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She is used to the open ocean

She is used to the open ocean. Winds and swells, canvas on her rig. But now and then she also needs a rest, repairs, and maintenance. Then is the time to stop for a while. Now the Europa is in dry dock, but as soon as she is done with repairs out off the water, she will return to her natural environment.

Just like her, the crew is at home sailing away, crossing Oceans, venturing south to the icy waters of Antarctica or joining the Tall Ships Races. But it is the moment for a change of clothes. Foul weather gear is stored away for a while, now replaced by old shabby overalls. Hats, gloves, bandanas have transmuted into personal protective equipment. The clean oceanic airs are now a constant dust cloud when not carrying the vapours of paint and thinners.

The sounds of the waves breaking, the rig singing as the wind speeds through, swap now for the growls of air compressors, the rust busting drumming and the roaring of grinding steel.

The scale of perception has shifted too. Out there we look for the rippled waters that may indicate a fair breeze, or white caps approaching, bringing a sudden wind burst. A cloud in the horizon moving fast, a shower that sweeps through our path. A distant whale blow or the commotion in the water of approaching dolphins.

In shipyard-mode these views are reduced to the few square centimeters of a hull for the needle-gunners and grinders; a full couple of meters of wood for the chippies mending the spanker boom; The confined steering gear area or the cramped engine room, bustling with activity; the next meter of the cable-stays to clean and prepare to be rigged again; if lucky a quick peak from aloft while climbing for a job in the rig.

Geschreven door:
Jordi Plana Morales | Expedition Leader

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