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Grinding and welding

Sparks, blinding lights. Grinding and welding. Dust, vapors. De-rusting and painting.  On deck she is been taking care of, a good facelift of her rusty spots, and new paint on them. Aloft as well, she is having a hairdresser session with a couple of stays being replaced and the rig tensioned. Many wire seizings are now new, others have been checked and protected against the elements. Around every corner there seems to be something to keep your hands busy with. 

It is not a costume party but shipyard times. Sailing and foul weather gear are temporarily stowed away, and now everyone dresses in their own fashion working clothes, crawling, sitting, standing, or playing contortionist into the best positions for the jobs to do in some of the narrow or difficult to reach spots where the ship needs care.  

It is the work to get her ready and seaworthy for the upcoming long time at sea until she can have another shipyard period next year. In about a week she plans to set sail into the South Pacific Ocean. Seas not so well known to her as the Atlantic. The last time she ventured these waters was over 20 years ago when she sailed from North America southwards and paid a visit to Easter Island. On another occasion, in 2010, she sailed along the South and Central American coast from Ushuaia to Panama. She never ventured further into Polynesia and Melanesia. Now she is getting ready to set sail in waters that reminisce the first circumnavigation of the world already in the early 16th century during the Magellan Expedition; about when the buccaneer Edward Davis reported some isolated islands offshore the Chilean coast in 1687; where 35 years later the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen came across the remote Easter Island, which was taken under the Spanish crown in 1770 by Don Felipe Gonzalez; and of course, who is considered by many one of the greatest explorers and navigators of all times, Captain’s Cook and his legendary expeditions aboard the Endeavour (1768-71) and Resolution (1772-75) (1776-79). 

By the time they all set sail into the vastness of the Pacific, the myriad of islands that pepper this ocean had already been found long ago and made home for the native population. It was the Lapita People, ancestors of modern-day Pacific Islanders, who first sailed from coastal New Guinea in their small vessels, colonizing island after island. They started their long journey roughly 5000 years ago. It took them until 3100 years ago to reach the Solomon Islands and gradually expanded farther east toward what is now the archipelago of Tonga. Further East, the last bit of land before reaching continental South America, Easter Island, saw the first people settling between 700 and 800 AD.

Geschreven door:
Jordi Plana Morales | Expedition Leader

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