Sitting here in the ship's library, watching the sea rise and fall out the portholes, as the books sway back and forth, is giving me thought about how to define "beautiful" weather.
People define beautiful weather in many ways.
For the first 5 days of this trip, we were very fortunate to have a form of beautiful weather. Clear skies, spectacular sunsets (2 green flashes in a row!), warm temperatures, and night skies that were so clear and brilliant it was hard to believe that it was real. We slept well, spent days in shorts, and had most lunches on deck. A few overnight squalls for a few hours, but they cleared out and it was right back to being relatively calm, and very, very pleasant. There have already been many highlights, including a pod of hundreds of Dusky Dolphins surround the ship and playing in the wake for over an hour! Beautiful vacation weather, but not ideal for sailing (except some hour spurts of good winds), and mainly of us were getting an itch to do some real south Atlantic sailing!
Then, as expected, that beautiful weather gave way very quickly to a very different form of beautiful weather, beautiful sailing weather. The sails went up, the wind kicked up, the seas got rough, our speed more than tripled, and here we are! Spectacular swells crashing over the railing on the main deck, sloshing about (and once even onto the stern!) and 30-40kt winds, and the Europa's beautiful sails set to move us on at a clip that is usually more than 10kt. The ship lists from side to side, it's difficult to sleep, but it is very invigorating and this is the kind of adventure that the Europa is built to thrive on, and the awesome crew is experienced with to get us through.
Yes, it's cold, wet, and things can fly at wierd angles like this but there's no place I'd rather be, with the Falklands just over the horizon, and at this speed, we will be there tomorrow! Besides, there's plenty of time to sleep through the night in a stationary bed once we are home, and it can actually be fun going on shifts at strange hours, you never know what you will encounter. We hope this beautiful sailing weather will let up so we can have some calmer landings, but we will see. For now, we are just enjoying a sampling of the best that sailing this region has to offer, beauty and excitement.