We awoke this morning in the Tyrrhenian Sea to calm seas and a beautiful breakfast. After our first or second cup of coffee, we headed to the spanker deck to listen to Captain Svendsen transport us back in time and regale us with stories of how Sea Cloud has become the ship it is today and give us a play by play of the crew setting the sails. Captain Svendsen educated us on how Sea Cloud was built as a fortress for the original owners. It was designed as a clipper ship and has the speed and grace with its long counter of a racing yacht. We also learned that the construction in the 1930s was not always an idyllic story; in that era, tall ships formed the riveted construction of the spanker mast by placing small children down the tube.

After a blissful morning under sail, we had a bountiful lunch on the lido deck. After lunch, the Captain and his crew entertained us with two maneuvers under sail that included a tack bringing the bow through the wind, and ware bringing the stern through the wind, resulting in a rotation of 180 degrees sailing up to 6 knots creating a whale on the ship’s chart plotter.

Once back on our path to Sardinia, our historian Tom Heffernan presented on how the Black Death gave birth to a new Europe and the implications for today, a somber but relevant topic. Massimo Bassano, our photo instructor, also gave us an iPhone photography tutorial with lots of helpful hints and tricks to use on our voyage.

In the evening we all gathered on the lido deck with great conversations and murmuring of what a perfect day under sail it was. Cocktail hour began and with a drink in one hand and oysters in the other, we listened to our expedition leader John give us a briefing on the next day’s activities. This was followed by our Captain introducing his key staff and giving us all a warm welcome to the Sea Cloud family. A decadent gala dinner was served, and John offered a night of stargazing after dinner.

All in all, it was a spectacular way to start our adventure here on Sea Cloud. We sailed into the night for our first destination, Cagliari.