There’s not much time to prepare the ship and do a large changeover of permanent crew after the arrival of the ship to Montevideo. She has been through hard times at Cape Town where she lay dry at the shipyard getting over with large and difficult repairs, just before setting sail across the South Atlantic to be here in time to start her Antarctic season. She could enjoy again the strong winds and rough seas where she feels at home for just under a couple of months of fantastic sailing, and now Europa is readying herself for a few days before heading Southwards again along the South American Coast.
In a few days, she plans to arrive at the beautiful archipelago of the Falklands where the ship will take a short rest, allowing us to hopefully set foot on several of the islands. From there, this trip will continue to the harsh and jagged lands of South Georgia for the same purpose. Then, dealing with the stormy Scotia Sea she is scheduled to visit the icy waters and rocky coasts of Antarctica before setting course northwards again to finish this first voyage of the season at Ushuaia.
Europa is up and running, back in action between the southern latitudes of the Roaring 40’s, Furious 50’s and the Screaming 60’s that she knows so well. Sails, walks, and wildlife will team up in the lifestyle we will enjoy during the next weeks.
For the moment she found a tight spot to do her moorings amongst fishing and cargo ships that continuously call at the commercial harbor of Montevideo. Located inside the massive Rio de la Plata, close to where it debouches its waters to the ocean. The area tells stories of human colonization dating back for millennia but is mostly known for the Europeans because of Fernando de Magallanes's famed voyage when he set sail in 1519 on an expedition that discovered the Strait that nowadays bears his name. They were the first Europeans to join the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans sailing through it. But before finding this passage, on their risky quest, they navigated upstream this massive Rio de la Plata, passing by where today lay the large cities of Montevideo and Buenos Aires until the difficulties of the undertaking convinced them that this was not the coveted connection between both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
And now, for about three days, here is where the Europa is tied to the harbor, at Montevideo Port, on the northern shores of such a big River system. Time to get on the necessary preliminaries to start the new trip through the rough waters of the Southern Ocean. All in all, preparing the Europa we can find crew working from aloft to below decks on all sorts of activities. The rig has to be checked, some repairs are on the way, and maintenance is always an ongoing project. Cabins and the rest of the ship’s interiors called for a good clean, food and drink supplies had to be embarked, selected, and stored properly, and meals had to be readied.
Time and combined effort of two full permanent crew teams are necessary to get all those jobs done before enduring such a trip like the one we are about to start.