Easter Island Post Swim Shenanigans

On Saturday after the swim, Sarah and I were treated to a massage. On Sunday I had another massage and we had a slow morning. Sarah slept like a champion and I brought her breakfast. In the afternoon we met Karina and Tavu to head out to Anakena beach for a chilled day and a fish braai local style.

The water was beautiful, and it is one of the only sandy beaches on the island. It is also sadly full of microplastics.

My HR was playing games going up to 200 BPM so I was under strict instruction to take it easy. Sarah and I played a game of backgammon followed by a quick dip in the warm blue ocean before meeting up with kayak Rapi Nui.

They set up camp under the trees on the hill with fish, sweet potato, taro and plantain. We had drinks and chatted the afternoon away. Mehari and Batman (Konui’s dad) sang an impromptu but beautiful duet on a ukulele and we feasted on braaied fish and banana with our hands and banana leaves as plates, rice and delicious fruit-mango. Batman kept feeding me fruit (oranges and mango). He has huge respect for me and insisted on giving me his ‘crown’ before departing. He is a well respected local in the community.

It was a beautiful and incredibly special day. We left to see the sunlight on the 15 moa on the way home before I hit a wall and crashed while the others went out for a late dinner at 11pm. The time is confusing here, rising at 8am and setting at 8pm but light until 9pm. We also had a full moon coming.

On Monday we had a very chilly day just taking it easy. I had a swim in the harbour in the afternoon and it was nice to get wet again. We had a big group meeting with everyone, initiated by John, to discuss and brainstorm the best way to tell the story and maximise on everyone being together. It was emotional seeing the photos and hearing the different versions of the swim as well as incredibly overwhelming hearing everyone’s insight and areas of influence from coffee table books to Ted Talks sponsorship opportunities with Footprint and $10 000 talks. Crazy stuff, highly out of my league. We went from there to a celebratory dinner hosted by footprint and Plastic Oceans overlooking the ocean. It was amazing sitting around the table with everyone involved. Over 7 countries represented, helping to make this a reality. We had random people coming to chat and take pictures and congratulate me. It was a special evening. Speeches were made and bonds were forged deeper. I went to bed happy and content.

On Tuesday we had a day of interviews. We first met the navy to thank them and to have a team photo. This was followed by a drive to Orano, (I may have the spelling wrong), the first point and an incredible crater filled with fresh water where the locals have their traditional triathlon. Konui is the current champion. They run around the edge of the crater, run down and grab a bunch of bananas before padding and running back up the hill. It was a breath-taking view and Erik spent an hour getting John’s version of the story. The heavens opened up as we left and headed for a beach where the beach clean up was held. It was a rocky climb to get there to some beautiful bays and at first glance was pristine but as we started picking up pieces of plastic, it became increasingly sobering to reveal clumps of plastic under the rocks.

It inspired me to do more swims if this is what it takes to spread this message. We had to get back to the hotel for a satellite interview with Business Insider. John and Sarah stayed behind to swim. I was jealous. After the interview, we headed to our Poke Bowl place for lunch. There is a kitten (under 1) , who has two kittens 8-10 weeks old, Tabby and black and I loved going there. The couple who work in the restaurant share the place with Patricious who is a surf instructor, and the place also serves as an AirBnB. …so incredible and such wonderful people with delicious food. Sarah and I were due next for interview and went to the place where the sun sets, while John went shopping. We met up for dinner before heading home for bed.

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Author: sarah

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