Nordlys blog: Mannen met moed en vakmanschap. En het waren niet alleen de mannen…

Nordlys blog: Mannen met moed en vakmanschap. En het waren niet alleen de mannen…

In de haven

Nordlys ligt vredig afgemeerd aan de houten steiger in Willemsoord, Den Helder. Omringd door zeezeilschepen, stoomslepers, enkele botters, een voormalig lichtschip en een paar tjalken, is dit een mooi schouwspel dat zich voor mijn ogen voltrekt. Het schip en de bemanning zijn weer veilig in de thuishaven aangekomen. We hebben afgelopen zomer fabuleuze reizen gemaakt met de Nordlys langs de Europese kusten. Eerst Noord en daarna Zuid. In elke haven waar we kwamen hebben we fantastische mensen ontmoet. De Nordlys is ons welgezind en het vrachtruim steeds meer gevuld met heerlijke producten. Nog moeten we een tocht varen naar Bremerhaven deze maand. Daarna is er periode van rust voor het schip en kan er enkel onderhoud gedaan worden.

De zon schijnt meestal tussen enkele korte felle buien die even snel langstrekken als dat ze aankomen . Er waait een frisse vlagerige Noordwester over de Noordzee en hier over de Noordfriese kust. Terwijl een vissoep boven het vuurtje staat te pruttelen zit ik aan dek, kijk om me heen en geniet van een wijntje. Als ik een pijp had gehad, had ik hem gerookt. Het is rustig aan boord, de gehele bemanning is aan land. Ik sla het boek van Hylke Speerstra open, Schippers van de Zee, en begin te lezen.

“ Eeuwenlang werd in Europa kustvaart bedreven. De schepen waren betrekkelijk klein, schippers waren ondernemende zeelieden. Mannen met moed en vakmanschap. En het waren niet alleen de mannen…
Hun vlakgaande kustvaartschepen waren geschikt om de lading uit de havens in het binnenland te halen en naar toe te brengen. Maar schipper en schip bezaten ook de eigenschappen de zee te trotseren. Door deze tweezijdigheid ontstond een vorm van handelsvaart die gedurende een periode van naar schatting twintig eeuwen onuitroeibaar bleek.
Toch hebben perioden van grote bloei en crises ook in deze tak van scheepsvaart elkaar afgewisseld. Oorlogen, die handel tussen de landen vrijwel verlamden, deden de varensmannen en hun gezinnen soms grote armoe lijden. Gedurende die tijden overwoekerde het gras de scheepshellingen. Maar zodra er weer een opleving kwam, bleken er schippers en scheepsbouwers overgebleven te zijn. En met hen was het vakmanschap bewaard gebleven. Steeds opnieuw kwam de kustvaart tot bloei.”

Ik kijk op, overpeins, geniet een moment van rust en vervolg.

Kapitein Lammert

Tres Hombres blog: The crew dropped the tow and set the full complement of sails

Tres Hombres blog: The crew dropped the tow and set the full complement of sails

Today is our first full day underway since leaving Brixham harbour yesterday afternoon.  After a week in port, the crew is feeling well rested, a little broke, satiated by gallons of beer and the good times enjoyed ashore.  Rearing to go, the lines were cast off and the ship towed out of harbor under the power of her yawlboat and that of a friendly local skipper, Brixham native Tony Knight.

Brixham was a fine place to spend a week while the ‘Irish hurricane’ Ophelia and her companions blew past turning the Channel and Irish sea into maelstroms.  The natural shelter provided by the tall headlands kept our ship out of the winds.  During the downtime we were able to make some repairs to important ship’s equipment, refresh our provisions and eat what are perhaps the best fish and chips in the world.

A few days in, our sister ship the Nordlys arrived to wait out the weather and for some days we were able to share meals, stories and good times with our other half.  At our favorite pub, musicians and revelers alike from both ships staged a foc’s’le music takeover and the barman kindly indulged us to play our music and carry on until closing.

With the weather past and all hands rearing to go, the crew dropped the tow and set the full complement of sails in a few minutes while the ship bobbed off the breakwater during a calm sunny afternoon.  After a tack or two in Tor Bay to keep off the shore, the wind filled in very favorably from the south and enabled the Tres Hombres to slip out of the bay and into deeper water.  Later in the evening, as if on cue, the wind switched around to the south west and we began to progress towards the English Channel and our route towards Brittany.

Connor McGowan
Second Mate

Wanted: Fairtransport Trading Manager

Wanted: Fairtransport Trading Manager

This is an offer for an unique position in an unique company. Nothing to just continue a job but to start new, nothing to play with but to build up, nothing to become rich with but to dash into, to open up minds, to enjoy, to grow slow but strong, a possibility to enforce global clean shipping and to modify consumers attitudes in a sustainable way.

The goal is to build up a Dutch based, smooth running European import and distribution network for goods brought emission free by sailing ships from around the world to ports like Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Rostock, Antwerp….
Products vary from Olive oil, wine, rum, cacao, coffee, tuna, tea, chocolate…only products which do not compete with the local farmers produce. Luxury goods, but then organic, fair traded and fair transported, without harm to nature and people.

Work includes:
• import/export logistics
• contact with producers, importers, resellers, journalists, consumers
• sourcing of new products
• branding of products with all steps of it included
• marketing, PR, press releases
• zero-waste shopkeeping in Amsterdam • attending of markets and fairs internationally
• customs declarations
• sampling, billing, packing, sending and finding always the most sustainable form of all this
A crazy but fulfilling job, I can tell you that! The founders are still helping with their knowledge, contacts and experience.

You should bring:
• ability to make contact, maybe already have some in the food/beverage market
• inventiveness, flexibility, ability to make own structures
• responsibility for your work but also for yourself!

Payment:
• hour based on minimum legal wage plus profit sharing

Workplace:
• office in Den Helder for the first months to enter the family and learn about the business
• then office in Amsterdam (June 2018) and partly at home

Work hours:
• to be discussed to not become endless

Please send your inquiry to board@fairtransport.nl, to attention of Hans van der Pluijm

Meet the crew: Conor McGowan, 2nd mate

Meet the crew: Conor McGowan, 2nd mate

Name: Conor McGowan
Age: 28
Nationality: USA

How did you hear of Fairtransport?
Two years ago I became curious in sail- freight and did some searching on the internet. At this time I was working in the tall ship industry and my goal was to somehow eventually join the crew of Tres Hombres. I’m so trilled to finally be here!

Why did you want to join Tres Hombres?
Like many others, I have a dream that sailing ships and their culture will return to prominence in the modern world by the virtue of their power to transport cargoes across the world without the use of fossil fuels.
I wanted to see for myself the real thing in action, the logistics and procedures and craft of sail cargo, and Tres Hombres (Fairtransport) was pretty much the only operation making it a reality.

What do you expect from this voyage?
Learning to handle a ship without the assistance of auxiliary power is a true test of seamanship and a virtually nonexistent practice in our time.
I know that the demands of this undertaking will teach me so much in the space of these coming months that I could notexpect to learn on a similar vessel that runs on engine power.
I’m humbled by the scope of undertaking and eager to learn all that I can from this ship. And as Always look forward to become friends with my shipmates as we bond under the shared experiences of our voyage. The connections you forge out there at sea, on a ship, are so strong and true. You don’t easily find that kind of bond on land.
Lastly but not least, the traveling is an adventure too and I’m excited to reach new ports and add to my knowledge of the world.

 Be the change you want to see! – By captain Lammert

 Be the change you want to see! – By captain Lammert

Fairtransport is like a spark. It started a fire, which is getting bigger and starts spreading around. The old way and the natural way of transporting is part of a bigger movement in the modern time. More and more the agriculture is taking a step backwards and a lot of farmers are producing natural again. More and more people start using of local products again. More and more recycling is going on. More and more people are taking care of their energy use, and so forth. Altogether more and more care for “mother earth” ; Our habitat!
Unfortunately there is still a stubborn group of people who still believe in capitalistic way of living and following the rules of the free market economy; Ruining the earth by doing so.
And a big group of people who are not really aware and just live the spoiled way of the western society.
There is momentarily however, a growing amount of protest against this way of living. We don’t want to eat gen-food, We don’t want our forests to be chopped away, We don’t want to stand in traffic-jams every day, We don’t want to breath polluted air and so forth.

We, the people, should demand back our freedoms and the more natural way of living. Protest alone doesn’t help;   “Be the change you want to see”. Giving the example and inspire the people around you. I believe this is the best you can do. One moment we will reach the critical mass.
Since I started to work with Fairtransport, I saw the amount of cargo growing, after Tres Hombres came Nordlys and also others started transporting goods with their sailingships. A group of people with an ideal and a goal. A truly greener world; Our origin,our source.

If you search for the meaning of the word “economy”, you will find words like “thrift” and “providence”, also “careful management of available resources” and “sparing or careful use of something”.
So lets start to live a healthy economy together.
Change is not easy and doesn’t happen in one day. Stimulate this slow revolution and live more with nature again. We are trying and doing the best we can with Fairtransport;
Cargo by wind and sail!

Captain Lammert Osinga

Nordlys blog: We were the talk of the island for a couple of days

Nordlys blog: We were the talk of the island for a couple of days

We are under sail again. Tacking our way out of the Bay of Biskay and heading for Fowey in Cornwall.
Two beautiful days we spend in another little paradise. At our arrival, it looked like, if almost all the people of the village L’Herbaudiere, were standing at the pier to welcome us. Assisted by the SNSM rescue boat, we could enter the harbor.
At Ile de Noirmoutier we unloaded a part of the portugese olive oil.
All the olive oil was already sold. Everybody came directly to the ship to pick up their share of this delicious oil.
This was a interesting happening with a tasting session at the quay.
Several articles appeared in the local newspaper. We were the talk of the island for a couple of days.
All this was made possible by Alexandra Geldenhuys from “New Dawn Traders” and Alex Etourneau who imported the olive oil.
Also thanks to Etienne and his friends, who introduced us to the island, invited us for a delicious meal and helped us a lot in many ways.
Thank you Noirmoutier.

Captain Lammert Osinga

Tres Hombres blog: Southwesterlies in the North Sea

Tres Hombres blog: Southwesterlies in the North Sea

Picture by Remi: Cap Gris Nez

As it is to be expected at this season, we are currently facing some quite strong South/West winds while we try to make our way to the dover strait. If it was only for the wind we would sail long tacks from the coast of England to the coast of Belgium and back and we would probably be there already. This would be without the incredible density of maritime traffic, oil rigs, wind farms and fishermen operating in this area.
It is also to be noticed that the usual courtesy that is made to let the sailing vessels pass first does not apply here. Here there is too much business going on and we have to give way to everybody. We all hope for a change in the wind direction tonight that might push us through the straight.

Greetings from the wet but fast learning Tres Hombres crew.

Captain Remi Lavergne

The good ship Tres Hombres is back at sea again

The good ship Tres Hombres is back at sea again

After weeks and weeks of refit and preparation and thanks to our wonderful tugboat captains, the good ship Tres Hombres is back at sea again. This time it is for her 10th voyage around the Atlantic Ocean !
For now we are bound to France and the north sea is being good to us. After a very quiet departure the westerlies are slowly picking up and we are making good progress towards Dover.
The time for sea sickness is almost over and our new crew is getting its sea legs. Soon we will be tacking our way down to Brittany.

Greetings captain Remi Lavergne

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