It’s been almost two months since we left Ushuaia. Eight weeks on the sea, seeing only the vast ocean around, no land, no lush green grass or forests, no buildings, no other human beings. And also no Internet, which has become a part of our daily life over the last couple of years. It is almost unthinkable not to be connected to Wi-Fi or mobile data, yet here we are. Eight weeks without the Wi-Fi drug and we are still alive. The only communication with the outside world happens through satellite phone. That is also how we get our blogs and photos to you. It is a limited connection but it is a connection nevertheless.
This week we left the tropics and entered the horse latitudes. Here on the ship we call them the “chocolate latitudes”. Why? Before we embarked on this long journey we agreed with Gjalt that we can drink chocolate outside of tropics. The chocolate ban was imposed about 23° South of the Equator to preserve this tasty beverage for later days and lifted about the same latitude on the north side. Well, it doesn’t really make sense to drink hot chocolate in the tropics, so it is all good :)
We had a pretty good run since we left the calm Doldrums. Sailing to the north-west getting around the center of the high pressure area got us to change the time back one hour. It happened earlier in the week. Now, the winds have shifted so we can sail more to the north, north-east but also the winds have weakened and we slowed down yet again. Our speed dropped from 6-7 knots to about 3-4 which isn’t that bad after all considering we are very close or in the centre of the high pressure system, which is not supposed to have any wind. And there is the remains of tropical storm Arthur just around the corner. We might just get a little taste of it and hope to get some wind to push us further.
In the meantime, it is business as usual. As we passed below the Sun we completed some serious amount of work on the ship and we are still going strong. Rust busting, grinding, painting, rig maintenance you name it. There is never a shortage of things to do. I’d say that this journey is too short to complete it all. Anyway, the work keeps us busy and days fly by much faster. At the end of the watch we enjoy a well-deserved rest with a can of cold beer while watching flying fish going airborne in a beautiful sunset setting. Some of them even landed on the deck. Bad luck, we found them only when it was too late to save them.
Yeah, before I forget. Happy birthday Greg. We are lucky that so many birthdays fell into this time period. A birthday cake is always welcome. Gjalt and Emma did a great job once again. That cake was a real morale booster. If there wasn’t any birthday I am pretty sure we would come up with some reason to celebrate something. So folks, this is it for Europa news this week. Talk to you soon again.
We appreciate your attention and comments which they collect in our office and send it to us once in a while via our satellite connection. And of course we will surely read all of them again once we get a dose of Wi-Fi in the Netherlands.