group mail play plus user camera comment close arrow-down facebook twitter instagram

Rolling on the strong following winds and seas

Departure from Stanley and starting our way to South Georgia. 

Day and night she rolls and rolls. Strong winds and building seas from behind made for a fast though uncomfortable day of good sailing. 

Downwind she jerks and heavily rolls from Port to starboard and back again. First, the lookouts are asked to wear harnesses, and then all of the ones venturing on deck as well. 

During the day the seas do not relent. The waves grow, 2, 3, 4, 5, some say that eventually climb up to 6 meters high. They come steep and short in groups or trains. 

Swell breaks against the hull and often climbs over the ship’s railing. Care must be taken if we decide to walk across the main deck. 

Below decks, everything slides and falls. Clothes not well stowed away beforehand can be found sweeping the floors or tucked into a cabinmate’s bunk. Backpacks and suitcases travel on their own to find a different corner where to brave the rough seas and the heavy movements of the ship. Moving around requires a good thought on where to step, where to grab, and how to balance.  

Amidst all that the Galley calls for lunch. As we pass by we are offered chicken soup. But how? How did they manage to cook a soup, let alone today’s tasty one in these rolling conditions? We will never know, these cooks and their helpers are a hat full of surprises, cooking secrets, and an amazing set of skills. 

Conditions that many didn’t expect, but well predicted by the Captain and Mate, while in the morning and still laying at anchor, the decks were squared, tidied, and prepared to start sailing the next leg of the voyage, sailing along the Scotia Sea to South Georgia. Before departure and counting all hands on deck, safety nets and lines are rigged, loose items tied up and some climb aloft to unfurl Top Sails. 

Chain rattles as it pulls the anchor up and Europa faces the entrance to Port Stanley. Yards are pulled 2 points from square, Fore Lower Top sail is sheeted down, and the wind blows from the aft at 30kn. Engines are switched off and there we go, out to the open seas where swell has got the space to grow high and the winds blow without obstacles on their way. Soon some more canvas is set, taking the wind and pulling us on a kick start towards South Georgia.

Written by:
Jordi Plana Morales | Expedition Leader

Comment on this article