Day 2 on the Europa. We boarded the ship late yesterday afternoon, had a first introduction and a first meal. It felt a lot like going on a summer camp when you’re a teenager.
There is a new group of people, and they are all excited and curious about what is going to happen. Some came alone, some come in pairs, some have done it several times before and some have never even seen the inside of a tall ship. Everybody has their own approach on how to socialize and set the first steps in a new group. We are all different but we all have something in common; we will experience this trip together and we all want to make the best out of it.
The only difference with a summer camp is that there are people of all different ages and backgrounds and they come from all over the world. A small chat with the captain taught me that they are around 21 different nationalities on board and the Dutch are not even the main representatives (hooray;). Even more remarkable and fun thing to observe is that it does not matter if you are 26 or 62, people are excited and you can tell it from their faces. They smile, they are energetic. It brings out the inner-child and that is something I am already looking for for many years.
But let’s get to work. We had our first information sessions or ‘familiarization's’ this morning where we learned about the safety, the watch system and the ropes and after lunch everybody climbed their first piece up the mast. The first watch started and in the evening we should reach the end of the Beagle Channel. The open waters are getting closer and that means we will get our first wind and waves. I better go out and practice my rope handling a bit more so I know what I’m doing under the moon light. My first watch is from 20h to 24h, so I should go find my thermal undies as well.
Being 24 hours on the boat, I already learned (and remember) a lot without the feeling of having an information overload. A little more than 24 hours ago, I still had so many questions, uncertainties and a healthy cocktail of stress, excitement and a little bit of nervousness. Now I am already feeling much more comfortable, slowly finding my way around the ship (and the fastest way to the Galley ;) This is mainly the crew to thank for. For their open attitude (they are craving to get questions) and to set an atmosphere which is professional yet relaxed. Again a question (how will the atmosphere be on board?) answered…