The sun rose at 7:04 a.m. over a calm sea with swells of less than a half meter. We were moving at nine knots under our engines. We passed by Ibiza at 8:00 a.m. off our port side. The captain called sailors to their mast stations, and the sails were up by 8:20 a.m. We were making about 1.6 knots under sail. The wind was off the port beam at six knots and was from the east. The seas were calm, and the sun was bright. A brief video at 10:15 a.m. illustrated the alliance of National Geographic and Lindblad Expeditions. After the film, historian Tom Heffernan gave an interesting talk on the Bubonic Plague, its impact on European culture, and the massive societal changes that resulted. There were some striking social and economic parallels with the coronavirus of the past three years.
We had a delicious barbecue lunch on the Lido Deck. We sallied peacefully and quietly with a low breeze, and I could hear the occasional slap of the waves against the hull. Engine tours began in the late afternoon. Sea Cloud’s engines and water filtration systems are a modern marvel. The two diesels produce 1032 horsepower each and can drive the ship a maximum of 12.5 knots. The filtration system employs the reverse osmosis method, and the water is as pure as one can get. The amount of water produced daily on our trip is approximately nine tons.
Expedition leader John Frick gave a fine talk this evening on the history of Sea Cloud from its inception in the imagination of E.F. Hutton and Marjorie Merriweather Post through the ship’s multiple owners, her service in World War II, her resurrection from a derelict state in Panama, and her present-day majestic presence. There is no other four-masted square rigged barque passenger vessel sailing today. When we are at sail, we are experiencing the same reality as did those who sailed in the 1870s since Hutton had Sea Cloud designed to reflect the great age of clipper ships. After John’s talk, we had the opportunity to visit the original state rooms; they had all the comforts of home – French Rococo furniture, full marble bathtubs, and fireplaces! We then adjourned for another gourmet dinner.