From nearly all corners of the world voyage crew embarked on the Bark Europa.
Backpacks full of warm clothing, boots and camera gear are carried down to the cabins and most guests are trying to find their way around the ship. Just before dinner captain Harko gives everybody a warm welcome and the permanent crew briefly introduces themselves.
For most of the day, there has been a very strong wind, up to 9 Beaufort, and at this point it is not sure whether we will be able / allowed to leave. The captain and mate are planning to travel the first part of the voyage at night, so by daybreak we will be in the more scenic part of the Magellan Strait.
So many new faces and names, and at dinner time guests and permanent crew mingle in the deckhouse and lounge while we enjoy our first meal onboard.
The mandatory Abandon Ship Drill by mate Gijs and his joyful assistant Pelle didn't take long, but is an important part of the safety procedures on board. Where to find life jackets and suits, where are the life rafts and what to do when the different alarms ring? To further inform our guests about the life onboard and the upcoming Antarctica voyage, the guides Jordi, Annukka and Jef gave a short presentation in a crowded deckhouse. But the main question remained: are we going to leave tonight?
By 23.30 it was hands-on for the crew to prepare our departure. With the assistance of two tug-boats (who were actually only pushing) we left the harbor smoothly by 00.15.
We are on our way to the Frozen Continent: Antarctica!