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Published: October 1st 2018
Welcome to Rosaslovian Travel Blog! Thank you for following along with my latest adventure. OMG, OMG, OMG…exciting news!!! I got accepted as a trainee sailor on the 2 month Cape-to-Cape voyage on the training ship Europa! We will be sailing from Cape Horn, Chile to Cape of Good Hope, South Africa with several stops in Antarctica and many islands along the way.
Some interesting stats: Europa is a 3-masted, square rigged, steel-hulled bark, built in 1911 in Hamburg, Germany, registered in The Netherlands, LOA (length over all) 56 m (184’), height 33 m (108'), beam 7.4 m (24'), draft 3.9 m (12'), 2 x 365 HP 6-cylinder Diesel Caterpillar engines, 30 sails (1250 m2
, 13,500 ft2
), speed 13 knots (24 km/h, 15 mph) and can sail on a 65˚ close hauled course. There are 5.5 km (3.4 miles) of rope onboard. It takes 45 minutes to hoist all sails and 5 minutes to take them down. There are a total of 12 cabins for the paying crew members (four 2-person cabins, four 4-person cabins and four 6-person cabins), each with a bathroom/shower. For this extended Cape to Cape voyage, only 5 crew members will be in the 6-person cabins as one berth will be used for storage. Cabins are usually segregated by sex (except opposite-sex couples in 2-person cabins or when 2 opposite-sex couples share a 4-person cabin). I’ll be one of 44 paying trainee crew members (voyage crew). I will learn all aspects of sailing the ship (including cooking & baking breads) from the 14 permanent crew + the captain and first mate. That's 60 total. It is common to have 14 nationalities represented. However, all communications aboard ship are in English.
I am so excited but have been having recurring nightmares and trouble sleeping. Facing my fears, I know this is the voyage for me. I will be gone for over two months, leaving in February, 2019 and returning to the USA in April, 2019. I am especially interested in meeting and working with new shipmates from all over the world and hoping for more lifelong friends.
I will fly to Chicago, then to Toronto, Ontario, Canada and then on a non-stop red-eye down to Buenos Aires, Argentina, arriving the next day for several days of touring that tango renowned city. Then, I fly down the 1,500 mile Patagonia region to the southern most city in the world Ushuaia, Argentina. I plan to meet up with some crew mates at the start of the 4,300 mile Andes Mountain range and hike/canoe in the Parque Nacional Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire National Park) next to the Chilean border. After which, we will toast to our voyage at an Ushuaia pub before embarkation the next day.
I will board bark Europa in Ushuaia and set sail via the Beagle Channel (named after Charles Darwin's ship) to Cape Horn, Chile and cross the Drake Passage to the Southern Ocean, with several stops in the South Shetland Islands and Antarctica. From there, we sail to several of the South Georgia Islands, visiting Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton’s grave on one of the islands, where we will toast him with the traditional glass of whiskey. Then, we set sail to the British Overseas Territory of Tristan da Cunha, the most isolated inhabited islands on the planet and in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. Weather permitting, I hope to go Tristan Rock Lobster fishing with the locals. From there, we sail east nonstop to Cape of Good Hope, disembarking in Cape Town, South Africa. I’ll spend several nights in Cape Town, where I hope to go Great White shark cage diving. After filling my pants (and boots) cage diving, I fly to Doha, Qatar on the Persian Gulf where I will set foot on the Asian Continent for the first time in my life. Then finally, after being on the 5 largest continents in the world, I’ll fly back home to the USA. Whew! Hang on, for an exciting adventure lies ahead...
"Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." -Henry David Thoreau
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