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Squall: (n) A sudden, sharp increase in wind speed that is usually associated with active weather.

Squall: (v) A loud, emotional expletitive in the form of shouting or crying.

We were: settling happily into watch routines, easing into sail handling, marvelling at endless skies and the mind boggling reality of the Deep Blue. We were: getting to know voyage mates, living to eat the extraordinary food prepared with love by the galley staff and attending lectures on ecology, research, geography and wild life. All very pleasant. All very gentle. All very enriching for body and soul.

"Lower the stuns'ls" said Captain Klaas. A seemingly innocuous instruction, delivered in his usual calm and collected manner. The only indication that this was out of the ordinary was that we were all
gathered on the main deck, absorbing the details of the  plankton research our resident marine biologist Marcus was sharing in his lecture. There was a moment of stillness, which was to be the last for
the following 48 hours, before Europa's permanent crew exploded into action and the rest of us stumbled about looking slightly bewildered and confused.

It appeared a squall was on the immediate horizon. The pastel blue sky washes, punctuated with cumulus, stratus and nimbus, was a stripe of dense black. Within minutes the wind began to pick up, the sea began to swell and the crew began to efficiently direct us to decks, pegs, lines and sails. No negotiating. Time pressure.

The squall passed relatively swiftly, the swell in its wake did not and the following two days have been a steep relearning curve in basic human development. How to walk, how to get dressed, how to eat safely, how to carry on one's business in a bathroom without broken ribs and serious concussion!

It is an absolute testament to all that despite only five days at sea, profound differences in nationalities, age, gender, life and sailing experiences, we are working together to keep moving forward with good humour and smiles!

Written by:
Justine | voyage crew



Sea legs for the vertically impaired learned quickly! We send fondness to our friend, Laura!

Pat Bradley  |  22-04-2019 18:03 uur

Sounds like all is going well and there’s a good, collaborative crew on board! I can hear your squall from here Justine! What an absolute amazing experience - it would have been all the less without the squall - the seas need to share their moods with you after all! Look forward to hearing more.

Jen Ager  |  20-04-2019 08:22 uur

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