Bark Europa lay moored at the tip of the long Piedrabuena harbour, located right at the city centre of Puerto Madryn. There she waits for her new compliment to board. Cabins dressed, decks washed, provisions stowed away, ship’s common spaces organized and tidy, rig prepared. The Europa is ready to take us on her new adventurous trip down South.
Already by 16:00h the firsts of us were making their way along the pier and stepping on her decks, boarding that took a couple of hours to be completed. A gathering on the main deck with the Captain and her crew followed the formalities of the check-in procedure. Soon we all realize that sailing on a special purpose ship like the Europa is, involves more responsibilities than a regular passenger vessel. Like that, talks and familiarizations started already after our first dinner board. This evening we were introduced to the ways of living in the ship, some of the safety procedures on board, a brief overview of the trip and itinerary we are about to undertake and. Afterwards a walk around the ship and her different areas, prepared the terrain for tomorrow’s activities and our different tasks aboard.
Tomorrow it is planned to let go our moorings at mid-morning and set sail to South Georgia Island. Winds and currents will dictate our progress and the arrival date the island, for which we planned ahead about ten days over the South Atlantic. After approximately a week visiting its untamed shores, the next goal is to reach the icy coasts of the Antarctic Peninsula. Once more many miles of the rough waters of the Scotia Sea separate those destinations. All before heading North again, now crossing the renown Drake Passage to Southern Patagonia. A well known journey for the ship, which will take us to some of the most pristine and remotest places on Earth. Ahead, days of seasickness, days of the rolling and pitching of the ship, countless hours staring at the emptiness of the ocean doing the lookouts, while others man the wheelfrom the cold aft deck.
For sure many new experiences are to come, lots to learn and an uncommon lifestyle to share.