group mail play plus user camera comment close arrow-down facebook twitter instagram

The Bark EUROPA Equator challenge! -- Winner announced!

We would like to invite you to take part in Bark EUROPA's Equator Challenge!

Bark EUROPA is on her way from Ushuaia, Argentina to Scheveningen in The Netherlands. They will be sailing this incredible voyage with only the permanent crew of 18 men and woman and Captain Eric, 19 experienced sailors in total. They will use mainly Europa's 24 sails as means of propulsion and are well on their way already!

We would like to invite you to sail with us from your homes, by calculating the date and time (in GMT) Bark EUROPA will cross the Equator. Are you up for the challenge?
Try your luck and test your navigation skills from the comfort of your home. Our captain Klaas will explain how to calculate your educated guess, where to find up to date information about wind and weather and he will be able to answer your questions in the comments below, or on Bark EUROPA's facebook page. You can find the link to the Facebook event page below.

We are curious to see who will be able to make their educated guess this weekend and who's date and time will be closest to the date and time that Bark EUROPA will actually cross the equator! Read the explanation from Captain Klaas in the comments below this post or on the event page on Facebook. You can also ask him your own questions and when you have made your calculations and finalised your educated guess you can post in the comments below or on Facebook from Saturday morning 09:00 till Tuesday morning 09:00 and we will announce the winner of the challenge when Neptune visits Bark EUROPA on her equator crossing.

To take part you can post in the comments below or go to the Facebook event page. Here you will be able to see the detailed description of how to calculate Bark EUROPA's equator passage. Your calculation should be posted in the comments below this post or on the Facebook eventpage between Saturday 25th of April 09:00 and Tuesday the 28th of April 09:00 to participate. We will announce the winner(s) when Bark EUROPA has crossed the Equator!

Find the Equator challenge on Facebook



An easy way to calculate the distance that our “EUROPA” has to sail to reach the Equator.

She has to steer a nearly Northerly course to the Equator and that makes it easy.
The position of the EUROPA on the chart is given in degrees and minutes.
This Thursday morning the position = 021°- 41’,1 South : 027° -06’,4 West.
So she has to sail 21 degrees and 41 minutes to reach the Line (Equator).

The handy things to know:
1) Every minute of Latitude = 1 Nautical Mile.
2) Every degree is equal to 60 minutes, so 1 degree = 60 Nautical Miles.
3) The ships speed is given in Knots. 1 Knot = 1 Nautical Mile per hour.

If we calculate 21° and 41’ to Nautical Miles = (21x60) + 41 = 1260 + 41= 1301 Nautical Miles. If the average speed to the North of the EUROPA is, fore instance 3,4 knots. 1301: 3,4 = 382 hours sailing before she reaches the Line.382 : 24 = 15,9 is nearly 16 days to go.

Things to keep in mind:
a) The EUROPA, is at this moment, sailing on an Easterly course (due to headwinds) so she is not getting any closer to the Equator by doing so.
b) Use only the latitude minutes for calculating the distance in Nautical Miles, longitude minutes are varying in length depending their position on the globe.
c) This easy way of calculating a distance only works on a Northerly or Southerly course.

Hopefully EUROPA will find the Southeast Tradewinds soon and steer a more Northerly course again.
Soon a bit more info about the weather & winds, she is experiencing.




The Weather between the Southern Horse Latitudes and the Equator.

At the moment the Europa is sailing with little winds caused by the Subtropical High’s in the South Atlantic. In sailor language the Southern Horse Latitudes. Between those 2 High pressure systems, one is situated East of the Rio de la Plata, the second one West of South Africa.
North of the South American one is an area with very little wind and just in that spot our EUROPA is floating.

The good thing is that since this morning they managed to steer a more Northerly course although the speed is still very low. But after a day and night, drifting with a swimming speed of half a knot, 2,5 knots feels like a blessing for the crew.

Looking further ahead they should experience some more SE Tradewinds to bring them closer to the Equator. You can follow the weather systems (and more) very nicely on the website:

If you are interested in the ocean surface currents this website is giving that as well but you will notice that until they reach the Southern Latitude of 5 degrees South, there is very little current.Wish you luck with your calculated guess of EUROPA’s Equator arrival time.


Some clues about Times - Explanation from Captain Klaas

First about the term GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), UTC (Universal Time Coordinated), and Zulu time compared to local or ships time.
GMT, UTC & Zulu all represent the same time.

When the sun reaches her highest point in the sky during the day in Greenwich (London) the GMT time is 12:00 hrs. This Noon point is happening along the complete longitude of Greenwich, running from the North Pole to the South Pole and crossing the Observatory in Greenwich.
The whole world agreed in 1884 to use this GMT time and give that specific Greenwich-longitude the number 000°. 
To the East it was counting to 180°E and to the West to 180°W (they meet at the Date-line).

In 1972 this GMT was replaced by the UTC time when the atomic clock time was even more accurate then the “mean” time from Greenwich. Mean = Average.

Our world needs 24 hours to make a complete turn around her axis.
We divided the globe in 360 degrees of Longitude. (East 180° and West 180°) 360° : 24 hrs = 15° for each hour.

It looks that the Sun travels every hour 15 ° from East to West over the Earth surface.The time zone Zulu (Zulu is the international code for the letter Z) the Z (zero) was given to the GMT time zone) runs from 7,5° East to 7,5° West longitude.
For instance the time zone Alfa is covering the area 7,5° East to 22,5° Eastern longitude.

In modern times, down on earth, countries are not using these letters any-more and with the use of daylight saving times (DST) it becomes even more confusing but in shipping and aviation we are still using the UTC + & - hours to set our clock’s on “ships-time” and use UTC to communicate with the rest of the world.


London = UTC but now with the DST in place UTC +1
Amsterdam = UTC +1 but now with the DST in place UTC +2
New York = UTC -5 but now with the DST in place UTC - 4
Sydney = UTC + 10

The position of the bark EUROPA today = 19°-21’S : 027°-10’W So her ships time should be UTC -2 in other words, 2 hours slow on UTC.

For the calculators:
If the sun travels 15° long. in 1 hour she makes 1° long. in every 4 minutes and 1’ in every 4 seconds.
EUROPA her longitude = 027° x 4 min = 108 min. + 10’ x 4 sec = 40 seconds.
Today the local mean time on our Europa = 1hr. 48 min. 40 sec. slow on GMT.



Have a look at

And the Winner is.......

Lisette Kesteloo with her entry of the 5th of May 23.15 GMT!

Her calculation was closest to the actual equator crossing on the 5th of May 21.26 GMT.
Klaas will give Lisette a video call to congratulate her and ask her how she came to her winning entry for this challenge. Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for a video of their conversation coming soon.

Next in line with calculations very close to the actual equator crossing are the following people:

Wim Valk
Gary Kirkpatrick
Remko Hottentot
Ann Phillips
David Paterson
Amelia Hall
Steuart Turner
Pavel Petrov
Niña Helmling
Tony Grießbach

Thank you all for participating and stay tuned for the video of Klaas congratulating Lisette!

The second Challange is online on the Facebook event page and here on our website! We cannot wait to see who will win this time!

Lisette won the challenge!

Written by:



ik voorspel 8 mei om 14.00 uur op de over de Evenaar.

Arie Eriks  |  02-05-2020 20:18 uur

Vraag: Waarom zie ik de positie van de Bark wel op de site van De Bark maar niet op een AIS- volgsysteem of Vessel- Finder? Volgens dat systeem ligt De Bark nog steeds in Ushuaia. met vriendelijke groet,Arie.

Arie Eriks  |  02-05-2020 20:15 uur

9th of May12.00 utc

Wim Bolk  |  29-04-2020 20:20 uur

15th may 8.30 UTC in this speed

hans michgelsen  |  28-04-2020 15:37 uur

BarkEuropa will cross the Equator on May 10, at 10:05 UTC. Hard calculations! Now, the wind, blow!

Gelu  |  28-04-2020 09:47 uur

I guess Europa will cross the equator the 7th May at 03:01

Sara  |  28-04-2020 08:24 uur

Hi Klaas, the last 3 days the etmal dropped, but I believe she will pick up and come back! My guess May 10th @ 11:11 hrs.

Manfred Engel  |  28-04-2020 08:15 uur

My guess is 12th May at 1.00pm. Good luck and fair winds.

Kathleen Macfarlane  |  28-04-2020 01:04 uur

First of all I'd like to thank the staff of the Bark EUROPA for organizing this challenge. I computed quite a lot on this question. My most reliable outcome is that the Bark EUROPA will cross the equator on the 8th of May 01:23 UTC (which means in the night of the seventh to the eight of May). I wish the crew of the Bark EUROPA fair winds and a save journey to Scheveningen!

Gerben van der Harst  |  27-04-2020 22:14 uur

my guess is crossing the equator on May 8th 19:00 GMT

henk Altink  |  27-04-2020 22:07 uur

In the last weeks I have enjoyed every new logbook entry. Thank you for the challenge. My guess 10.5.2020 13:26 UTC. All the best for the crew, fair winds, enjoy it!

Matthias Neubauer  |  27-04-2020 21:37 uur

It's April 27th. 14:52, in my timezone here. There are two people living in this apartment, currently, so that means the time in GMT is 14:52 + 2 people = 18:52, plus or minus PM. There are about 1300 nm for the ship to sail to the equator. I know that because there are 24 comments on this post – mine will be 25, let's say 26 in case somebody else posts before I do. 26/2 = 13, and if we add some 0s that makes 1300. Ok, so how much time will it take to travel 1300nm? 1300nm is almost 1400nm, if you think about it, so that's gonna be almost two weeks (two weeks is 14 days, usually). If we take away a day for each of those two weeks, that makes 12 days. So, that's May 9th. Ok, and what time? Well, there are 19 experienced sailors on the Bark Europa right now, so let's say each one will spend one minute. 18:52 is the time now, and plus 19 more minutes, that makes 19:11. My final calculatron is therefore: May 9, 19:11 GMT.

Hora  |  27-04-2020 21:10 uur

6 mei 15:00 UTC crossing the equator

Gerrit Zant  |  27-04-2020 21:00 uur

My guess is Bark Europa will cross the equator on 10 May at 06.30 hrs UTC. Have fun and a safe trip. Vicki Hodgson

Vicki Hodgson  |  27-04-2020 18:22 uur

Hoi Klaas, Erik is nu los, dus ik ga voor 6mei 02:00 UTC, Groet

Wim Valk  |  27-04-2020 15:22 uur

Crossing the Equator Bark Europe Monday 11th of May~ at 09.00 UTC-1. Succes with the trip and take care.

Gerrit Schrama  |  27-04-2020 14:18 uur

I just saw someone els has the same guess, so my last guess is May 11th at 07.50 hr UTC

Ymke Bootsma  |  27-04-2020 07:00 uur

Hi, me again. I withdraw my previous guess and replace it : ETA bark Europa at the equator will be May 11th at 08 00 am UTC. Safe journey

Ymke Bootsma  |  27-04-2020 06:23 uur

My guess is May 6th, 2020 at 02:00 UTC .

Gary Kirkpatrick  |  26-04-2020 20:46 uur

My guess is 11th May 0800 hours. Get there safely and enjoy the celebrations.

Pete Wing  |  26-04-2020 16:21 uur

Hmmm. 1200nm on the rhumb line plus, say, 200nm extra for tacking through the light patches. So, about 1400nm to go through the water. After a slow start, speeds should be good when the SE trades kick in, then some drifting through the doldrums. So, give or take a few minutes, I expect Lord Neptune to clamber aboard at 1126 on 9 May. I've heard that Neptune likes to arrive in good time for lunch. So, once he's done his business (shaved a few straggly beards etc.) break out the beers and enjoy his company before turfing hime over the side.

John Bingham  |  26-04-2020 14:35 uur

My best guess is May 8th, 16.00

Ymke Bootsma  |  26-04-2020 11:21 uur

May 8th, 11pm

Simone Rittenauer  |  26-04-2020 07:59 uur

ETA Equator May 12th 1300h UTC

José Fiusa  |  25-04-2020 20:08 uur

Hi again Klaas. Sorry! I sent my guess too early, before the competition opened. So I'm sending it again. My estimate for Europa crossing the equator is Friday 8th May 8.00 am. Thank you, and Godspeed to the Europa!

Julie Razavi  |  25-04-2020 17:47 uur

My guess is that Europa will cross the Equator on May 12, at 10PM. I sailed with Captain Eric to Antarctica in 2016, and wish hm and all the crew godspeed and fair weather.

Peter Kelvin  |  25-04-2020 17:27 uur

May 15th. If the crew eat a lot of beans... Thank you, Klaas! Good to see you. Hope to sail with you again soon. Wish I was on board now... Fair winds and a following sea to Europa! Jörg

Jörg Berning  |  24-04-2020 20:55 uur

My estimate for when the ship crosses the equator: May 26, 2020 0800 UTC

Alison  |  24-04-2020 20:39 uur

Go Europa! Our hearts are with you, and the wind soon will be!

Libby Purves  |  24-04-2020 14:49 uur

I am a bit pessimistic about the winds. My guess therefore is 05 may 02.35 am. Save journeyand enjoy it !

Siggi  |  24-04-2020 10:23 uur

Equator X 30/04/2020 21:34 UTC

Terry Baker  |  24-04-2020 02:35 uur

Hello, My guess is 03.05, 07.10 UTC. Take care!

Marjon  |  23-04-2020 21:58 uur

My best googling estimate is 04 may @ 1730hrs..😜😊

Douggy  |  23-04-2020 21:16 uur

Hi Klaas. Thank you for the competition! My guess for Europa crossing the equator is Friday 8th May, 8.00 am Julie Razavi

Julie Razavi  |  23-04-2020 14:19 uur

stoere Klaas met lieve Sirius.

margriet  |  22-04-2020 11:09 uur

Yes, lovely and funny challenge Capt Klaas! Taking into account that up to now she is sailing an average of 1,5 degrees of latitude per day, to navigate 20 dg north from her current position, I would say in 15 days from today. But…as from now she has to gain very little longitude on her course North in order to cut the Equator line (ignoring currents and theoretical winds), she should improve her former average, let’s say to 2 deg per day, that brings my guess to ten more days from today. In clear I bet for the 2th MAY. Let's see. * Nice picture with this lever dog! Greetings

Jos Gremaud  |  22-04-2020 02:37 uur

ONYA Klaas, nice to see your smiling face again and say hi & X to Mariana. Keep up the good work.

Trevor Deslandes  |  22-04-2020 01:14 uur

Comment on this article