Meet the crew Monday!🌊
Today we would like to introduce you to: Cook Lotte👩🍳!
Lotte first joined EUROPA in 2021 and has explored various roles on board, find out more about the dishes tradition and the meaning of a foothold🍽.
Q: What inspired you to join the crew of Bark EUROPA?
A: Joining Europa was quite an unexpected turn in my life that I didn’t see coming at all. I barely had any experience with sailing apart from hearing stories from sailing family members or a little trip with a small yacht here and there. After having worked as a vegan cook for a few years and traveling around for a bit I decided that I wanted to find a job where I could travel and work at the same time. My cousin had been working at the Europa for a while at the time and my aunt suggested to try to apply there so I gave it a go! Honestly, I didn’t expect much from it at all so when I got a call for an interview the day after I was very excited! Not long after I started and it’s been almost 3 years since then. I started as a cooks assistant in a shipyard doing a lot of maintenance, did a trip as a bartender, worked on deck for a trip, and worked as a cooks assistant at sea. Around a year and a half ago I started working as a cook and that stuck. So I’ve seen the ship from quite a few different perspectives which is very nice but I definitely love working as a cook the most!
Q: What is it like to live and work on a tall ship?
A: It’s like living in a small community, you live, work, and eat together so you get to know each other very well. Besides that we’re always moving, seeing amazing places, and sailing, so nothing is ordinary.
Q: What do you do when you are not on the ship?
A: When I’m not on the ship I try to see the people close to me that I don’t get to see when sailing, which usually includes traveling quite a bit through Europe.
Q: Could you tell us about a unique destination you've visited on board EUROPA and what made it special?
A: Antarctica never stops to surprise me. There are always new things to see and these things always come at an unexpected time. It’s like entering a different planet, all of the untouched nature and the weather extremes make it very special. You’ll see icebergs, avatar-like snowy mountains in the distance, gloomy passages with high-rising mountains on both sides, amazing wildlife, and beautiful glaciers that seem to move in front of your eyes.
Q: Can you share an unexpected moment that happened during one of your voyages?
A: Waking up in the morning and stepping outside for a coffee is always a big surprise, you never know what you’re going to see. Whales, a beautiful sunrise, icebergs, or an island in the distance. One time on the Drake between Antarctica and Ushuaia I stepped outside around 05:30h in the morning when a few very excited crew members urged me to come to the poop deck as quickly as possible. The sun was already up but the weather was dark and gloomy, so when the very rare Type D killer whales came jumping out of the water, it was very impressive!
Q: What's the most memorable moment you've experienced while sailing on Bark EUROPA?
A: Two years ago when sailing past the coast of Morocco we had a day filled with interesting and exciting events. It started with a huge group of dolphins that joined the ship only moments after finishing our swim stop. We had just swum in the vast ocean next to the ship with kilometers of ocean underneath us when these dolphins began dancing around the ship, it was beautiful! Not long after we encountered a small boat with two men who were so far out at sea that they needed help. We called the Spanish coastguard who came with a helicopter all the way from Tenerife to pick them up. It was nighttime with an almost full moon and big but calm waves that created the intriguing image of this little boat on top of a big wave in the moonlight. When the helicopter came they had a big searchlight with a little man on a rope that was lowered down to the boat to pick the two men up. It was like an image straight out of a movie. We were at quite a distance to give space to the helicopter but still had a good view. At the same time on the other side of the ship, we had a school of dorado swimming around in bioluminescence. Quite a memorable day on board.
Q: What are some of the challenges you face as a crew member and how do you overcome them?
A: Weather circumstances, at least in the galley when cooking for a big group of people rough weather adds a big challenge to the smallest of things. It’s very nice to be with multiple people in the galley when it's rougher weather to have more than one pair of hands. The little foothold is one of those things, when we’re heeling a lot and you have to do something in the higher oven you’ll probably slide away by yourself. But to have someone else who can put their foot behind yours to keep you from sliding is just perfect. You’re challenged to think creatively about a lot of things on board.
Q: How is the teamwork among the crew on Bark EUROPA?
A: Everything on board is intertwined, all the departments work together to create an oiled machine that is the Europa. Coffee time for example is sacred, we come together with all the crew that’s on watch at that time and spend some time catching up. They are very important moments of the day shaping the strong connected team that we have.
Q: Are there any unique traditions or rituals that the crew follows on board Bark EUROPA?
A: Doing the dishes with the crew after lunch and dinner are usually very fun moments of the day. We can socialize, listen to music, and bond through the dishes. There are assigned spots for rinsing, drying, and putting the dishes away which creates a very dynamic setting.
Q: Can you share an interesting behind-the-scenes story or fun fact about the ship that most people may not know?
A: When arriving in Ushuaia by ship there is almost always a very warm welcome by an unexpected figure. There’s a big dog that lives somewhere around the dock that has assigned himself with a very important job of catching the mooring lines. So when throwing the mooring lines there’s this exited dog running after it, putting everything he has into trying to catch that mooring line.
Q: How has being a part of Bark EUROPA's crew influenced your perspective on the ocean and the environment?
A: Sailing on board Europa has made me much more aware of our footprint on the planet. For example; we keep our garbage on board for the entire trip before getting rid of it when reaching the next harbor. This makes it very visible how much we actually produce in garbage. The same goes for our water usage, since our engineers make the water we consume themselves we know exactly how much that is.
Photo by Arnoud Apituley