Extraordinary situations demands extraordinary measures and sacrifices.
We are leaving. We are sailing back to the Netherlands.
Europa embarks on what will be its most unique journey. From Ushuaia, we will cross the southern ocean, temperatures will rise until we reach the tropics and we will continue north until we reach Europe.
500 years ago the sailors of the Modern Age traveled with carrying winds, always maneuvering under sail, looking for the breezes that could take them back home and so will we. Sailing, without motor and without stopovers, because nowadays there is no open port that allows us to enter and refuel.
If we achieve a constant speed of 5 knots we calculate that we will arrive in about two and a half months. We have food, we have diesel for the auxiliary generators and the best of the crews. We will succeed.
There will be no voyage crew, only the crew. 18 brave sailors who, under the command of Captain Eric, will sail Europa safely to her home. We do not know how the situation will be in the Netherlands when we will arrive or what will happen in the world during the next 70 days. As seafarers that we are, accustomed to suffering the whims of the god Neptune, we hope for the best but we prepare for the worst.
We are 18 crew members under the command of Captain Eric, we come from very different countries. Only 10 of us have European nationality. Most of us have been on board for a long time and should have a well-deserved rest; we won't have it. Some of us have relatives to worry about or children to take care of; we don't know when we will see them again.
For these reasons, for the joys and hardships we are going to suffer together, for the challenge we face taking our old lady Europa, crossing the entire Atlantic from south to north without stopovers and sailing ... For all of this and more, it is worth to know who are the heroes in charge of carrying out such a feat:
Captain Eric Kesteloo - Netherlands
Merle Steinhagen - Germany
Gregory Kelly - Canada
Vaiufia (Vai) Latu - Tonga
Sebastián Aspee - Chile
Amelkee Fortuin - Netherlands
Gjalt Gaastra - Netherlands
Cristian (Cri) Halmaghi - Canada
Brian Harrison - South Africa
Maria Intxaustegi - Spain
Anna Jensen - Denmark
Mille Magaard - Denmark
Sanne Muller - Netherlands
Jordi Plana - Spain
Natalie Razavi - G.B
Richard Simko - Slovakia
Amelia Stone - Australia
Emma Swannack - G.B
Krista Swedberg - U.S
May the winds be favorable to us!
Photo: Richard Simko