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Drake day 1

In the early hours of the morning, the wind continued to die to a stable 10 knots calling for us to stop wallowing around at 2.5 knots and make use of the engines. The crew and voyage crew worked together to coordinate the striking of the sails to reduce windage as we motored to the south.

The rolling motion of Europa is never as comfortable under engine as it is when we sail. This resulted in dwindling numbers in the red watch. Others were able to enjoy the opportunity to experience the teamwork required for adjusting the sails that Captain Moritz requests. Occasionally checking their watches due to the tight schedule of helm and lookout, filling in for fellow teammates.

Drizzle set in as daylight arrived. While out on deck the display of albatrosses was spectacular to see. The largest of all, the watering albatross, was enjoying the change in wind patterns around the ship. Swooping by at spectacularly close distances, giving a true sense of their size and exhilarating speed.

Sail handling and being outside focusing on maintaining the course set by the captain or mate can build up an appetite. When the 8 am handover came around, it was time to head to the breakfast buffet and discuss the highs and lows of a busy watch on the Drake Passage.

Those on the daytime morning watches were lucky today. The drizzle cleared and the wind gave us something useful. Deckzwabber, Desmond, the topsails and t’gallants were set. The wind backed to WNW making it more comfortable as we heeled over to port side. Items in our cabins became wedged in and stopped rolling from side to side as they had done when we were under engine.

The skies cleared allowing the strong sun to cast shadows of the rig across the dry deck. What a novelty for a day on the Drake. Many were out on the poop deck with cameras following the flight paths of the soaring albatross and giant petrels. Wilson storm petrels elegantly danced with the waves.

The spirits were high for those able to enjoy the sailing action on deck today. In our evening 8 o’clock rosy faces turned towards the Drake Passage chart as Moritz pointed out our position. Our progress was impressive having made between 8 and 10 knots for most of the afternoon.

Photo by Jamie and Beth

Geschreven door:
Beth Hitchcock | Expedition Leader

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