Still sailing for most of the day, Europa approaches the Falklands / Las Malvinas. Time for preparations for arrival
We woke up to a sunny ski and good weather and relatively calm seas that gradually kept rising along the day.
With the wind blowing from the West by South at about 15kn and easing, it was a good time for the crew to climb aloft and work on some maintenance up the masts and check the rest of the rig.
Steering on a 190º course Europa keeps a speed of about 5kn.
The situation lasts until the evening when the wind dies down and turns a tad more Southerly and is decided to motor sail taking Royals and Courses down. Not much later, and after coming across again a fair increasing breeze, the ship sails again on a slightly different course to the South-southeast.
But the weather is not stable, the winds are gusty with a tendency to pick up in the night, later even rising to 30kn. The sail handling started by furling the Courses, taking down the top gallants, and packing them straight away. Before 2 AM all remaining squares are clewed up, and the rest of staysails still set are sheeted-in. Over the Main deck, the large Desmond is replaced by the small Aap. But battling our way against the wind, soon it makes for first dousing the Outer Jib and furl it, then the rest of head rig follows.
We now engine more and more into the wind while Europa pitches in the growing swell.
The Falklands / Las Malvinas are not making it easy to approach their spectacular coasts and beautiful islands. But eating away the miles left to our first landfalls, it is time as well to get the Zodiacs readied and outboard engines mounted and tested.
Not all is hard work, spend time trying to steer on a proper course, get cold sitting in the fore deck doing the lookouts, pulling ropes, or climb aloft, there’s always a while to enjoy the majestic gliding flight of Albatrosses and Petrels around us or to have a look at the often gorgeous sunsets, like today’s one. As the sun hides behind the horizon, it gifted us with one difficult atmospheric optical phenomenon to observe: a Green Flash. On days like today, the uppermost small segment of the sun’s disc disappearing under the horizon may turn emerald-green or bluish-green. A sort of a color flash that usually lasts only a fraction of a second. The last rays of sunlight emanating from the upper limb of the sun, are being refracted before reaching the observer’s eye. The shorter waves which appear as violet, blue, and green suffer greater refraction than the orange and red longer waves of the white sunlight. This different refraction can cause them to reach us at different times. An unusual happening but always welcome for the lucky ones that join on deck at the right moment.