3rd March 2018 USHUAIA - WELCOME ON BOARD. Embarkation
After arduous preparations while Europa was moored alongside Ushuaia harbour for the last couple of days, finally everything was on board. Ship and crew was ready as well to welcome us and start the memorable sailing journey that will bring us to the shores of remote areas along the Southern Ocean and South Atlantic.
The route laid down for the trip ahead of us, stretches between the southernmost tips of the American and African continents, facing the renown waters of the Drake Passage, Scotia Sea and South Atlantic. Over those rough seas lay the Antarctic realms of ice and snow, the surprising and stunning South Georgia Island and the remotest inhabited place in the planet, the volcanic island of Tristan da Cunha.
In the afternoon the 40 of us, being the so called “voyage crew” embarked the Europa. Some already seasoned sailors or old friends with the ship, others for the first-time signing-in on an adventure of this kind, but all enthusiastic for visiting all those legendary places and sail the mythical “furious fifties” and “screaming sixties”, the high latitudes where we will spend the next weeks.
Europa was alongside the main Ushuaia harbour, dwarfed by numerous of the bigger Antarctic-tourism ships that met here today. As the only sailing ship of her kind in the pier, she always attracts the curiosity of their crew and passengers. As a general procedure they use to spend just a few hours in port, all departing for their trips in the afternoon, like this, gradually the crowded port becomes less busy while we all check-in on board and are properly welcomed on board by Captain Klaas and his international crew of 17. After diner everybody attended the briefing where we started being familiarized with the Europa and her particularities, our duties on board to develop during the trip and did a safety walk through the ship. Good way to start having an overview of the long journey to come and the system we will follow during the next 52 days. With all this we all start realizing the effort required to put together a voyage of this sort on a Tall ship built in 1911.
Prior to embarkation, some of us already had time to visit Ushuaia, claimed to be the “Southernmost City in the World”, others just got off their planes soon before coming on board, but still will have the late evening and night to go ashore and explore the city, as our departure time will be tomorrow morning. Proceeding on that way we plan to take advantage of the daylight and calm waters along the Beagle Channel to enjoy its great landscape and wildlife and prepare ourselves for the navigation to come.