We awakened to a sunrise at 6:08 a.m. with a sunny sky – a welcome difference from last night’s cool breeze. The wind was a slight 1 knot and from a north easterly direction off our starboard bow. We were motoring at about 9 knots before we went to sail. We set sails at 9 a.m. and Alexandre Bota, our chief officer, gave an informative explanation of the sails on the spanker deck. The sailors scrambled aloft and appeared to disappear into the sky.
The main mast is 178 feet almost 18 stories above the deck. Although the masts are steel, their tops are made of fir since it is strong and light and thus reduces the load. The Sea Cloud carries 32 thousand square feet of sail and with a good following wind can move the ship’s 2,532 tons at an impressive 12 knots. With our slight wind today, we were making 1.4 knots under sail. Our slow speed made it possible to have a “Zodiac safari.” We boarded Zodiacs and motored around the Sea Cloud in full sail getting amazing photos.
At 11:05 a.m. after our return, Anna Mazurek, our certified photo instructor gave an informative talk, “An Introduction to Smart Phone Photography.” A quick show of hands seemed to confirm that smart phone photography is now displacing 35mm cameras as the camera of choice. Lunch was served on the lido deck.
At 2:45 p.m. the captain gave the order to furl the sails. It is always an event to watch the sailors furling the sails whilst balancing on the ratlines. The sails are made of a very heavy Dacron blend and they are quite still, particularly when they are new. Hence, they are difficult to furl. At 3:30 p.m., Tom Heffernan, our historian, gave an interesting talk on the Mediterranean, the peoples who exploited its resources and their myriad cultures. After Tom’s talk we all adjourned to the port side for a scrumptious tea which included sandwiches, pastries, and freshly made crepes.
Tonight, Captain Komakin formally welcomed us on board and introduced his senior staff. After drinks we enjoyed a gourmet Sea Cloud captain’s dinner.