LAST BUT NOT LEAST: THANK YOU GROENESTEK!

LOCATION NOTES:

Den Helder: for those who have been around Tres Hombres since her early days, this name will ring more than one bell and recall many memories. It is a town in Noord Holland which faces the island of Texel and looks over the Wadden Zee, with its place in the maritime history of the Dutch navy and fleet.

This is where the headquarters are, in Willemsoord. Where Teerenstra is, the shipyard where Tres Hombres drydocks and gets refitted since 2008. Just on the other side of the canal from the shipyard, there is a green oasis called De Groene Stek, managed by Judith, a strong woman who would deny a smile to no one!

Judith has a great team who works with her in the garden, a team made by special people who would be let apart in society otherwise, people who are differently able but so often get described as disabled. They work setting goals which are tailor-made for everyone involved in the project, matching their personal needs and aiming for real improvements, mental and physical benefits, creating a safe place of acceptance where people otherwise rejected by society can learn new skills.
Through growing veggies and herbs, they grow themselves too! Gardening becomes therapy for them, probably the best and most effective, a way to stay socially connected letting Nature do the healing that is needed.

From there we take the veggies we need for the refits and for the beginning of the winter voyages for many years. We go there to harvest them ourselves, to chat with the people, to cut the apples that will dry in the oven and be served as snacks on board, and to spend some time in this urban oasis of organic agriculture.

Fairtransport and De Groene Stek are long-term friends, Judith has been supporting many cooks and provisioning the galley of Tres Hombres for a long time, during the refit as well as at sea.
And she is so stunningly generous that fresh veggies aren’t the only gift she provides! Let Eddie tell you more about it…

PROVISIONING:

So we are coming to the end of the winter voyage. Reflecting on the time that has passed there is a very clear group that contributed to making the galley what it was.
Groenestek! You have been with us the whole way, and every person on board knows and is so grateful for your gifts. Thank you for your abundant generosity!

A short summary of what they gave
us…

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Take a good look at her (By Natalia Boltukhova)

Take a good look at her!

The curves. The canvas. The tempting lines.
The salt, whispering from the crevasses in the weathered wood. The wind, the memory of which is trapped into the folds of the harbour
furl.

She is Tres Hombres, Tres for the crew. Trusty, steady, free.

What most might not realize is that she is so much more than an engine-free sailing cargo ship. Sure,
carrying rum, wine, gin, chocolate, and coffee, Tres sounds badass enough.
Her true power, however, lies in bending time and transforming space.
She navigates dimensions and realities with the same grace and ease that she does the waves.

Those stepping aboard soon feel the simultaneous pull of the gravity in one direction, and complete
freedom from it in another. Like surfing a wave on a humongous windsurf board.
In the one sense, the seeming downgrade in lifestyle conveniences common in what
we agree to call the developed world comes crashing down like saltwater splashing
you from behind while you’re scrubbing the pan after the dinner, in the dark, in the cold seawater,
while the world around you rocks back and forth.
Never stable, never entirely clean, all the while clad in layers of slightly damp “warm” clothes.
You know, The Reality.
The Reality of realizing that no other life form we know has showers with hot water switched
on with a turn of a valve. Or a bed that could fit six people, but only one sleeps in it.

The Reality of weightlessness in space and time, head up, gaze tracing the neuro-net
between the stars, back to the immediacy of compass and steering,
when the line between where the ship ends and you begin, blurs, like the horizon
stitching the ocean and the sky. The ship becomes the means through which
you become a complete, inseparable part of the entire world, galaxy, universe.
It is indeed, a transporting vessel, true that.

The Reality that despite our nature and nurture, we are all more similar
than we are different, that deep down we all crave love, understanding, and belonging.
Tres is capable of doing just that. It doesn’t matter where you step on and off.
Remember, she bends time and space. Where and when doesn’t matter.

Sixteen of us started this journey together in Den Helder, four stepping off in Douarnenez,
more joining in Baiona, and so on. Already it feels like parting with family.
Speaking of which, a few days in, with the watch routine setting in, the friendly bickering
between the crew sparkled here and there, adding to the whole family vibe,
no less than grinding more coffee beans than needed (and with a hand grinder no less!)
so that the other watch doesn’t have to do it;
or taking the load off the cook’s shoulders for a day, or taking one for the team scrubbing the toilet,
or rushing to cast off the correct line when in the heat of the moment
a less experienced one mixes them. That’s love and respect.

When you trust someone else – a complete stranger in the case of Tres – to have your back,
to keep watch while you sleep, bake the sourdough bread that you kneaded and put into the pans,
you cede the sole control of the situation, thus becoming part of something larger than yourself.
That’s your belonging.

When you and your crew member dangle bent over a swaying yard, folding the unyielding sail
desperately and fruitlessly trying to convince it to furl
(“Argh – for satan!” – a classic Danish sail coaxing spell),
hear the same response from the sail: “I’m just not meant to furl, hon”, that’s understanding.

And there you have it.

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Departure Tres Hombres (by Giulia Baccosi)

On a grey, Sunday afternoon our good ship Tres Hombres and her happy crew set sail and cast off lines to head where the fishes fly and the sun shines bright: the Caribbean paradise!

The refit is finally over, but a new chapter begins now for the sailing crew who hold in their hands a blank new page: they’ll write their own story of their sail cargo adventure because every voyage is unique and unrepeatable. As much as these papers wait to be filled in with memories, the cargo hold longs to welcome once again barrels of spirits and bags of beans.

There is always some sort of epicness blowing in the wind when this annual event comes! A surreal excitement vibrates in all the people present, on land, on the tug, on board. You can definitely feel it, almost touch it. So much work has been done and we were all looking forward to this moment to come: the ship is ready for her 13th voyage around the Atlantic!
This was made possible by all the commitment, dedication and hard work of us all. Well done, everyone! We did it together!

The land and refit crew, together with friends and family members, gathered on the quay in front of our headquarters in Willemsoord to wave their goodbyes and send their good wishes for the winds to be fair and the journey to be safe. Tres was looking dazzling after all the care she received in the past two months and the light that was sparkling in the eyes of the sailing crew was stunning.
Our loyal tugboat, the GAR, a historical vessel that celebrated its 100 years of activity on the water this year, came alongside to fast the lines. As tradition Capt. Dirk and his wife Louise towed the ship out of the locks into the North Sea while people onshore followed her way from the canal, the walls of the lock till the dike. Fair Winds Black Lady, see you when the winter ends!

The first encounter at sea has been with a massive oil rig platform, an image that strongly contrasts with the beauty of this wooden brigantine sailing by, remembering us why we do all this.
The last line went off and the topsail got raised first. Tres Hombres was finally free to do what she knows best: sailing the oceans powered only by the winds!

An unexpected twist happened just as we all thought that was it. A last-minute accident delayed the actual departure of a night: a crew member injured himself, lightly. For safety reasons, Captain Francois decided to drop anchor and as a precaution evacuate him with the rescue boat of the coast guard of Den Helder in order to bring him as quickly as possible to the hospital to be checked. You don’t go out at sea unless you’re totally sure that your crew is fully able! After confirming that it was only a minor injury, the crew member got back on board with a second ride of the tugboat and at dawn, they heaved up the anchor and headed off with the first morning lights. A final rush of stress for us all but that’s life: not always smooth as we wish but a constant surprising challenge and learning opportunity. The crewmate is now doing well and happily sailing along.

A challenging first leg awaits them now, a passage that will take them over the cold North Sea waters before passing the white cliffs of the Dover Straits which marks the entrance of the jam-packed English Channel, crowded with container ships, fishing vessels and windmill farms, sailing between the tides and the currents, by unstable winds and along and across the treacherous TSS (Traffic Separation Schemes). This is possibly one of the most technical legs of the whole journey, where weather and navigation require high levels of seamanship. Crossing the Atlantic is nothing compared to crossing the English Channel engineless!

Their first port of call is Douarnenez, an historical fishing port located in the most western part of the legendary Celtic region of  Brittany, in France. There, empty barrels and cargo will be loaded, together with good amounts of salted butter, apple juice and cider for the happiness of the crew.

Our brave sailors are out at sea now while we write and read, pushed by favourable winds while they slowly realize their dream is becoming true: they’re sailing the ocean engineless on the one and only Tres Hombres!

 

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Observations (by captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

Mornings are grey, afternoons are sunny.

Probably an effect from temperature changes.

Dense fog at times and horn sound from invisible creatures.

The Moon is growing each day among the stars.

Breads rise well and overflow into the bottom of the oven and are delicious.
The four cans of tea and coffee are very often filled up due to the annual usual frozen summer in the North sea.

Stories and laughter at night go well in many directions.
The proud crew is tacking the ship as if it was their children’s toy.

Falcons and birds dare to pause on deck or on the yards and fly away when we move around the canvas.

The culinary experience is still a pleasure these days.
Twelve mackerels ended up in the oven, two were missing…for the vegetarians’ demand, they got it for the next meal. Yep, sausages have been shared too.

Beauty and serenity of tight ropes and slack lines, standing or running, ready to be activated, to be touched.
Not all of them are meant to be embraced, nevertheless they are essentials.

Mystery of life, what is the message sent when the wind isn’t turning into a convenient way.
Okay, the convenience is dictated by nature. Find resourcefulness draw from deep.
Being a drop of water in this immensity, a grain of dust on the planet and I forget to find reasons for every matter.

Just go on the dear seas.

Just observe.

Sentinel of faraway.

A-F

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Het benedendeksels orkest (by Merlijne Marell)

Ergens tussen 14:00 en 19:15 word ik wakker in het foxhole door een combinatie van heftige golfbewegingen en de daarbij behorende geluiden.

Naast me, aan de andere kant van de boothuid, snelt het water in een kolkende, bruisende stroom. Iets hoger klinkt de golfslag, de typische af- en aanzwellende ruis van de zee. Af en toe krijgt de boot een opdonder, een dreun van een golf beukt een eigenwijze richting.
Binnenin het schip kraakt ‘t hout van de bedden, kletsen voorwerpen tegen de mast, schommelen kleren en klimtuigen aan de waslijnen.
Er dringen kookgeluiden vanuit de galley via de drystore naar beneden. Ook de drystore zelf laat haar orkest van schuddende potten en een rammelende ankerketting klinken.
Iemand daalt naar beneden om uit de voorraad te putten en ik hoor het schrapzetten, het opendraaien van een vat, het wiebelen van een kom.
Op het dek roept iemand iets over de innerjib, opgevolgd door een meerstemmig ‘twooo… six, twooo… six.’

Een slapeloze poos later: ‘Goodmorning foxhole, it is a quarter past seven and time for dinner and your watch.’

 

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Die „Tres Hombres“ auf dem Trockenen (von Daniel Haller)

Freiwillig und gemeinsam

Die Männer schnappen sich Handschuhe, einer behilft sich mit einer Decke. Dann kommt der Deckel am Ende das langen Kastens weg. Dampf steigt auf. Rasch holen sie die heiße Planke raus. Aber halt: Unter einer Planke stellt man sich ein Brett vor. Diese hier gleicht aber mit 8 cm Dicke eher einem Balken. Sie bringen ihn zum Backbord-Achterschiff der auf dem Trockenen stehenden „Tres Hombres“, wo entfernte Planken ein Loch im Rumpf hinterlassen haben, durch das man das ehemalige Stevenrohr sehen kann aus der Zeit, als das Schiff noch unter Motor fuhr. Routiniert fixieren sie das spitz zulaufende Ende mit Schraubzwingen an der unter dem Loch liegenden Planke fest, pressen es mit einem Balken und Stahlpressen an den Rumpf. Dann wird klar, weshalb Schraubzwingen ihren Namen tragen: Meter für Meter zwingen sie die ursprünglich gerade Planke an den gewölbten Rumpf, geben ihr so auch die notwendige Verwindung. Nach rund einer halben Stunde Hin und Her schmiegt sich das dicke Holz an den Rumpf, kann über Nacht abkühlen und so die Form annehmen, mit der es in die Außenhaut des Schiffs passt.

Stundenlang haben die Freiwilligen, die bei der jährlichen Überholung der „Tres Hombres“ mitarbeiten, in umfunktionierten Gasflaschen Wasser gekocht, den Dampf mit dicken Schläuchen in die Kammer geleitet, die mit alten Schlafsäcken und Wolldecken isoliert ist. Gleichzeitig haben andere an weiteren Planken gearbeitet, aus langen Sperrholzstreifen Schablonen gefertigt, aus den roh in der Sägerei geholten Douglasienbohlen die grobe Form herausgeschnitten, gehobelt, geschliffen. Eine gestern bereits mit Dampf vorgeformte Planke an Steuerbord haben sie eingesetzt, mit Stahlpressen, Wagenhebern, Keilen und Schraubzwingen befestigt, mit einem grossen Schlägel in die Position geklopft und sie dann wieder heruntergeholt, um die letzten Anpassungen von Hand auszuhobeln. Die Endmontage am späten Nachmittag will noch nicht klappen. Sie nimmt fast den ganzen nächsten Tag in Anspruch.

Innen ist das Schiff weitgehend leer. Die Zwischenwände sind entfernt, selbst die stählernen Wassertanks wurden aus ihrer Verankerung gehoben, damit die Spanten zugänglich wurden, an denen die alten befestigt waren und neuen Planken mit dicken Schlosserschrauben befestigt werden. Zugleich kommt man so an Stellen heran, die man sonst nicht entrosten könnte. Der Lärm der mit Druckluft betriebenen Nadel-Entroster, der Handhobelmaschinen und Winkelschleifer, mit denen an verschiedenen Stellen gearbeitet wird, wäre zwischendurch ohne Gehörschutz nicht auszuhalten. Trifft man sich zur Kaffeepause oder Mittagessen, tauchen aus dem Rumpf staubige Gestalten auf. Wer zwischendurch eine helfende Hand benötigt, findet sie schnell.

Was beim ersten Eindruck noch als Chaos erscheint, stellt sich schnell heraus als Ansammlung guten Willens, der mit wenigen Worten zu koordinieren ist. Wie auch an Bord spricht man Englisch. Dazwischen ist Französisch zu hören, Deutsch und Holländisch. Ebenso vielfältig wie die die Herkunft sind die Berufe: Eines Morgens steht eine kanadische Flugzeugmechanikerin mit Pinsel und Farbe auf dem Gerüst, die ihren Job bei Boeing aufgegeben hat. Der Deutsche Elektroingenieur, dem seine Aufgaben in der Autoindustrie nicht mehr gefallen haben, schreinert seine erste Planke. Sie passt. Und als ich beim Ausbau des total verrosteten Türschlosses des Niedergangs zum Foxhole eine Trennscheibe benötige, mit der nicht ungefährlichen Maschine aber keine Erfahrung habe, greift der Ungar mit den Dreadlocks für mich zur Flex. Er bringt sowohl Erfahrung aus der Schwerindustrie mit als er auch als Videoproduzent tätig war. Den Ersatz für das Relief am Bug, das bei der Rückkehr über den Atlantik zu Bruch ging, schnitzte eine junge holländisch Schreinerin, die auf einem Neunmeter Boot wohnt wie anderswo Alternativjugendliche im Bauwagen. Gestrichen wird das Werk dann von der deutschen Holzbildhauerin mit Architekturstudium. Hämmert auf der einen Seite des Schiffs elektronifizierter Rap aus dem Lautsprecher durch den Maschinenlärm, läuft auf der anderen Seite Mali-Blues und Fela Kutis Afropop.

Die Jobs verteilt ein Holländer, der seit Beginn der „Tres Hombres“ dabei ist. Ihn langweilte seine Arbeit auf dem Bau zunehmend, weil es immer mehr nur noch um die Montage vorgefertigter Häuser gegangen sei. Dann wird mit lautem Hallo die israelische Schiffsoffizierin begrüsst, die auch gleich noch eine Freundin in Arbeitsklamotten mitgebracht hat. Der französische DJ, der seine elektronische Ausrüstung auf jenem Schiff installiert hat, auf dem wir provisorisch untergebracht sind, hobelt von außen die neu eingesetzten Planken glatt, während der ehemalige Testski-Fahrer und Outdoorartikel-Vermarkter aus Frankreich und eine Rigg-Spezialistin aus Holland Hanf in die Ritzen hämmern und diese dann mit Teer verschließen. „Love Tar“ – „liebe Teer“ – hat jemand mit einem schwarzen Handabdruck auf den im Freien stehenden Kühlschrank geschrieben, der Butter und Käse für die Zwischenmahlzeiten oder das Feierabendbier beherbergt.
Theoretischer Arbeitsschluss ist um um sechs, aber vor halb sieben beginnt kaum jemand, die Werkzeuge wegzuräumen, die Kabel aufzurollen und die Hobelspäne mit dem Besen zusammenzuwischen. Die meisten sind noch nie auf der „Tres Hombres“ mitgesegelt. Einige hoffen, in Zukunft mal mitfahren zu können, andere sind mit leuchtenden Gesichtern einfach nur so stolz darauf, hier gegen Bett und Essen beim Aufbau einer Alternative mitzuhelfen.

Von Corona gebremst
Mittwoch, Tag-und-Nacht-Gleiche, Herbstanfang: Der Wind ist heftig. Die flache Schale mit der Farbe reisst er mir fast aus der Hand. Tauche ich die Rolle in das Schwarz auf Leinölbasis, reisst manchmal eine Bö einen Farbfaden in die Luft. Solange ein Kollege mit Abdeckband die Wasserlinie abklebt, muss ich deshalb aufhören, um ihn nicht zu bekleckern. Später „verfolgt“ er mich und streicht seinerseits mit kupferhaltiger Antifoulingfarbe den Bereich unterhalb des Abdeckbands, während mit ein schwarzer Farbtropf aufs linke Brillenglas fliegt, als ich den Rumpf über der Wasserlinie mit elegant glänzendem Schwarz überziehe.
Vor anderthalb Wochen haben wir die Whisky-Planke eingesetzt. So heisst die letzte Planke, die den Rumpf wieder verschließt und die – analog zur Aufrichte bei einem Gebäude an Land – mit einer Flasche der entsprechenden Spirituose und einer kurzen Ansprache gefeiert wird. Damit war die Arbeit an der Außenhaut aber längst noch nicht abgeschlossen: Neben dem Kalfatern der Fugen mit Hanf und Teer haben wir all die Löcher, in welche die Schrauben versenkt sind, mit Holzzapfen verschlossen. Neben den neuen Planken wurden all die kleinen Stellen geschliffen und grundiert, an denen der alte Anstrich abblättert. So bekam der Rumpf das Aussehen eines Flickenteppichs – da macht nun der Schluss-Anstrich doppelt Freude.

Trotz des Windes ist die Stimmung fast euphorisch. Zwar hätten wir die Tres Hombres heute ins Wasser lassen wollen. Doch die allgegenwärtigen Corona-Schutzmassnahmen haben den Fortgang der Arbeit verzögert. Aber nun steigt die Stimmung: Überall wird gestrichen, diesmal zu Latino-Rhythmen. Endspurt. Das Schiff soll übermorgen ins Wasser. Die Party werde ich allerdings verpassen: Da in ganz Europa die Corona-Zahlen steigen, hätten meine Angehörigen in der Schweiz kein Verständnis, wenn ich den Aufenthalt verlängern würde. So mache ich mich auf den Heimweg. Aber das Gefühl sagt: Es muss ja nicht das letzte Mal gewesen sein.

Not under command under control (by captain Anne-Flore)

Wonderful progress towards west yesterday.

The front is passing now with rain and the wind died. We brailed up the main and braced square. It is the trimming for waiting for any kind of wind. The ship is heading north but drifts east. We can only try to drift slower what we don’t want now by “steering” a certain way.
Not under command, patience is the religion here. We don’t choose, so we wait. We try not to complain because we know that it is going to influence the mood of everyone.
And what are 300 miles? (till Den Helder) It is just 2 days with a fair wind, which I know will come.

On Sunday, we take a break from jobs and maintenance. According to such absent breeze, I gave a box of table games for the crew to play in the galley.
Also, we know that our colleagues from Avontuur went sailing around Scotland and soon they will show up in the North sea maybe crossing our path before going home.

Anne-Flore

Tres Hombres blog: That Leaving Feeling

I caught it again this year, as we slipped our mooring in Willemsoord, Den Helder, and headed out for Den Helder lock and the open sea; that leaving feeling. It must be similar to what seafarers felt in the old days, pre-globalization and pre-internet, when leaving for an eight month’s voyage meant likely no news from home for the whole trip, no contact with the familiar ways and people and places. It’s like the wind over the ocean, that feeling, bracing and exhilerating and a little bit frightening. Awe-inspiring. It’s knowing that you don’t know what’s about to happen, but knowing that you’ll do your best to face it bravely. It’s like the moment before you jump from a high place into water. You take your courage as you find it and leap with all your heart, because a half-hearted leap is only a stumble.

Unlike those old sailors, I will have news from my friends and family for the next eight months, I will exchange emails and pictures and phone calls, keep up with what’s going on in my hometown, what changes and what remains the same. But I have cast off my lines from my land life, and headed out into the unknown, under bright stars and sun, through foggy days and rain-filled nights. I go with my whole heart, I hope, and all my courage, and whatever new horizon tomorrow brings I will keep my eyes as open as I can to see it. The lines are off. The ship is free. Who can say what will happen next?

Elisabeth, deckhand

Sail along with the Tres Hombres from rum destination to rum destination. Taste the delicious Tres Hombres Rum before it arrives in Europe next summer. 
Cross the ocean and enjoy the wildlife of the Atlantic Ocean. 
Jump into this great adventure … a once in a lifetime experience!
Sign on: 16th of December in Santa Cruz de la Palma to Barbados, 2460nm. Only two spots available for the quick decision makers.
For more info: http://fairtransport.eu/sail-along/ or email booking@fairtransport.nl

Update Tres Hombres Refit

Till now we took down the main mast, we cut a big hole in the deck to remove the tanks in the officers/ library compartment. We dismantled the chartroom, the lazarette storage, the bosuns locker, the captains cabin, the library and the officers cabins, the dry store, the forepeak and some of the f’ocsle. There is also a nicely organised workshop container!
We also treated the whole hull from the insideand needle scaled all frames from the library aft.
Tomorrow we will start painting them. The tanks in the library are being rebuild and the black water tank modified.
The main mast chainplates are removed and some of the frames underneath replaced.
Outside we are changing around 20 planks and a third of the ship is already recaulked.
This is only possible because of our amazing volunteers from all over the world. I think the one travelled furthest is our Mexican dentist! Anyways, no differences made – literally everybody is doing all they can do and they invest all their energy in this lovely barge. Thank you!!

If you want to learn something new, if you want to improve your skills, if you have been a caulking mallet yourself for years, if you are any type of crafts(wo)man, if you are eager to help and knock a heavy mallet on your already sore knuckles, posh things up or play the flute to keep the spirits up or if you “just” want to help in Den Helder, Netherlands – please contact crew@fairtransport.nl Learn more: http://fairtransport.eu/tres-hombres-refit-2018-come-and-join/

Tres Hombres blog: The thousands and one sounds of the ship

My watch mates are resting quietly around me in the darkness of the focastle. The thousands and one sounds of
the ship, the Bosun tools noises, the salty sailors boots heavy steps running on the foredeck, the yelling of the maneuvers (an hard-core symphony which might have sounded creepy or disturbing in the beginning of the trip but now incredibly familiar), together with the glassy waters knocking at the hull close to my ears compose a lullaby, the melody of an old hand-and-heart-made boat that has its own soul and spirit, that breaths as a living creature, that speaks, whispers, cry and shout, at its own way, in its own language.
The red light of my headlamp, which is restricted on deck by the Captain in order to get our eyes sharper and able to see even in the darkest moonless night, brights my bunk and these pages, making me feel alone somehow, if “alone” is a word with a meaning on board of a sailing cargo ship of walkable 25mt shared with 15 sailors. Being alone is a luxury of the land, and personally my biggest saudade on board. So I grab this precious moment and surf this intimate wave of sharing with you some impressions of this whole voyage, now that it is almost over. Yes, almost. Because on an engineless sailing vessel it is hard, pointless, counterproductive and even dangerous to tell such things.
Even if the betting already started nobody can predict with certitude when we will fold the sails, step on the quay, open a fresh beer and looking back at Her saying to ouselves “it is over”. Everything can be, everything can change. You never know. You cannot know. You can do your best, but still it is not you to decide.
The old chinese proverb “if you want to make Gods laughs, tell them about your plans” is truer than ever here and finds its perfect demonstration on the Tres Hombres. The ship and the elements are fully owner of our destinies. Isnt that epic great? So we are almost there and it is time for my watch to begin, lets see what it will be.

The summer trip seems to be a different experience to the way longer transatlantic crossing, but still it is something, especially for some brand new fresh sailors as most of us.
We crossed (without particularly fair winds and currents) the English Channel twice in less than a month, the damned tricky unreliable English Channel with its unpredictable winds and its scaring intense cargo monsters traffic. This has its sailing, nautical but also emotional consequences, repercussion on moods and dynamics, on deck or down in the bunks, as well as inside and outside yourself. This can mean for example that when there is no wind and you feel stuck and bored, kind of useless with no ropes to pull, you can easily get also stuck into a quarrel between peanut butter maniacs and chocolate paste lovers, which it is not such an important either interesting issue, if you know what I mean. The presence or absence of the wind, being anchored in the middle of the Channel unable to move, drifted away or backwards by the currents, the stillness of the wait, all very very tricky elements, and you have to learn how to take care of them. It is therefore very important to keep yourself busy, at least for me it is a strategy that helped a lot. Go to Bosun asking for tasks, take care of the ship to show your love and respect to her, hoping that he will send you up in the riggings, maybe to oil the leather around the shrouds, and there hidden by the sail in the silence of the sky you can listen to your heart beat so loud, making all the other voices quiet, finally.

Sitting on the galley roof staring at the tanks which seem to have released all their petrol cargo on the surface of the sea, so quiet and oily as it looks, witnessing one of the dirtiest fact of our society, a secret hidden in the oceans were every day thousands of thousands of thousands of metal monsters,spitting stinky gases and smokes, whose bellies are filled with a pure foie-gras style with all kinds of evil goods and cheap shit for all kinds of pockets, coming and going from and to all kinds of places, all kinds of materials, colors, shapes, flavours… it seems like we need it, it looks like we desperately need it considering the speed they travel in order to deliver their cargo on the other side of a planet. But do we? Really? What for? And Why? (ps. WHY NOT IS NOT AN ALLOWED FUNNY ANSWER). Are we able to reconsider completely, till the roots, our consumption? Am I?
How many questions, new and old ones, melting together in the messy pot of your mind…and from the outside they sneak into the inside and all the little things and details and events of just a single watch can be strong heartquakes, especially if you are an hopeless empathic sensitive human as I am or used to be? A huge refit of myself started, the one that was waiting for some time now but on land you know… there are lots of ways to postpone it, not to say avoid it. On board of the Tres Hombres, there is no escape from yourself. Your ego will try to trick and tease you but if you accept the challenge and the pain that eventually comes with, you can live a very blow-minding experience. Tolerance, acceptance, adaptation, self confidence and self questioning, the discover of the potentiality of your body, the power of the trust or distrust, in yourself and in the others, the strenght that turns into weakness and reverse, your certitudes upside down… and then the wind starts to blow again and somehow you get through it and you survive your own self while pulling ropes or adding extras crazy sails. or sliding the stunsail boom under the yard inside after having gybed it for the first time believing you cannot do that without making some bullshit… but your beloved one right next to you believes in you, so why wouldnt you?…And you just do it.

I wont go deeper into details, the salty sailors who are reading these lines will probably remember, recognize,understand or at least know what the hell I am talking about and some words could eventually recall some old memories of their very first waves, and the curious followers of the adventures of this ship and her crew are warmly invited to step closer and taste the salt of our personal challenges and mission while we are also sailing cargo pushed only by the winds. The harder the environment, the greater the lesson!
We all have our own hells and heavens, our skeletons and untied knots, dreams and nightmares, and there is nothing more interesting and that will make you feel so connected with yourself, with all the dark and shiny shades of this self, than sailing here. So personally I feel blessed and I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to face this me and eventually, hopefully, grow stronger and be a better being. I promise to myself not to give up on this quest as well as on understanding how this sailing masterpiece and the elements work together and bring us from A to B emission free. Who knows, maybe my path will keep me here for a little more if life will decide I deserve some more of this magic, or somewhere else seeking the same beautiful thrills that made me feel so alive, the learning crashed, the painful downs and unforgettable ups.

I want to thank all the crew, for the good and for the bad, I learned something very important from each of you. And a special one to our Captain, a humble guy who is a pure wild sailing living legend, ready to everything, unpredictable as the winds he loves, who opened up the arms of his knowledge and experience with patience and respect, smartness and balance, it is a true honor to pull the same rope, execute his orders, listening to the explanations of maneuvers, the afternoon lectures or the sunset readings, the generosity to welcome us on board and share his floating home with us, unknown strangers. I have a long list of memories and moments to be grateful for but I will keep it for me.
You are all free to write your own joining this outstanding project to improve yourself and the world living a true life changing adventure.

“We have been longing to see it even if it was missing, but the treasure is there, for sure. Hidden by trickster demons and lost in the labyrinths of our questions and answers” Corto Maltese

Giulia