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
Destijds erg genoten van Kaapstad-Amsterdam via St.Helena Ascention, Cap.Verdie en Horta alsmede een stormachtige entree in IJmuiden. Onvergetelijk! Nu een meervermoeiende thuisreis; had ik overigens graag voor bijgetekend. Sterkte en behouden vaart👋
Ard Meinen | 04-06-2020 15:43 uur
Happy Sailing very strong and stuburn team All the best
Hans Hoornwez | 21-05-2020 13:05 uur
Eric, Jordi, en alle andere bemanningsleden; veel sterkte en succes op deze moeilijke en onverwachte terugreis naar Nederland. Mijn vrouw en ik duimen voor jullie! Behouden vaart!
Frits Olivier | 12-04-2020 18:49 uur
Hello Eric, Jordi, Gjalt, Merle, Krista, Mille, Natalie, Sanne and other crew members I don't know (yet), I envy you. I hope you can set aside the stress about the uncertainty, worries and missing of your loved ones you all must feel, and enjoy this journey of a lifetime. Keep well & thinking of, Cecile
Cecile Stockmann | 02-04-2020 15:21 uur
Looking ahead, looking forward. Come on! Come on! Aupa!
José Fiusa | 02-04-2020 11:35 uur
A Health To The Company !
Wil Kuijpers | 31-03-2020 22:33 uur
What a wonderful journey! Like ancient seafarers. Enjoy it!. Buenas singladuras, que los vientos portantes os acompañen.
José Fiusa | 31-03-2020 13:55 uur
Sailed Hobart-Sydney 2013 on beautiful Europa. Fair winds and safe journey home to the intrepid crew.
Mary McDermott | 31-03-2020 07:20 uur
Go on guys and do not worry for the situation in Europe! You can manage it and you will sail happily back home. Nobody can say today how it will evolve in the next two months...The point is you all have no contact with covid and will remain infection-free throughout the navigation , which is important! So, Fair winds! * I was onboard with Captain Claas in 2010 along st Lawrence to Halifax, an unforgetable experience. Just beauty around, nature and people. Forza then!
Jos Gremaud | 30-03-2020 21:38 uur
Gods speed for an incredible journey. I was supposed to have been with you from Ushuaia to Puerto Natales but unfortunately it was not to be but at least I can get on with rebuilding my 1965 Lotus Elan. Hope to sail with you some time in the future.
Ivan Wood | 30-03-2020 13:34 uur
Een diepe buiging voor Kapitein Eric en bemanning.
margriet | 30-03-2020 11:13 uur
Go the mighty Europa! Best three weeks I ever spent was with you to the Antarctic. Sail on forever!
Tony van Raat | 29-03-2020 21:21 uur
Have a safe and succesful voyage back home.
Peter Biermans (voyage crew Montevideo-Antarctica-Ushuaia 2016a | 29-03-2020 17:18 uur
Gosspeed. May you have favorable winds. Keep save. Hope to see you all in Scheveningen in a Corona free setting.
Siewert Posthuma | 29-03-2020 12:36 uur
Save trip for all of you and special greatings to captain Eric. Hope the wind will bring you home in a virusfree Netherlands
dave de Bruin | 29-03-2020 00:19 uur
what an unexpected and unique chalenge! I wish you all the best and enjoy!!
ineke van der laan | 28-03-2020 22:20 uur
As an ex-trainee on Bark Europa board (Nov. 2017) I crosse your fingers
Moti Golov | 27-03-2020 21:24 uur
Wishing you fair winds and following seas! , and wish I was there. Merle, Vai and Jordi--glad to see that you are still at it. Jim Stebbins, Ant5-03032018--23042018 plus aborted Valparaiso to Brisbane voyage
Jim Stebbins | 27-03-2020 15:08 uur
Ik ben erg verdrietig dat het zo moet gaan maar er is niets aan te doen. Ik wens jullie een hele veilige reis en ik denk aan jullie.
margriet | 27-03-2020 11:07 uur
To the crew, it's only been a month since we spent a touching farewell evening in the port of Usuhaia. I will never forget this evening. And now? Everything is different. Travel is restricted and our social contacts are reduced more and more. For the moment we are only in the closest family circle. And you? You are at the end of the world. As so often, you will leave the harbor and sail out on the open sea for several weeks. Only this time it will feel different. But this time, too, your world will be reduced to 56 meters while your eyes glide across the endless ocean. And the rest of the world will be on fire, facing the pandemic. I hope the restrictions can be eased in a few weeks. Then your families, friends and friends of Europa can give you a warm welcome in the port of Scheveningen. All the best, fair winds, stay healthy and bring the Europa home safely! Matthias (ANT3 2020)
Matthias Neubauer | 27-03-2020 06:36 uur
I think I can speak for all of your last voyager crew- you are an incredible crew and will rise to every challenge in the best possible way. We will be with you every mile and wishing you good winds, good hearts and good luck.
Nancy FitzSimmons | 27-03-2020 02:58 uur
Since some years we follow the old lady Europa, Jutta on facebook an me on Logbook. We sailed with Claas, Jordi an others to Antarctica and with Eric and Harko from Capetown to Mauitius and from Freemantle to Melbourne. We know some crew members and therefore we can imagine the competion which will be faced to the crew. We hope, no, we are positive that captain Eric and the crew will manage successfully this voyage! Good luck! Jutta an Werner
Werner Christoph Buchwald | 26-03-2020 19:51 uur
All my best wishes! May god be with you!
Gabriele Pollak | 26-03-2020 19:36 uur