The morning found us anchored south of the island of Thera (or Santorini), protected from 25-knot winds blowing from the north. These winds are known as the Meltemi (or Meltemia), which are a dominant weather influence in the Aegean Basin.
Taking advantage of the Meltemi, our captain weighed anchor and moved away using the power of the wind alone. We experienced being part of the art and traditions of tall ships, feeling a profound appreciation for the magic of wind-powered travel. With precision and skill, the crew commenced the intricate process of setting the sails. The sight of the ship's billowing white canvas, slowly transforming into a majestic vessel under sail, left everyone in awe.
Captain John Svendsen provided insightful explanations about the weather and about the different sail types on Sea Cloud, including the majestic square sails and the elegant fore-and-aft sails. We also had the opportunity to explore the engines in the company of chief engineer Alex Constantin. We learned that the Sea Cloud Engine Room consists of six compartments, from aft to forward: steering gear room, port and starboard propeller shaft tunnels side, osmosis room, main engine room with maneuvering station, and auxiliary engine room. The shafts have a total length of 43 meters. Each propeller has three fixed blades with a diameter of 2.438 meters. The engineering officer moves the control handles according to requests on the machine telegraph to control the engines and propellers. By sailing and visiting the engines, guests gained an appreciation for the blend of tradition and modern technology that make Sea Cloud one of the world's most iconic sailing ships.
Guests enjoyed a delightful lunch on the lido deck, savoring gourmet cuisine while basking in the beauty of the open sea. With the sails furled and the ship gliding gracefully through the waters of the Aegean, guests relaxed on the sun-drenched decks after lunch. Later in the afternoon they attended the lecture by Lynda Burback, our Lindblad-National Geographic photo instructor.
As the sun began to dip below the horizon, guests gathered on the deck to witness the breathtaking sunset; it was a serene and unforgettable moment. The sound of the waves and the gentle creaking of the ship's rigging added to the ambiance.
After dinner we had the opportunity to explore Katapola, on the island of Amorgos. It was delightful to see families strolling along the main street, enjoying ice cream, conversation, and the sweetness of life on a Cycladic Island.