“Tres Hombres, Tres Hombres, Tres Hombres, this is Cherbourg Traffic, what is your intention please?”
Dear lady on the VHF radio, we are going to Copenhagen, is this not clearly visible?
Clearly not, because this is the 3rd time the French traffic control has called us up to check on our actions. If you look at our track, you might think that at a certain time we had enough of it, opened the cargo hold and started drinking into the endless amount of wine in there. Currently, we are drawing Lizard’s eyes above Cape de la Hague.
After the NW wind we had for coming up from La Rochelle, it changed to North for going up to Ireland and after changing the voyage plan and heading for the Channel of La Manche it turned to ENE. Not often you got the chance of training a crew so intensely in tacking a little square rigger and now they know their lines by heart and we tack without dropping a sail including flying jib with an ever-smiling and joking crew.
After all, it´s a mental struggle, seeing the ship move with a good speed every day but not going anywhere, and that for 14 days. There is no escape from it, not for a moment, no real private space for one, no personal wishes fulfilled, no special treat just for oneself. But somehow this seems not so needed. All crew is delighted with the same treats out of the galley or someone’s stories or music. Privacy changes into sharing and taking care of ship and each other. Treats out of private stocks are shared with the watch, and knowledge of crew is shared with the trainees.
As we are slowly running out of lectures, today I have to tell about the time we were building the ship and how the idea of re- re- reintroducing cargo sailing came into our mind and what we expect or hope for the future.
Mostly we were thinking about efficiency. There is nothing more efficient in moving cargo than a sailing ship, no question about that. Energy comes out of the sky and the arms of sailors, all organic. The new crew pays for the apprenticeship, and the old crew gets paid for their work onboard and their investment in licenses and training. Cargo owners pay direct fees to the ship for the transport of goods per mile (direct distance) and the ship pays expenses for the crew, food, maintenance, agents, tows and paperwork. And now, for example, one hand plays a Spanish song on the guitar and the sounds come floating through the hatch. The word efficiency does not merely fit what is going on here.
For the conventional ship, you first have to dig out oil or gas, mostly through the sea bed. Nice job, good money for a few. Then you make a giant ship with not necessarily attractive lines. Also a nice job with good money for a few.
Then you sort out where you can get massive amounts of useless trash, produced by squeezed-out workers and fields in places where just the brokers and leaders get rich, for the demands of an intoxicated society listening to their space gurus talking about virtual shit.
Then you find a crew who speaks a bit of English, has no tacking experience needed, and go driving the boat. Not such a good job, except if you are captain or officer, where at least your time is accordingly paid.
They made highways for these ships because there are so many and you can see on the yellow horizon where the highways are. They don´t want sailing ships in there.
So efficiency realized by mistreated nature and people is no efficiency, that is clear now. HOW CLEAR CAN WE MAKE THAT, SO IT IS UNDERSTOOD?
1500 miles of sailing for 380 miles of distance in the most effective way possible.
We might realize that the JOY from some-thing which comes via that inefficient, now called conventional way, is not shared on the other side of the world, where it comes from. Not from men, not from nature. Just from a few open hands on the way which collect the dollar. And your space guru.
We finished the Lizards eye and are now for the first time heading for Copenhagen.