June 4, 2023

On the distant Easter Island in the Pacific Ocean, on April 21, a new ship of the round-the-world expedition of the Tomsk Regional Branch of the Russian Geographical Society was launched. The team of brave travelers, which was replenished by two more members, intends to go to sea in the coming days and continue their voyage. We have been preparing for the launch for almost a month.

After trimaran losseson which the circumnavigators have already circled almost half of the globe, Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Beryozkin, together with the head of the coastal headquarters of the expedition, Yulia Kalyuzhnaya, throughout April spent on Rapanui (as the locals call Easter Island), preparing for the continuation of the project. Then the crew will go on a catamaran. It was provided to the Siberians by the Russian traveler Dmitry Trubitsin and the Tion company. The ship was named Tion-Russian Ocean Way.

The catamaran was stored on the island for about eight years in a humid tropical climate, which could not but affect its condition. The Russian circumnavigators had to work hard to put the new vessel in order, improve the design, and replace some of the parts. The process was complicated by the lack of necessary spare parts at Rapanui and technical difficulties.

The missing fixtures and parts were delivered to Easter Island by a new team member, mining engineer Andrey Cherepanov from the city of Verkhnyaya Pyshma in the Sverdlovsk Region. He planned to take part in the circumnavigation of the world before it even started. Andrey has been involved in sailing tourism since 2013, he was in the global expedition “Siberia – Antarctica – Siberia” in 2019-2020.

The fourth in the crew on the upcoming crossing will be a lifeguard and underwater photographer from Chile, Caleb Hara Garate. Since 2013 he has been living on Easter Island. It was his love of diving and sailing in the Pacific that brought him here. On Rapanui, Caleb became a freediving instructor.

The preparation of the catamaran for the trip was carried out with great enthusiasm by the locals, who showed great interest in circumnavigating the world. This was facilitated by meetings with the Russian crew as part of the “peace mission”, which became one of the main goals of the expedition of the Tomsk regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society.

An old friend, an expert on the creation of inflatable speedboats, Norberto Luna from Buenos Aires, also provided great help. He was imbued with interest in the project and love for the team while sailing around the world along the coast of Argentina, and now he specially flew to Easter Island to provide them with maximum assistance.

– We assembled our catamaran right under the Polynesian canoe, built of wood without nails in the ancient Polynesian style. On this canoe, or vake, Lynn Tuki Rapu, a cultural leader and active propagandist of the traditions of the peoples of Easter Island, walked the ocean with the team. For him and other inhabitants of the island, the arrival of our expedition to Rapanui and the continuation of the voyage through Polynesia is part of history. We are treated with respect, Kovalevsky said.

Before the upcoming sailing, the Russians, together with Lynn Tuki Rapu, spoke on the local radio. They invited everyone to the solemn ceremony of departure. Now the whole island knows about the expedition on the inflatable “Russian vake”.

The crew will take 100 kg of food, 500 liters of water and 300 liters of gasoline with them. Many gifts for the journey – fruits, pies and other food – were collected by the islanders.

“They give us a ride in cars when they see that we are walking. All local residents, authorities, military and police give us attention, respect and help. The Rapanui people perceive our entry to the island as a historical event, – emphasized Evgeny Kovalevsky.

It was originally planned to go to sea on 23 April. However, the capricious weather made adjustments.

– In view of the fact that the forecast for the next two days is bad, they stretched the catamaran with ropes between the pier and the buoy. Rain is expected all day tomorrow. He already got up today and charged a couple of times. On Tuesday, April 25, we will start at Nuku Hiva in the archipelago of the Marquesas Islands, – Kovalevsky said.

July 1, 2021 Siberian travelers Evgeny Kovalevsky and Stanislav Berezkin went along the route of the first Russian round-the-world expeditions of the 19th century: Ivan Krusenstern (1803–1806), Yuri Lisyansky (1803–1806), Otto Kotzebue (1815–1818, 1823–1826), Vasily Golovnin (1817–1819), Fyodor Litke (1826– 1829), Thaddeus Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev (1819–1921). The international project of the Tomsk regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society “On the way of Russian sailors around the world” is dedicated to the 250th anniversary of the birth 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 expedition website.

Alexander Zhirnov

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