A quiet well deserved last day of the year. Sea shanties, maintenance projects, and preparations the day before docking at Ushuaia
The anchors now hold upon good bottom, the ship spends a good quiet night at the pilot station near the entrance of the Beagle Channel. Here she will spend the whole day, waiting to resume her way tomorrow morning.
The temperature rises, and the ship gets warm. There’s land at both of her sides, the sun shines amongst the banks of high clouds that hover above.
It is nice to take a day of calm before the actual arrival to land again, now to the full buzz of a busy touristic city, Ushuaia.
Now just a day’s rest for Europa. Tomorrow the navigation along 70nm of the Beagle Channel.
The ship relaxes and breathes; the crew keeps on going taking the good chance of the bit of time at anchor after her fast crossing of the Drake. They work from below decks to up the masts. They are putting the ship into the neatest order in preparation for a few days alongside at port and soon afterward to undo her moorings once more and set sail on a new adventure down to the high southern latitudes.
Maintenance projects happen at the same time that the zodiacs are taken apart, cleaned, and readied for the next trip. The sound of Sea Shanties comes off the Deckhouse, where many meet to learn more about the ship’s work songs and the tunes about sailing ships and sailor’s adventures and misadventures. Training drills are called a couple of times during the day. The engineers take us on small group tours around the areas below decks which we usually don’t see during the trip. Though we are used to walking out on deck and dealing with the maze of ropes and lines that hang from yards, stays, and masts, the areas from the lower fore-peak to the engine room are home to yet another labyrinth. Pipes, manifolds, cables, engines, generators, stores, water makers, tanks… unbeknown to us there has been a whole hidden world beneath our feet to which we have time today to be introduced.
There was time too for a warm-up to the celebration of New Year’s Eve when after a good dinner the winners of the Europa’s Antarctic Photo Competition were announced and the “Bar” prices were distributed amongst them.