8 September 2018 5:30 UTC
47 52 N 006 00 W
The fourth of September around 14:00 Europa left home port Scheveningen (The Hague) on her way south for another year of wandering around the Atlantic. The 4 week visit to the Netherlands was very nice. First Sail Harlingen, then a maintenance period in Zaandam and on top of that a couple of days in Scheveningen. It was warming to see so many people visiting the ship. Some were new, some had been sailing on the ship before, as permanent or voyage crew. Super to see everybody again and feel the enthusiasm of the people for the Europa. Many thanks for all the help we received during our stay at home! We hope to see everybody back next year!
Now we're back at sea. To be precise, we just passed Ile D'Ouessant, thereby left the English channel and entered the Bay of Biscay. The first days after leaving Scheveningen we had a nice Northern wind to push us south with good speed. This wind lasted until sailing south of the Isle of Wight after which it became more variable. We still could sail most of the time, only sometimes the current pushed us back into direction Dover or Channel Islands. It's a strange feeling to have the sails filled on a heading 245 and see that the course over ground is 120. Every time again the wind came back and we made it under sails until 15 NM of the North coast of Bretagne. That was yesterday afternoon when the wind died, as predicted. Since that time we're under engine making our way South.
Life on board was a bit bumpy for some voyage crew the first day, but by now practically everybody got used to being at sea. Sails are being set and taken away, for practise or for real. Lines are learned, miles steered and ships spotted. The crew on board get to know each other, all in all there is a good atmosphere on board. When the wind died the dolphins found us and have been since that time regularly around the ship. Last night it sounded as if it was raining, but the sound came from lots of fish being chased and eaten by dolphins around us.
Now we look forward to meet a nice breeze and set the sails again. Hopefully the daylight will bring some wind.