Hello there landlubbers, We made it to Ireland!
With a lot of fair winds and a great amount of wildlife we had an awesome trip so far. Coming all the way from the Portuguese Azores, where all our trainees embarked one and a half weeks ago. After a busy day, cleaning the cabins of our previous trainees, which left June 19th in the morning, our new trainees arrived around five o’clock the same day. Not a lot of time for cleaning cabins, getting all the stores onboard, get all the new permanent crew familiarised, prepare the ship for the fresh crew, etc. Because “Europa” got such an amazing permanent crew, this should not be a problem.
The next morning we take off. Europa’s famous horn screems out tree blasts to say goodbye to our off going crew, some partners and of course the beautiful island Faial. And of we go, on our way to Belfast where the Tall Ships Races 2015 will start this year. After just a bit of motor sailing we can switch off our main engines pretty quick. It looks like the wind will be more then favourable for us this trip. The good predictions in our weather reports turn out to be pretty right. Until our last day at sea we have great winds with us. Speeds up to 11 knots get us to Ireland pretty smooth.
Our youngster trainees did a great job this trip. Following all sail training lectures, doing sea watches with helming and look-out, helping the crew out with maintenance and cleaning, keep their own cabins nice and tidy and off course have some competition with the other watches. With some seasickness issues at the start but an healthy end, we all had a great trip. This was one of those trips with a bit of everything. Lots of wind and no wind. Very sunny days and poring rain. Big swell and sometimes you forgot you were at sea. The variety of circumstances makes the trip for a lot of the trainees unforgettable.
During the trip we had a great amount of wildlife around the ship. Sunfish, dolphins, all sorts of birds closer to the land again, turtles, big jellyfish, even some people believe they saw a shark passing by and unfortunately still a lot of garbage in the ocean. Old fishing buoys, plastic, jerry cans, etc. It did keep the look-out pretty busy whenever it was hard to see stuff in the big waves sometimes.
At the moment we are anchored in Belly Castle (Northern Ireland), where we got all the trainees ashore. While they have fun ashore, the crew tries to keep up the maintenance. With a nice “Braai” tonight we’ll make it even better today after such a sunny day. Just a couple of days to go before we unfortunately have to say goodbye again. Lets make it even more fun then we had already. Belfast Here We Come!!!!