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We have just crossed into 30’s latitude values on the last day of week 2.

It’s been a bit frustrating start to this week with weak and ever
changing wind directions that slowed us down on our good progress from
previous week. That meant lots of sail handling such as wearing the ship
several times in attempt to get back on a good course for our destination.

The life on board continues in the same spirit as the last week. There
is ongoing work and also we enjoyed a beautiful and sunny Sunday. It was
very nice just to sit on the deck and enjoy some sunshine and time off
with some games, conversation or a good book. Sunshine is a true morale
booster and we always welcome these moments. We hope to get more of it
as the air and water temperatures rose significantly over past few days.
Slowly but surely, we are progressing into a milder climate which of
course doesn’t mean it is always going to be like that.

Earlier in the week, most of the sails were set, trying to catch as much
of the weak wind as possible but the speeds were hovering around 3 knots
and not always in a good direction. In that case we even tried slowing
down the ship. But all this was about to change as we were predicted to
enter an area with low pressure and forecasted wind speeds of 40-50
knots. As it happens the change came quickly and we swiftly found
ourselves on deck taking down the sails and then aloft furling
t’gallants, royals, gaff topsail and fore course in strong winds gusting
over 30 knots. As the windspeed increased, we took down even more sails.
At the moment, we have the fore topmast staysail, upper topsails, main
course, the aap (mizzen staysail) and the spanker set. This seems to be
the best rig for these conditions. At the time of writing this blog we
are already in day 3 of very rough seas and strong winds gusting over 40
knots. There are at least two more days of this weather forecasted.
Waves are crashing over the deck regularly and most of us don’t have a
fully dry piece of clothing left. We take turns at the wheel trying to
steer the ship at close hauled or beam reach course. The ship is healing
a lot, sometimes so much that the iPad displaying the course and wind
direction changed orientation from portrait to landscape several times.
The “old lady” is holding up very well though. Despite the high swell we
are able to reach speeds between 6 and 8 knots and progress in the last
three days has been very good. We hope to keep it that way.

News from the outside world occasionally makes its way to us. We can
read then in the galley where they are usually posted in printed form or
we read them out loud for everybody to hear during the coffee time in
the wheelhouse. Optimism, laughter and positivity are what we are
striving for and any activity that can bring a smile on our faces is
being employed. We also use this opportunity to educate ourselves in
various skills. The international crew of Bark Europa is coming from
different backgrounds and there is a long list of specific skills to
each crew member. Everyone can bring something valuable to the table for
others to learn and we try to do just that.

Once the sunshine and calmer seas are back, we will be finally washing
all that salt of our faces and clothes but for now we are taking
advantage of this low pressure system to propel us closer to our


Written by:
Richard |



what you describe is so 100 % sailing with the Europa. Great. But I can imagine you have had enough big waves after the heavy smash on monday. Keep the good spirits. Greetings, Ineke

ineke van der Laan  |  14-04-2020 13:01 uur

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