“The simple act of sailing had carried him beyond the world of reversals, frustrations, and inanities. And in the space of a few short hours, life had been reduced from a highly complex existence, with a thousand petty problems, to one of the barest simplicity in which only one real task remained—the achievement of the goal.”
Alfred Lansing, Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage
Flocks of seagulls still accompany us, venturing further and further away from the coast flying over our decks, and all the canvas set to catch the Northeasterly good breeze. We sail under the concert of their cries while now and then they litter the ship with their droppings. A bit further away the more oceanic birds startto show up, soaring over the seas with their elegant flight.
Gradually we leave the shores of Northern Patagonia behind, sailing away over the large and shallow Argentinean Continental Shelf. It will still take about a day to reach greater depths of the slope to the deep ocean. As we sail along, the goodweather and great sailing conditions made for a nice and gradual start of our journey towards the remoteness of South Georgia.
The slight seas and slowly increasing winds allowed to begin with the set of trainings and talks prepared by the crew and guides. Both a good chance to get in contact with the network of lines and ropes that surround us on the Europa’s decks, and to get acquainted with the wildlife, history and scientific works on the high latitudes we plan to visit. All an all part of a complex combination between atmosphere, seas, winds, ice, different ecological systems and how we make way through iton a Tall Ship. An array to which hopefully we will have a glimpse and it will begin to untangle soon.
We sail under the attentive looks of Black browed albatrosses, Giant and White chinned petrels. The number and diversity of seabirds sure will increase during the next journeys as we gain distance towards the higher latitudes on our way to the colder Southern Ocean and the coasts of South Georgia. Dropping air and water temperatures are to happen, but for the moment we sail over the surface of the ocean at 14ºC and the atmosphere at a similar temperature. Those northern Patagonian latitudes along the Argentinean coast are still slightly touched by the warmsouth flowing Brazilian Current while the northwards flowing Falklands Current gradually gets heated as it gets into lower latitudes.
A gradual change on the windforce and direction as the day reach it send, makes for some of the canvas to come down. Royals are clued-up, Middle Staysails downhauls are pulled and they are furled on the last light of the day, undertherising seas and winds. Braces are pulled squarer in as the wind backs from the Northeast to a more Northerly direction. Safety lines and nets are rigged making for a safer and easier way to move around the ship.