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SAILING THE DRAKE PASSAGE

We woke to another gorgeous morning, sunshine and following winds.

Europa sailed under all her canvas

The Europa sailed southwards between 8 to 9 knots again, after a short period of quiet conditions during last night, when the wind died, together with the swell. As the days go by we are getting more and more into the watch system and the movements of the ship, so a few more faces showed up at breakfast and on deck, and looking up we could see that almost all our canvas was set, with the exception of the Upper Staysails and Gaff Top Sail. During the morning wind conditions allowed us to set the rest of our sails, and for a while, the Europa sailed under all her canvas, spread to the NW-ly winds, rolling over the increasing W-ly swell.

Antarctic Convergence Zone

 A group of 4 or 5 Hourglass dolphins appeared, following us for a while. Gorgeous dolphins, showing a very characteristic black and white pattern on their flanks, and the only dolphin that inhabits this cold waters close to the Antarctic Convergence Area. The surface seawater temperature has been dropping down steadily from 6 to 7º Celcius to around 3ºC. In the afternoon, before dinner, there has been a steep change on the water temperature. Meaning that we were crossing southwards the Antarctic Convergence Zone. That represents the biological, ecological and oceanographical boundary between the temperate Subantarctic Waters and the cold waters belonging to the Southern Ocean. 

From now on we were sailing in Antarctic waters!  
The sunny morning became a sunny afternoon as well, and some albatrosses showed up, flying by the aft of the ship. Interestingly we got two or three Grey-headed albatrosses during the day, together with the always elegant Light-mantled sooty albatross. 

Written by:
Andy | Barhand

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