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The Bark EUROPA Equator challenge! -- Winner announced!

We would like to invite you to take part in Bark EUROPA's Equator Challenge!

Bark EUROPA is on her way from Ushuaia, Argentina to Scheveningen in The Netherlands. They will be sailing this incredible voyage with only the permanent crew of 18 men and woman and Captain Eric, 19 experienced sailors in total. They will use mainly Europa's 24 sails as means of propulsion and are well on their way already!

We would like to invite you to sail with us from your homes, by calculating the date and time (in GMT) Bark EUROPA will cross the Equator. Are you up for the challenge?
Try your luck and test your navigation skills from the comfort of your home. Our captain Klaas will explain how to calculate your educated guess, where to find up to date information about wind and weather and he will be able to answer your questions in the comments below, or on Bark EUROPA's facebook page. You can find the link to the Facebook event page below.

We are curious to see who will be able to make their educated guess this weekend and who's date and time will be closest to the date and time that Bark EUROPA will actually cross the equator! Read the explanation from Captain Klaas in the comments below this post or on the event page on Facebook. You can also ask him your own questions and when you have made your calculations and finalised your educated guess you can post in the comments below or on Facebook from Saturday morning 09:00 till Tuesday morning 09:00 and we will announce the winner of the challenge when Neptune visits Bark EUROPA on her equator crossing.

To take part you can post in the comments below or go to the Facebook event page. Here you will be able to see the detailed description of how to calculate Bark EUROPA's equator passage. Your calculation should be posted in the comments below this post or on the Facebook eventpage between Saturday 25th of April 09:00 and Tuesday the 28th of April 09:00 to participate. We will announce the winner(s) when Bark EUROPA has crossed the Equator!

Find the Equator challenge on Facebook



An easy way to calculate the distance that our “EUROPA” has to sail to reach the Equator.

She has to steer a nearly Northerly course to the Equator and that makes it easy.
The position of the EUROPA on the chart is given in degrees and minutes.
This Thursday morning the position = 021°- 41’,1 South : 027° -06’,4 West.
So she has to sail 21 degrees and 41 minutes to reach the Line (Equator).

The handy things to know:
1) Every minute of Latitude = 1 Nautical Mile.
2) Every degree is equal to 60 minutes, so 1 degree = 60 Nautical Miles.
3) The ships speed is given in Knots. 1 Knot = 1 Nautical Mile per hour.

If we calculate 21° and 41’ to Nautical Miles = (21x60) + 41 = 1260 + 41= 1301 Nautical Miles. If the average speed to the North of the EUROPA is, fore instance 3,4 knots. 1301: 3,4 = 382 hours sailing before she reaches the Line.382 : 24 = 15,9 is nearly 16 days to go.

Things to keep in mind:
a) The EUROPA, is at this moment, sailing on an Easterly course (due to headwinds) so she is not getting any closer to the Equator by doing so.
b) Use only the latitude minutes for calculating the distance in Nautical Miles, longitude minutes are varying in length depending their position on the globe.
c) This easy way of calculating a distance only works on a Northerly or Southerly course.

Hopefully EUROPA will find the Southeast Tradewinds soon and steer a more Northerly course again.
Soon a bit more info about the weather & winds, she is experiencing.




The Weather between the Southern Horse Latitudes and the Equator.

At the moment the Europa is sailing with little winds caused by the Subtropical High’s in the South Atlantic. In sailor language the Southern Horse Latitudes. Between those 2 High pressure systems, one is situated East of the Rio de la Plata, the second one West of South Africa.
North of the South American one is an area with very little wind and just in that spot our EUROPA is floating.

The good thing is that since this morning they managed to steer a more Northerly course although the speed is still very low. But after a day and night, drifting with a swimming speed of half a knot, 2,5 knots feels like a blessing for the crew.

Looking further ahead they should experience some more SE Tradewinds to bring them closer to the Equator. You can follow the weather systems (and more) very nicely on the website:

If you are interested in the ocean surface currents this website is giving that as well but you will notice that until they reach the Southern Latitude of 5 degrees South, there is very little current.Wish you luck with your calculated guess of EUROPA’s Equator arrival time.


Some clues about Times - Explanation from Captain Klaas

First about the term GMT (Greenwich Mean Time), UTC (Universal Time Coordinated), and Zulu time compared to local or ships time.
GMT, UTC & Zulu all represent the same time.

When the sun reaches her highest point in the sky during the day in Greenwich (London) the GMT time is 12:00 hrs. This Noon point is happening along the complete longitude of Greenwich, running from the North Pole to the South Pole and crossing the Observatory in Greenwich.
The whole world agreed in 1884 to use this GMT time and give that specific Greenwich-longitude the number 000°. 
To the East it was counting to 180°E and to the West to 180°W (they meet at the Date-line).

In 1972 this GMT was replaced by the UTC time when the atomic clock time was even more accurate then the “mean” time from Greenwich. Mean = Average.

Our world needs 24 hours to make a complete turn around her axis.
We divided the globe in 360 degrees of Longitude. (East 180° and West 180°) 360° : 24 hrs = 15° for each hour.

It looks that the Sun travels every hour 15 ° from East to West over the Earth surface.The time zone Zulu (Zulu is the international code for the letter Z) the Z (zero) was given to the GMT time zone) runs from 7,5° East to 7,5° West longitude.
For instance the time zone Alfa is covering the area 7,5° East to 22,5° Eastern longitude.

In modern times, down on earth, countries are not using these letters any-more and with the use of daylight saving times (DST) it becomes even more confusing but in shipping and aviation we are still using the UTC + & - hours to set our clock’s on “ships-time” and use UTC to communicate with the rest of the world.


London = UTC but now with the DST in place UTC +1
Amsterdam = UTC +1 but now with the DST in place UTC +2
New York = UTC -5 but now with the DST in place UTC - 4
Sydney = UTC + 10

The position of the bark EUROPA today = 19°-21’S : 027°-10’W So her ships time should be UTC -2 in other words, 2 hours slow on UTC.

For the calculators:
If the sun travels 15° long. in 1 hour she makes 1° long. in every 4 minutes and 1’ in every 4 seconds.
EUROPA her longitude = 027° x 4 min = 108 min. + 10’ x 4 sec = 40 seconds.
Today the local mean time on our Europa = 1hr. 48 min. 40 sec. slow on GMT.



Have a look at

And the Winner is.......

Lisette Kesteloo with her entry of the 5th of May 23.15 GMT!

Her calculation was closest to the actual equator crossing on the 5th of May 21.26 GMT.
Klaas will give Lisette a video call to congratulate her and ask her how she came to her winning entry for this challenge. Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for a video of their conversation coming soon.

Next in line with calculations very close to the actual equator crossing are the following people:

Wim Valk
Gary Kirkpatrick
Remko Hottentot
Ann Phillips
David Paterson
Amelia Hall
Steuart Turner
Pavel Petrov
Niña Helmling
Tony Grießbach

Thank you all for participating and stay tuned for the video of Klaas congratulating Lisette!

The second Challange is online on the Facebook event page and here on our website! We cannot wait to see who will win this time!

Lisette won the challenge!

Geschreven door:



ik voorspel 8 mei om 14.00 uur op de over de Evenaar.

Arie Eriks  |  02-05-2020 20:18 uur

Vraag: Waarom zie ik de positie van de Bark wel op de site van De Bark maar niet op een AIS- volgsysteem of Vessel- Finder? Volgens dat systeem ligt De Bark nog steeds in Ushuaia. met vriendelijke groet,Arie.

Arie Eriks  |  02-05-2020 20:15 uur

9th of May12.00 utc

Wim Bolk  |  29-04-2020 20:20 uur

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