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It is like running a big house!

The first impression I had when I got on board of the Bark Europa was 
that of entering a movie scene. With its four decks all connected 
together and wide open, its massive sails and its infinity of ropes, you 
really feel more like on an early 20th century film setting than on an 
actual boat that can sail away.

Well, I was on board of the Bark Europa for both of its apparent 
vocations, that is to say to film a documentary and to actually sail 
from Miramichi (New Brunswick) to Quebec city (Quebec), where I was born.
I was a first-timer for both of these experiences. Having discovered 
this year a passion for documentarism through my background in 
multimedia, I wanted to participate in a real and professional 
documentary, and at the same time live something that would take me out 
of my comfort zone, go on an adventure if you will. Therefore, I took 
part in a contest made by Radio-Canada to board on the Bark Europa and 
report the trip on the daily.

Well, I was on board of the Bark Europa for both of its apparent 
vocations, that is to say to film a documentary and to actually sail 
from Miramichi (New Brunswick) to Quebec city (Quebec), where I was born.
I was a first-timer for both of these experiences. Having discovered 
this year a passion for documentarism through my background in 
multimedia, I wanted to participate in a real and professional 
documentary, and at the same time live something that would take me out 
of my comfort zone, go on an adventure if you will. Therefore, I took 
part in a contest made by Radio-Canada to board on the Bark Europa and 
report the trip on the daily.

It is like running a big house! And they behave together like a big 
family. They are all tied closely together and seemed to get along 
really well, and although it was hard (at least for me) to get into 
their circle, they were all excellent hosts in their naval home.
The food was abundant and succulent, the rooms were conditioned, clean 
and comfortable, the whole thing felt like a luxury cruise.
But one of the biggest luxuries for me was priceless. It was this 
continual breathtaking panorama surrounding the ship. Miles and miles of 
scintillating water, colorful mountains and islands afar, a sky full of 
magnificent cloud patterns and sun rays on day, and full of stars at night.
For a guy that lives in downtown Montreal in Canada, this was a cure. A 
cure to feel so close to nature, on a boat that is propelled by the wind 
and that pumps its water straight from the river. I also felt that most 
of the crew members were really down-to-earth people, fully focused on 
their work and fully enjoying every moment in front of them. I have this 
vivid memory of a few of them spending some leisure time bouncing on a 
zodiac rubber wall as if it was a small trampoline, and being completely 
amused and entertained by it. Simple and pure.

These are the two words that would best summarize my whole trip. Maybe 
add two more: sea sickness. I was sick twice. But this is another story.
I would recommend this trip to anybody, and this experience surely 
inspired me and gave me a craving for more adventures on the water. This 
definitely won’t stay a one-time experience. I clearly intend to sail 
again, and reproduce this first ’’long-term romance’’ I had with the 
waters of our magnificent Earth.

Written by:
Raphael Houde Belle-Isle | Trainee

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