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The Drake Passage

The last bit of the Drake was a bit of glorious sailing. The wind blowing from the South West increased steadily to a force 6-7 during the night. Just before six in the morning we could proceed under the power of wind alone, and still keep good speed and head in the right direction. During the whole day until well into the evening we would be under sail – setting and taking down the upper topsails and outer jib to engage with the regular squeals passing by. Where we on calm days could move for hours without seeing a bird – today we had good company – among others the wandering albatross gliding along and around the Europa.

During the day the wind slowly decreased a bit while turning slightly more to the West – still being perfect for sailing.  And than, at six in the evening land was sighted – not just land, but the infamous Cape Horn! We passed by as close as we could without touching the invisible border to Chilean waters – we passed by under sail, as the sun was setting in the West. This Drake has been everything – everything between sitting on deck enjoying the sun to holding on to anything whatever while roling over the long swell and high waves in the pouring rain.

final day of our crossing was without doubt the best one. The best evening as well ; as the sun was setting the moon rose and still under sail we arrived to calm waters sheltered by land. Seawatches for the voyage crew ended at 02 in the morning, as all sails were taken away and the engine brought us through the night.

Written by:
Sarah Gerats | Expedition Leader

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