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Sail Across the Equator – South Africa to Norway
An ocean crossing under sail from Cape Town, South Africa to Stavanger, Norway via Azores, Ascension Island and St Helena.
This mile-maker is perfect for people who really want to learn more about life on board a square rigger.
- South Africa > Azores is 15 May to 06 July 2018
- Azores > Norway is 09 July to 28 July 2018
During this trip there will be plenty of time to learn from the permanent crew and your fellow trainees and the focus will not only be sail training but also scientific research.
There will be a scientist on board who will be dropping ‘floaters’ and ‘drifters’ into the ocean and to collect data for research on weather observations and on global warming. A fascinating way to gain some new knowledge while relaxing and sailing this great route.
On the 15th May 2018 an exciting voyage will set sail from Cape Town, South Africa. The ship is a familiar sight alongside the Victoria and Albert Waterfront having sailed into the port following an epic voyage from Antarctica 14 times.
Leaving from Cape Town 2018
This exciting 74 day epic sailing voyage is split into two legs covering over 5,000 nautical miles. You can choose to do the whole voyage or any number of the shorter voyage legs which are 54 and 20 days each.
- The first leg from Cape Town to Horta, Azores and includes the Equator Crossing (54 days).
- The final leg to Norway from Horta, Azores (20 days).
Participants join as Voyage Crew and get involved in all elements of running this traditional Dutch tall ship. No previous experience is needed but passion for adventure is essential.
You’ll be taught everything you need to know on the go.
Solo travellers are welcome and there is no single supplement. With only 3 two-person cabins available, those travelling with a partner or friend are advised to book early otherwise four/six person single-sex cabins are the perfect way to embark on this journey and make new friends for life.
To sail across the equator is a must for all ocean wanderers and you’ll be part of a club that will see you turn from a land lubbing pollywog to an salty shellback in no time…
Ocean sailing from South Africa to Europe
Voyage 1 – Cape Town to Horta, Azores
Ocean Sailing & research with a visit to St Helena and Ascension Island
15-may-18 to 06-jul-18
4/6 person cabin € 3.500,-
2 person cabin € 4.800,-
Youth Fare € 2.980,- for sailors under age 25
Voyage 2 – Horta, Azores to Stavanger, Norway
09-jul-18 to 28-jul-18
4/6 person cabin €1.680,-
2 person cabin € 2.100,-
Cape Town to St Helena
Weeks of deep water sailing lie ahead with St Helena as the first possible stop. The Island’s remote location meant it was used as a place of exile for key prisoners, including some 6000 Boers, Chief Dinizulu, Bahraini princes, and, of course, Napoleon, who died on St Helena. The Island also played an important role during the abolition of slavery. This heritage provides a significant legacy of fortifications, remains, historic buildings, and what has been described as “the quintessential Atlantic port” – Jamestown.
St Helena to Ascension Island
Ascension Island will be an official stopover on this voyage. You don’t have to venture far on Ascension to notice its many strikingly beautiful, golden-sand beaches. Arriving by sea, Long Beach stretches out a warm greeting – looks are, however, deceiving, as this beach is not considered safe for swimming. Strong undercurrents deem this beach fit only for the hundreds of Green Turtles that visit each year – and Long Beach, as their main nesting site on the island, is one of the most important Green Turtle nesting sites in the world.
The beaches of Ascension are known for the many turtles from Brazil that lay their eggs from January until May. Different birds and predators wait close to shore until the turtles come out of their eggs. Ascension Island is volcanic with one very green mountain of 2817ft. The last major eruption took place about 600 years ago.
Ascension Island to Azores – Crossing the Equator
After your departure from Ascension you’ll be heading north – coming closer to days and nights that are almost exactly 12 hours in length each. In the beginning you will be able to take advantage of the Trade Winds, but after a few days you’ll hit the Doldrums – areas with variable or no wind at all in and around the Equator. It is tropically warm and humid with an occasional shower, sometimes with thunder and lightning on the horizon.
During this voyage you will be crossing the equator, a special moment for everyone on board, especially for the Pollywogs (Sailors who have already crossed the Equator are nicknamed Shellbacks, often referred to as sons of Neptune; those who have not are nicknamed Pollywogs).
For many bird watchers the sea is the great frontier, but a sailing voyage provides the opportunity to explore this uncharted territory. Looking out across the sea to catch a glimpse of all kinds of bird species. Sometimes there are also species of land birds that make ‘landfall’on the ship. After Neptune’s visit while crossing the Equator, you’ll continue following the sun on her journey to another summer season.
This voyage ends in Horta, Azores. Brought together in an archipelago, each Azorean island has its own identity. Even if they all share an extraordinary natural legacy, they also have their own unique strokes in their landscape, traditions, cuisine and architecture.
The Azores archipelago is situated in the Atlantic Ocean, 1000 miles west of Portugal. It is the only land between America and Europe. The nine Portuguese islands, dominated by a volcanic mountain range, offer a rare and unspoiled natural beauty. There are meadows filled with the scent of wild herbs and vivid, colourful flowers line the roads. It is quite the perfect setting to relax. The islands are remarkably green; the blooming Hydrangea are found everywhere on the Azores.
In the case that favourable winds bring the ship in a few days earlier than scheduled then you’ll dock in the bay for a few days before departing. There are good flight connections to the Azores via Portugal.
Katie: “My days on board were some of the best of my life. I learned to push my personal boundaries, the most memorable overcoming my fear of climbing the mast with the help of some very patient and inspiring crew.”
The vessel is registered as a sail training ship and as such you will be mustered as voyage crew. This means that, more so than on a passenger ship, you will get extensive safety instructions and you will be asked to join in the watch system.
Participating in sailing and running of the tall ship is part of the overall experience on board. The level of participation will depend on your interest and physical condition. On deck you work together with the permanent crew. The watch system consists of joining the permanent crew for 4 hours, after which you will be off for 8 hours.
NO SAILING EXPERIENCE NEEDED
Everyone is welcome to take the helm, set sails, assist with manoeuvres, navigation, weather observations, furling the sails on the yards and much more. The permanent crew will give lectures and instruct you during the voyage in steering, navigation and line handling.
This will be done in a “Dutch” style, so without yelling, blowing whistles and so on. Also, you will find no uniforms onboard.
Crossing the ocean properly with a square rigger under sail like this is a team effort, so the permanent crew appreciate every input from the voyage crew. Sailing experience is not necessary. Instructions will be given in watch responsibilities, basic sail theory, line handling, steering and navigation.
One hour on board and it will instantly be clear: “teamwork” has to be the key to this beautiful traditional sailing vessel. No winches, but an infinity of lines; at first glance maybe a complete jungle. The hundreds of blocks look like spiders in their webs. The novice sailor will be introduced to these matters every day and, after a few weeks, all those lines, blocks, stays, booms with their impossible names and functions become an open book.
VARIOUS PLACES FOR RELAXING
The ship is ideal for ocean crossings and longer voyages, with various places for relaxing: library, lounge, poker corner and deckhouse. These different areas allow you to do your own thing: perhaps some quiet reading or a more active role in the social life in the deckhouse. The ship is equipped with a DVD player, a CD player, i-Pod connection and radio. There are four 2-person cabins, four 4-person cabins and four 6-person cabins. The comfortable cabins each have an en-suite toilet and shower.
MEALS ON BOARD
An experienced cook and cook’s assistant will prepare three meals a day. The general meal times on board are:
Breakfast: 07:00 – 09:00
Coffee and tea: 10:00, 14:00, 16:00, 20:00
Baking of bread and cookies is done at night.
At sea, midnight snacks are prepared, usually during the dog watch (24:00-04:00)
The vessel was built in 1911 under the name of “Senator Brockes” at the Stulcken shipyard in Hamburg, at the request of the city of Hamburg. The ship was put into service as Elbe 3 lightship on the river Elbe, and later worked as a stand-by vessel. In 1986 the ship was brought to the Netherlands. Over a period of 8 years, she was completely rebuilt and rigged as a three-masted bark.
The rebuilding and conversion to a sailing vessel was carried out under the supervision of the Dutch Shipping Inspection, Bureau Veritas and Register Holland. She sails with worldwide certificates from each of these authorities and she complies with the highest requirements for sailing ships.
Across the Equator South to North
- Trip number: AWA252
- Dates: May – July 2018
- Depart: Cape Town, South Africa
- Arrive: Stavanger, Norway via Azores, St Helena, Ascension Island
- Length: 54 & 20 days
- Adventure: Ocean Sailing & research from South Africa to Norway with a visit to St Helena and Ascension Island
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”.