We’ve been advised to stay clear of the crew and the boat this morning. New Zealand’s public holiday on Monday has thrown their provisioning plans out a wee bit. And today continues full speed to load up the dry, fresh and frozen stores below. Getting to my cabin to retrieve a personal item proved costly in time as I waited for boxes and bags and bushels of food to be handed in human-chain style down vertiginous stairwells, around blind corners and into gaping hatchways in the middle of the cabin deck corridor.
The food laid out was impressive to see. No chance of losing weight on these voyages. The previous two weeks on Tecla with Jet’s wonderful cooking put paid to the that.
Captain Klaas [below centre with long grey hair and beard] of the Netherlands re-joins the Europa after a brief absence on the previous legs. His towering stature, long flowing grey locks and beard, speaks of a hardened captain. And his crew welcome speech last night before a hearty welcome meal of roast potatoes, pork and saurkraut, was a dry witted affair: he doesn’t read the weather charts much; it will take us where it takes us. And whether we see the single rock (Cape Horn) or not is up to the gods. To join the exclusive Cape Horn Club you have to have been under sail for the last 3000 nautical miles before rounding it. And you have to be a working crew member. This afternoon the eve before setting sail we’ve training in climbing aloft. The Europa, as with the other Dutch Tall ships, Tecla and Oosterschelde, intends on sailing as much of the entire voyage round the Horn and to the Falklands.