Nordlys blog: The rhythm of nature is our engine

Nordlys blog: The rhythm of nature is our engine

Nordlys underway, heading for Porto.

This year we had an early start. As Dirk and Annelies came along with their tugboat “Gar”, on the 19th of March, there was still some ice in the canals of Den Helder. We sailed out of Marsdiep with a fair and cold Northeasterly wind.

Supposedly we should have departed a week earlier. Due to the wintery weeks before, there was a little delay on some deck repairs.

A tough crew of seven people handling and navigating Nordlys over the North Sea in the wintery weather. Warm clothes and a lot of blankets kept us warm since there is no heating system on the ship.

Fair winds brought us quickly in the English Channel, where the westerly winds appeared. Tacking our way trough the Channel with her strong tidal currents, especially with spring tide, made us progress a bit slower.

Sailing our way westward, my idea was to make a stop in Falmouth. You need a good weather window to cross the Biscay. It can be very rough in stormy weather. Due to our slow progress westward, beating our way against the waves and wind, I decided to make a stop in Brixham. Here we have some time to work on the crew and ship. We could also unload a barrel of organic wine. Anton, the wine importer, was happy to receive his goods earlier then expected.

There is nothing changing as quickly as the weather. The rhythm of nature is our engine. To sail a ship by wind means to respect the rhythm.

Soon we set sail for Porto. Again we will fill the hold with beautiful Portugese products for the northern European market.

Captain Lammert Osinga

photo ©Martin Sinnock

Fairtransport Newsletter: We also have an office!

Fairtransport Newsletter: We also have an office!

Dear partners, (former) crew members and friends.

You receive this newsletter while brigantine Tres Hombres has just crossed the Atlantic ocean again. Almost every other day you can read a new weblog on our website, with the adventures of our sailing crewmembers. That is why now, in this newsletter, our amazing shore and office crew is writing down their stories.

Off course many things happened within the past period in our organization, we often say to each other “Never a dull moment”. To start off we had quite a big change this summer, because the three founders : Arjen v/d Veen, Andreas Lackner and Jorne Langelaan moved on, to put down their daily functions as operational directors. They are still shareholders and they will continue to promote the organization through their own unique ways. Arjen is occupied with organizing sustainable cargo in Rotterdam. Andreas is very closely involved in the technical matters of both ships, and is planning some new ventures in Amsterdam. Jorne is busy with a new sailing cargo project and moved to Ireland. All three of them are still involved in giving talks around the country and in foreign lands, telling their story of sustainable business upon the seven seas.

As the operational succesor of this trio I should introduce myself. My name is Hans van der Pluijm. Before I started as a volunteer with Fairtransport I used to work in a scala of managing roles in large healthcare institutions. Also, for five years, I was general boardmember at a similar institute in Palestina. After my first year coordinating the trading department within Fairtransport, mostly involved in distributing and selling rum, I went for a long walk from the Netherlands to Santiago the Compostella in Spain. At my return I was asked to become a pro-deo general manager to run the organization. It was agreed to evaluate my position after a twelve month term, and since that moment (August this year) I have been general director.

As you can read in this newsletter, before setting sail in May, the fine trading ketch Nordlys has had a thorough refit of the forward part of the ship. The grand old lady is not only still beautifull, but strong as ever. This has been also the first season, with her experienced skipper Lammert Osinga again, that the amount of cargo she carried was on the rise. With the current brokers contacts and promising cargo deals for the coming season we believe this trend will continue. So, if you where thinking to invest your capital in a sustainable cause, forget about bitcoins, and sign on with Fairtransport again! For more information feel free to contact me at: board@fairtransport.nl.
Or you can download the Nordlys Shipping Company business plan through this link: Invest Contact Form

The past year, apart from many crewmembers, some experienced new captains joined us again. One of them even started sailing with Tres Hombres as a trainee and worked himself up through the ranks of Deckhand, 2nd mate and Chief mate. Next to the real sailing, there where also quite some improvements ashore in the office. Many procedures where put in writing or streamlined. The administration was further automated and connections between the different entities where put in place.

Personally I can only say, that I am very proud: to be part of the group of enthousiatic people which make up Fairtransport. A shipping organization, where care for our natural environment comes first. And because of this, has been proven able to transport its goods in a fair and sustainable matter, while keeping the traditions and craftmanship of traditional sailing alive. This is the reason that I can see a flourishing coming year and further future for Fairtransport, her crew and ships: Tres Hombres and Nordlys. Finally, dear reader, it is because of you, that all of this is possible. So, thank you very much and fair winds in the coming year!

Hans v.d. Pluijm
General director

Last season was absolutely the season of the Nordlys. Gradually she has sailed herself out of the shadow of our flagship Tres Hombres. Which port the Nordlys visited the past months, everywhere the press, film crews and snapping photographers were waiting for her. Whether it was Porto, Noirmoutier, Brixham or Bremerhaven.

https://www.sussexexpress.co.uk/news/green-transport-wind-power-brings-portugese-olive-oil-to-sussex

Of course, the oldest sailing cargo ship (1873) in the world deserves this attention. Sailing from port to port with olive oil, olives and natural wine in her hold is really special. She is one of the best with her red fluttering sails. Fortunately, the photographers who get the sailing cargo ship and beautiful crew on film were so free to share their images in high resolution. In this way I’m building up an archive for future press reports and other media requests. But the Tres Hombres also has no complaints when it comes to media attention. Recently I received a request from the Lonely Planet to come and film for a report about the best travel experiences in the world. Unfortunately, it did not fit in the schedule. Because in addition to trainees stepping up for a special experience, we also have a cargo schedule that we must adhere to. Hopefully there will be a next time. In any case, we feel flattered. At this moment the Tres Hombres has the trade winds in her sails and will soon arrive at Saint Martin with relief supplies for animals.

https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/69995-unique-cargo-ship-brings-animal-food-to-stmaarten

With Spotfinder we can closely follow the ships. The crew leaves a track via the satellite. In that way, we can see when the ship is about to arrive. The press is ready to go at that moment.

Our captains can tell extensive stories about these cargo adventures, exciting sailing trips and of course about our Tres Hombres rum. Fairtransport offers custom-made talks for companies or other organisation, even in different languages. If you would like to know more about this, please contact us at communications@fairtransport.nl.

Saskia Poelman
Marketing and Communications

Dear all, We are coming to the end of the year, so it is a nice occasion for a moment of reflection, to pass the events of last year again in review. It is an opportunity to stop and think about the course for next year. One thing is guaranteed… At Fairtransport, nothing is predictable! Ships that sail only on the power of the wind, the changeable weather, and people who come from all over the world and meet each other through Fairtransport, as well as personal developments ensure that is always remains exciting.

We are very happy that the Nordlys is finally in such a good condition. That after the long refit, Lammert and his crew were able to sail a great season and that they could delight the cargo customers with their cargo. The next season of the Nordlys will start in March. We can proudly state that our cargo customers are expanding their cargo volume and that there is already a lot of cargo waiting for the Nordlys’ next season. She will have a pretty fixed cargo route in the future; to Portugal, France, the UK, Denmark and Germany. If you would like to meet her and the crew at a festival next year, that is possible in in Blankenberge in May or Rostock in August.

The moment I write this, the Tres Hombres is on her way to Saint Martin to bring relief supplies. She is now halfway on her ocean crossing. Rémi, who has sailed for us as first mate for several years, has had his first time as captain from Den Helder to Santa Cruz. We hope that he will continue to sail for us as a captain for many years to come. He has passed on the helm in Santa Cruz to Fabian, who has come to us recently and is for the first time the captain of the Tres Hombres. All three men sailed as captain on the Tres Hombres in 2017. Something that has not been the case within one year in the past.

Probably you have noticed that we had to make one of two Atlantic voyages. Which therefore has become longer. We expect the Tres Hombres to return to Amsterdam in May 2018 with rum and cacao. Of course, the yearly unloading party takes place in Amsterdam at that moment.

Everyone who wants to sail with us (again) will find our schedules under the following link: Sail Along. The sailing schedule for the winter 2018/2019 for the Tres Hombres will be developed within the next fourteen days. Thereafter, it will be available on our website under sail along and downloads. If you have any questions, you can send them to: booking@fairtransport.nl

Kind regards and until next time,
Sabine

A day out of the Shipping journal 

This morning I had to make clear to a cargo owner that we do not have any ships sailing on the route from Argentina to Iran at this time. As much as we would like to meet the wishes of enthusiastic cargo owners… In this case we had to disappoint the man. Nothing to be worried about according to the same man: “I see possibilities to transport some things from the Caribbean to Sweden.”

Soon after, the same story with someone who would love to transport a cargo consisting of chocolate bars from Ivory Coast to France. So, requests from all over the world pass the desk of Shipping each week. All of which are answered. Even requests that must be answered in negative are answered with a clear explanation. Thereafter, they are put in the digital archive…

“Because you’ll never know…!” All requests from cargo owners are checked with the sailing schedules of the Tres Hombres and the Nordlys. Concerning the Tres Hombres, we can of course see some acquaintances, who have been using the ship for years to transport cargo from the Caribbean to Europe. For example, cacao for the Chocolatemakers in Amsterdam and rum for our own Trading department. Although, the complete hold is not contracted at the departure from Den Helder, our experience has shown that the full capacity of the ship (about 40 tons) will be used during the return journey. Exciting is that this time (the winter voyage from 2017-2018) probably will be our first North American adventure.

In Nordlys’ case things are different. On the routes along the Western European coast it is still a bit of a search to get regular customers, just like the Tres Hombres. In 2017, the Nordlys came into permanent service and visited Portugal, France, the UK, Belgium, Germany, Poland and Denmark. The indications are favourable for the summer voyage of 2018. We will re-establish the relationship gained in 2017 and we expect to be able to sail a good year along the coastline of Europe. The thrown-out bait in 2017 must lead to the catch of large(r) fish in 2018!

Daan Meijer
Shipping

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

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

 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

Nordlys blog: The cargo-hold will be completely filled

Nordlys blog: The cargo-hold will be completely filled

Nordlys had finished the Baltic voyage earlier this year. The ship was loaded with natural wine from France for Copenhagen, Bornholm and Rostock. From there we made a stop in Den Helder and prepared for a southern cargo trip. On our way to Porto we made a stop in Devon, a region on the southern coast of England.

Brixham is a little historic harbor in the Torbay. This is a good bay to shelter for the westerly storms.
Over here we waited till the first autumn storms passed by. Sorlandet,(a Norwegian Tallship) also bounded south,
was at anchor outside in the bay. She was taking shelter, just like us.
While being here, we could do little maintenance on the ship. Caulking, pitching, rigging work and so forth.
Brixham is the home port for several Sailing Trawlers like Nordlys. They do charter-sailing their goal is to bring the people out of the cities and take them into nature.
It was a beautiful view to see Nordlys moored together with these similar traditional sailing ships. With their crews we were able to exchange knowledge about Sailing Trawlers and spending a good time together. Our good friend Tony Knights, skipper of the Leader, was also around and of great help. We had a useful stop and a good time with the sailors from Brixham.

Last Thursday morning we set sail again, since the forecasts showed a good weather window to cross the Bay of Biskay.
Jeroen is the cook on board and providing us every day with delicious food. He supplied our stock with beautiful seasonal products from local farmers and producers. It takes a bit more time, but it is so much better than the supermarketfood. Good food which stays longer fresh, are stored in the galley now. The taste of this vegetables and fruits are just fantastic.

At the moment we are sailing southwards in the Biskay and making a good progress. Next port of call is Porto. This old town is situated on the mouth of the river Douro. Porto and the Douro were of great value in the era of sail concerning in- and export of goods for the country. We will be moored in the Douro estuary and going to charge a well amount of precious goods from Portugal.
We have Olive-oil, Almond-oil, Salt, Natural Wine and Port Wine, to fill our cargo-hold with. These wares are bound for the more northern parts of the European continent, like France, England, Germany and the Netherlands.
We will be able to tell everybody the story of the producers and their way of working.
Fairtransport completes the tale, by the way these products are being transported. The cargo-hold of Nordlys will be completely filled; Almost thirty tons of beautiful products from Portugal we have to move by wind and sail. More and more cargo-owners like to see their goods being transported overseas by sail. They are also willing to pay a little more, for a better cause

Captain Lammert Osinga

Nordlys blog: “we incarnate! shipwrights to sailors, riggers to bosuns

Nordlys blog: “we incarnate! shipwrights to sailors, riggers to bosuns

“we incarnate! shipwrights to sailors, riggers to bosuns, masters to mariners, craftsmen to crewmates,
swallows to seafarers and back again, a host of hunched helmsmen huddled at the helm at the change of
the watch, tin cups and steam, Polaris pointing, dream whispering, passing over, passing on, heading? to the chart´s
edge, to the celestial horizon…we ascend to the sun on wings of tanned canvas stretched, we ascend to the sun
and sink again, woken singing from bunks, woollens, oilskins, foredeck worship, galley gathered around saucepans
and stove, gas flame and kettle with the wind sou´west now…rain off sou´wester, rain on his spectacles as
knuckles knot money for old rope at the gates of the Baltic…his hands too shall grow old and coiled and his spectacle
eyes shall knot the threads of this yarn at the gates of death…we incarnate! don´t miss us, we shall never return,
don´t lament us, we were never here, we are dancing with sails, we are dancing with winds, let us go, cast off all
lines, we incarnate and you shall find us anew, after the passage of the ship´s clock, after these circles round the
sun, after all, we incarnate!”

Tramp

Nordlys blog: She’s on her way!

Nordlys blog: She’s on her way!

After a winter of hard work on the ship, we departed from Den Helder on the twenty-first of July. The cargo hold stacked with the finest organic wines from France.
Nordlys was eager to go back to sea. She has been sailing already for a long time in the Northern European waters. An old lady she is but still loaded with energy. This time we set a northerly course. The most beautiful natural wines from France have to be transported to Copenhagen, Bornholm and Rostock.

To Copenhagen we transport the wine for Sune. Together with Pontus and Sete, Sune is running a wine import business, called Rosforth & Rosforth. Since 2012 we are transporting wine for Sune. The very warm welcome was a feast for life. Delicious food prepared by Mamen, together with the best wines you can imagine.
Wednesday we were unloading the wine and labeling every bottle with a Fair Transport logo. This label is telling the story the bottle. Biological goods, transported by the sails and by the wind.

From Copenhagen we sailed further into the Baltic. Gudhjem is a little old fishing harbor on the north side of the island Bornholm. Over here Maria and Thomas own the beautiful wine-restaurant Provianten. It is located in the truly marvellous harbor of Gudjem. Again, we were having a feast for life. We enjoyed an incredible meal, combined with incredible revolutionary ideas.
The next day we were unloading the cargo, Jens was playing the violin, spectators came by to see this curious happening in this little harbor. Mystical moments we experience when we are underway; at sea and in the harbors we come.

I would like to thank you all for these truly, incredible moments of joy and love. Sune, Pontus, Sete, Mamen and everybody else from Copenhagen. Maria, Thomas,George, Jens and all the others from Gudhjem. Together we start to set the new norm. Away with fast-food chains and stinking ships !

Right now we are in Rostock, delivering the wines for Frank Schollenberger. Television was filming and lots of people came by while we were unloading the freight out of the Nordlys’ cargo hold.
At the moment a yearly sailing festival is happening; Hanse Sail Rostock. Here we can promote our project and inspire people to live another way of living. A way of living which is better for our home. Our home being planet earth.
Fair Transport is getting more and more known in Europe. Inspiring the world, for creating a better life; A life of natural beauty, instead of …… A life of being honest to our selves.

Come and transport your freight with us, right now. Let’s take one step back so we can go forward. http://fairtransport.eu/shipping/
 
Hold and enjoy.
 
This is not a story of adventures only. This is more a story of necessity.

Captain Lammert

Invest in our sailing cargo vessel Nordlys (1873)

Invest in our sailing cargo vessel Nordlys (1873)

The Tres Hombres carved the path for sustainable transport… but this is just the beginning. It is our goal to expand our cargo fleet to include many more ships working under sail. This will diminish delays in our supply chain along the entire shipping line.

The Nordlys, at 48 tons and 25m loa, was recently refitted by Fairtransport. Manoeuvered entirely by the power of the wind she is possibly the worlds oldest cargo ship (1873) still working.
She is at the moment operating in the European coastal trade.  Originally a fishing trawler, nowadays she is able to carry a maximum of 30 tons of wine, olive oil, cider or other goods. Besides that Nordlys will raise awareness about the huge amounts of pollution, created by the modern shipping industry and affect positive change in the way goods are shipped around the world.

The ships in our fleet are owned by shareholders firms. This makes it possible for you to take part as an investor of Nordlys. Already 75% total of the shares are sold.

A business plan with more information can be acquired via office@fairtransport.nl or fill in the form on our website: http://fairtransport.eu/shipbuilding/invest-contact-form/

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