It’s a shame the Rapa Nui barge flipped over when they were trying to sink the new reef. Pretty much everything was broken. This is the first chance I’ve had to dive it. The gang from Dixie Divers were doing a couple of dives to sink posts and provide a line leading from the Rapa Nui over to the rocks forming Deerfield Mountain Reef and I went along to photograph the event. I’m hopeful they will make new statues to sink soon.
The Rapa Nui Reef Project started as an idea to create a man-made that would be a one-of-a-kind public art spectacle. Benefactor Margaret Blume wanted to put large internationally recognizable objects off the coast of Deerfield Beach.
Her son, a diver who had known of the sinking of the Miracle of Life, pointed her in the direction of Pavan. They got a team together that included Jim “Chiefy Mathie, the Deerfield Beach Womans Club, and Dennis MacDonald the artist commissioned to bring the reef to life. A model was created with the Rapa Nui (Polynesian term for Easter Island) theme. A 150 long and 45 wide by 9 high barge was to be used as a vessel to hold the sculptures. With the barge as a stage, 15 concrete Moai statues were built alongside piles of rubble and one “ceremonial platform with 3 statues sitting on top. The largest Moai reached an impressive 22 feet tall. With approval from the City of Deerfield Beach, the barge was scheduled to be scuttled on June 7th, 2015. It was towed from Stuart down to 2 Georges at the Cove Restaurant where it served as a backdrop for benefits for the Public Art initiative.