в море. Фото участников экспедиции

At noon on April 25, the circumnavigation expedition of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society left the shores of the hospitable Easter Island and went out into the Pacific Ocean. In the next three to four weeks, the new vessel, the catamaran “Tion-Russian Ocean Way”, will have to travel about 2,000 miles to Nuku Hiva in the Marquesas Archipelago. The Russians were sent off by the Rapanui residents like old friends – to music and with special "sea words".

“Cultural leader and active promoter of the traditions of the peoples of Easter Island Lynn Rapu Tuki organized the ceremony of the ‘Russian inflatable canoe’ entering the ocean. About 100 people gathered: Rapanui, Chileans, our friends, local police, customs, sanitary control, Chilean sailors,” said the head of the expedition Evgeny Kovalevsky.


Оркестр на церемонии проводов кругосветки. Фото участников экспедиции

A large national ensemble from Easter Island performed at the expedition’s send-off ceremony. Drums were beating, a song was played with guitars and ukuleles. Lynn Rapu Tuki himself said special parting "sea words", holding a ritual shell in his hands. On the occasion of an important historical event, the crew was presented with chicken meat.


Линн Туки Рапо с ритуальной раковиной. Фото участников экспедиции

The circumnavigators thanked the islanders for the warm welcome and assistance in preparing the vessel for the continuation of the voyage. Evgeny Kovalevsky reminded about important milestones and continuity in the maritime history of Polynesia, Rapanui, Russia of the 19th century and the modern Russian Federation.

“Rapanui is a beautiful island! We were happy to be here!” Stanislav Berezkin, the captain of the “Tion-Russian Ocean Way” catamaran, confessed.

The farewell ceremony with the Russian crew did not end there. The catamaran was escorted in the sea for a long time by local residents in canoes and boats, as well as a Chilean warship.


Катамаран выходит в Тихий океан. Фото участников экспедиции

"We raise two staysails. We are heading 315 degrees northwest at a speed of 5 knots. The wind speed is 10 knots. The wind is south-easterly. Not hot and not cold. The expedition continues," Evgeny Kovalevsky noted in his diary.

The circumnavigators spent about a month on Easter Island. This time was spent preparing a new vessel to replace the trimaran lost during a storm in the Pacific Ocean. Thanks to the efforts of the crew and the coastal staff of the expedition, the voyage, which began almost two years ago, will continue.

On July 1, 2021, Siberian travelers Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin set off along the route of the first Russian round-the-world expeditions of the 19th century: Ivan Kruzenshtern’s (1803-1806), Yuri Lisyansky’s (1803-1806), Otto Kotzebue’s (1815-1818, 1823-1826), Vasily Golovnin’s (1817-1819), Fedor Litke’s (1826-1829), Faddey Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev’s (1819-1921). The international project of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society "Following the paths of Russian explorers" is dedicated to the 250th birthday anniversary of Krusenstern and the 200th anniversary of the discovery of Antarctica by Russian sailors. These events for a long time determined Russia's leadership in the development of the oceans and the discovery of new lands. You can learn more about the project and provide all possible assistance in its implementation on the website of the expedition.

Alexander Zhirnov