Extraordinary situations demands extraordinary measures and sacrifices. The COVID-19 Corona virus has put us, like the entire world, in an extremely difficult position and we carefully considered all our options over the last weeks.
Sadly, as some of you may have heard or read already, the situation forced us to alter course completely, cancel our Pacific and Australian voyages and sail Bark EUROPA back to her home port. Bark EUROPA was subject to a 14 day quarantine period in the harbor of Ushuaia. New developments and travel restrictions are added every day. At this point it is not allowed to let anyone on board. The permanent crew currently on board are unable to disembark. With the situation growing more uncertain every day we have reached the decision that Bark EUROPA and the crew on board are most safe at sea and eventually in her home port in The Netherlands. We are leaving Ushuaia and we are sailing back to the Netherlands. Europa embarks on what will be its most unique journey. From Ushuaia, we will cross the southern ocean, temperatures will rise until we reach the tropics and we will continue north until we reach Europe.
500 years ago the sailors of the Modern Age traveled with carrying winds, always maneuvering under sail, looking for the breezes that could take them back home and so will we. Sailing, without motor and without stopovers, because nowadays there is no open port that allows us to enter and refuel. If we achieve a constant speed of 5 knots we calculate that we will arrive in about two and a half months. We have food, we have diesel for the auxiliary generators and the best of the crews.
There will be no voyage crew, only the crew. 18 brave sailors who, under the command of Captain Eric, will sail Europa safely to her home. We do not know how the situation will be in the Netherlands when we will arrive or what will happen in the world during the next 70 days.
In these coming months however, we will keep looking for alternative plans for when Bark EUROPA is home safe. These plans will, if at all possible due to travel restrictions and public health concerns, most likely be sailing plans in European waters and to make our way back to South America in September.
De posities worden elke 4 uur ververst, de tijden zijn GMT/UTC.