Tres Hombres blog: It’s not entirely the ship which defines seaworthiness

Preparing to go to sea..

So while we are at sea again, I would like to explain a little bit about preparing a ship to go to sea. As you have read in the previous weblog, we have been at anchor for two weeks. I write: we, with that I really mean the ship and her crew, because personally I only joined the ship two days before setting sail. So really most preparations found place under the command of my predecessor, captain Fabian Klenner. So what does it entail? To explain in short: crew, ship and gear has to be ready for sea.

Most crewmembers have been for quite a few months on board. The core crew: mate, cook, deckhands and one of the trainees, has been on board since her departure from Den Helder last year. Of the core crew, most of them sailed before that on Tres Hombres, and of the other crewmembers some of them have. This means there is quite a bit of experience on board to built on. And under the command of Fabian, several safety drills where carried out to keep the crew up to high standards of seamanship. For me off course, being the one new on board, I had to familiarize myself with the capabilities of the crew. Because really, on a sailing vessel like this, it is not entirely the ship which defines her seaworthiness but it is more the crew itself which brings safety, continuity and comfortable sailing. To do this, I had a personal interview with each crewmember, to understand their previous experiences on board, find out about their capabilities and discuss ideas and wishes for the coming trip. Apart from that I had a lot of conversations with Fabian to discuss the management on board and learn about the things, he found out, which worked or did not work.

The ship has proved herself throughout the past ten years under the flag of Fairtransport, and many decades in all different roles under previous owners. This does not mean there is nothing to prepare on her. You can compare a traditional wooden square rigged sailing vessel, with her millions of parts, who are all subject to change, because of weather conditions, wear and tear and maintenance, almost to a living creature. Like any living being, she needs to breath (ventilation), drink (paint, linseed oil, tar) and eat (wood, steel, oakum, pitch, rope and wire) to survive. To make this possible every year she gets a thorough refit, mostly during a period of about a month, this past year it was three months. And also her crew is constantly supporting the life of their vessel with maintenance. Some things are more obvious than others. The standing rigging needs tarring, greasing and tuning. The running rigging, attention to protection for wear and tear, and constant replacing of her parts. The hull needs pumping, re caulking and painting. Here was one of the reasons to be anchored the previous weeks. Because on the voyage from Columbia, back to the Dominican republic, her hull had received quite a beating, which made her more leaky than considered wanted to continue. So repairs where carried out, with the final filling up of seams with a special putty I had taken along from Europe.

Then the gear, which is usually looked upon as the main focus to prepare a ship. All spares, tools, charts, nautical books, stores, drinking water and fuel needs to be on board or brought on board. Gear, like machinery, instruments and safety gear needs to be in working order. And everything, including cargo, needs to be stowed and lashed properly and in a seamanlike fashion. For all of this, on Tres Hombres, we make use of a pre-departure checklist. So again, before proceeding, our fine vessel was deemed healthy again to go to sea.

Ahoy,
Capt. Jorne Langelaan

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

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/

Nordlys blog: Restoring the (possibly) oldest sailing cargo ship in the world

Like almost any other day I visited sailing cargo vessel Nordlys (1873) at Willemsoord , Den Helder. The ship has been refitted first at Teerenstra Shipwarf and is now lying in the Museum Harbour (http://museumhavenwillemsoord.nl ) getting ready and waiting for her cargo to arrive with her fellow sailing cargo vessel „Tres Hombres“. It is amazing to see what the crew of beautiful Nordlys is doing and has been done.

The bow of the ship has been trough a total rebuild including the focs’l where the crew will stay during the cargo trips in European waters. While sitting in the focs’l it occurs to me that the athmosphere there is tranquille it’s almost like a cosy coocoon keeping you safe from all the work and life on deck and the quay.

The deckbeams and planks have been replaced and a brand new anchor winch is nearly ready. The hull super strong, the galley is made ready,  the rigging is being checked and her crew is in good spirits.

The builders , who do this as volunteers , did and DO a great job and I thank them for making this happen. Restoring the (possibly) oldest sailing cargo ship in the world is in safe hands with them. http://fairtransport.eu/ships/nordlys/

CHAPPEAU!

Ahoy,
crew of sailing vessel Leprechaun

Tres Hombres blog: Fairtransport vaart door, ondanks wereldwijde hack

Op de dag dat de wereldhandel, via Maersk, de grote container rederij, werd platgelegd door internationale hackers, kreeg de Nederlandse duurzame rederij Fairtransport opdracht om met spoed, een van haar schepen naar Frankrijk te sturen met een lading opdracht. Omdat de schoenerbrik Tres Hombres toevallig net in de haven van Den Helder lag, klaar om een grote onderhoudsbeurt te krijgen, kon Fairtransport gelijk inspelen op deze opdracht.

De onderhoudsperiode werd direct uitgesteld, een bemanning van twaalf bemanningsleden en een kapitein werden opgetrommeld, proviand aan boord gebracht, en een lading rum ingenomen. Na enige hoofdbrekens werden agenten en douane bereid gevonden het papierwerk voor de uitklaring van dit duurzame transport te regelen. Ook de eigenaars van de sleepboot Gar waren direct bereid om op korte termijn het motorloze schip, vanuit de Helderse haven, de rede van Texel op te slepen.

Of deze lading werkelijk tot stand gekomen is door lading eigenaren die het vertrouwen in de containervaart verloren hebben, en alleen nog met zeilschepen hun vracht willen vervoeren, wil de kapitein geen uitlatingen over doen. Wel zegt hij: het is duidelijk dat de containervaart langzamerhand zijn geloofwaardigheid verliest. Het is natuurlijk belachelijk dat lading eigenaren alleen naar de prijs van een transport kijken. En niet naar het effect op het milieu, klimaat en leven op aarde voor onze medemensen, kinderen en kleinkinderen.

Ondertussen zeilt de Tres Hombres op de Noordzee met als bestemming Le Havre, Frankrijk. Hier gaat ze een volle lading wijn innemen. Welke weer in Den Helder zal worden overgeslagen op het zeilende vrachtschip Nordlys. Dit schip zal daarna naar Kopenhagen varen. Wie er ook in geloofd dat het tijd is voor een transitie in de transport sector kan zelf meedoen door: te investeren in een van de schepen, Nordlys of Tres Hombres, of voor elk bedrijf die iets vervoert, door de overstap te maken naar zeilschepen. Het is ook mogelijk om mee te varen. Meer informatie op: www.fairtransport.eu

Kapitein Jorne Langelaan

Tres Hombres blog: Don’t cut the seizing we gone sail.

TUESDAY WE HAD A MUSTER ON BOARD AT 9AM IN DEN HELDER AFTER THE VERY GOOD MARITIME EVENT. THE IDEA WAS CLEAR: TO PREPARE THE SHIP FOR THE BIG REFIT, IT MEANS TAKING DOWN GAFF, BOOM, MAIN SAIL OF THE MAIN MAST AND MAKE LOOSE THE RIGGING. WELL, NEXT MORNING ANDREAS COMES ON DECK TO SAY: DON’T CUT THE SEIZING WE GONE SAIL, AND THEN HE WAS GONE. HE LEFT US , WE WERE EXCITED. AT 3PM WE HAD CAPTAIN JORNE READY TO GO, IN 1 DAY A FRESH NEW CREW SAID YES…

WE ARE 13 MOTIVATED HUMANS ON THIS SEAWORTHY SHIP AND MORE BECAUSE WE STILL HAVE A PART OF MOTT GREEN ON THE HEAD OF THE FOREMAST, THE FOUNDER OF THE GRENADA CHOCOLATE FACTORY. NICE TO REMEMBER HIM WHEN WE WERE SAILING TOGETHER WITH JORNE TOO AND CREW IN 2012 FROM CARAIBE TO AZORES. I GIVING TO YOU A SECRET, EVERYDAY A CHOCOLATE BAR WAS HIDDEN IN THE COMPASS BOX, CREW WAS FULL OF MAGNESIUM AND HAPPYNESS.
NOW THE SKY IS GREY AND WET AND THE CREW TRYING TO GET USED OF THIS SHOPPY WAVES. WE EXPECTING A DECREASING WIND AND BLUE CLOUDS.

FOR THIS TRIP WE BOROUGH SOME PEOPLE FROM THE NORDLYS CREW. GREATINGS AND THANKS A LOT AGAIN FOR ALL BEAUTIFUL MOMENTS WE SPENT TOGETHER FOR EATING, PLAYING MUSIC, SHARING SMILES AND POETRY, AND OF COURSE THE WORKING SWEAT, ADVICES AND KNOWLEDGES OF EACHOTHER. WE ARE MAKING ALL TOGETHER THIS UNITY SPIRIT TO GO FORWARD. SEE YOU SOON LADIES AND GENTLEMEN TO CAST OFF YOUR MOORING LINES…

1ST MATE ANNE-FLORE GANNAT

Tres Hombres blog: The greatest expectations for the new cargo from the west

On the road again…

Pun ki šipak, how the people in Skradin would say, is the fine ship Tres Hombres again, underway homebound on a rough Caribbean sea. Fully loaded with organic cacao for the Chocolatemakers in Amsterdam, Colombian coffee for Simon Levelt, molasses for Feinbrennerei Simon’s, great Bayan hot sauce, many other specialities from all the places we hit and for sure: precious rum from La Palma, Barbados, Marie Galante and the Dominican Republic, bound to be Tres Hombres limited editions for this year.

Our new trainees arrived soon after us in Boca Chica and so could spend 2 weeks of preparing the ship and loading the cargoes in a relaxed way, getting to know a bit of the local hospitality and the open hearted appearance of the Dominicans. Almost every evening the presidente was shared around on deck, many times with people not noted on the crewlist…also the beach at swimming distance on La Piedra was home of a good barbecue with conversations and acrobatics around the fire. A fine time we passed in Boca Chica, also thanks to the football shirts from our friend Andre from La Paz in Porto.

And the Portwine! Soon it made the round through the authorities that there is an amazing wine onboard of that pirate ship…but where from?
As we age our carefully selected Tres Hombres Rum in our own barrels during the voyage at sea, we also choose which barrels we use. This year, with the help of our friend and client Anton Mann, we could get a number of Port barrels, directly loaded in Porto and still with some Late Vintage Tawny Port inside! Just to keep the barrels wet, as you might know…what a fantastic surprise when it turned out to be the finest Portwine, approved now officially for sailors use.

After filling the barrels at Oliver & Oliver in Santo Domingo, they finally arrived the day before leaving. Rum aged for 18 years in their solera, given the final touch by a Cuban Masterblender, will now move restlessly for months in their wooden houses, where the Portwine penetrated the oak deeply and all the bags of cacao and coffee form an insulation around the barrels so the angels will not drink to much of it. The next surprise will follow the day we open these barrels again…I will let you know;-)

For the meantime you can wish us fair winds and following seas and wait with the greatest expectations for the new cargo from the west, sailing on a good ship with a fine crew,

all the best

Captain Andreas

Tres Hombres blog: La lune, elle, brille de tous ses reflets sur l’océan

DATE: 16-12-16  GMT: 23-52 POS: 33-21.5 N, 013-54.2 W   COG: 209  SOG: 8.5

Il y a 5 minutes, la nuit était constellée de milliards d’étoiles: une splendeur…
Puis la lune gibeuse s’est lentement levée, jouant a cache cache avec des nuages qui s’attardaient au loin. Et petit a petit, des myriades d’étoiles se sont éteintes pour ne laisser que les plus connues. La lune, elle, brille de tous ses reflets sur l’océan.
Je ne me lasse pas de regarder les mouvements de cette eau toujours renouvelée, toujours différente, comme on regarderait bruler un feu de bois : toujours nouveau et sans cesse recommencé. Une merveille infinie.
Nous sommes plein vent arriere. Je suis de quart avec Daniel, Reinout, Eliana et Rémi, le second du bateau. La mer, bien agitée tout a l’heure s’est calmée, une bonne houle nous pousse dans le bon sens: notre cap pour La Palma  est parfait. Je suis tiré de mes reveries par la voix de Rémi qui décide de hisser la Course [grande voile carrée].
– Tu comprends, me dit-il, on a du bon vent et on se traine a 8 noeuds …
En cinq minutes c’est chose faite grace a la vigueur et au savoir-faire de mes compagnons. A présent ce sont des pointes a 11 noeuds [20 km/h]. Sur l’eau, avec la quantité de mer déplacée, c’est impressionnant.
Je retourne a mon poste, le nez dans les étoiles et le coeur léger : je n’ai rien d’autre a faire que de contempler. Je savoure ces petits moments de bonheur et la chance que j’ai de pouvoir les vivre …

Stagiaire Bruno

GENERAL SYNOPSIS: ON BOARD THE TRES HOMBRES

WIND DIR & SPD: NNW, 25-30 knots

CLOUDS: 6/8 Cumulus with wind

SEA STATE: 4-5m NW’ly swell

SEA TEMP: 17 C

AIR TEMP: 15 C

AIR PRES: 1027 hPa

Klaar voor vertrek in Douarnenez – by first officer Wiebe

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Na twee weken in Douarnenez geweest te zijn is het tijd verder te trekken. De vaten wijn zijn geladen, de stagen geteerd, de kaarten bijgewerkt, de kisten vastgesjord, de pizza en stokbroden gegeten, de cider gedronken, de stormzeilen uitgeprobeerd, het vrachtruim en zelfs het schijthuis geverft, vriendschappen gemaakt, de muziek gespeeld, het land is geroken. Tijd om de zilte lucht weer in te ademen, zo diep als je kan.

Het is tijd om terug te keren naar die oneindige oceaan. De Oceaan die vele gezichten heeft. De oceaan waar al zo veel over geschreven is, de oceaan die je moet beleven om erover te kunnen praten. De sterrenhemels zijn zo adembenemend dat zelfs de grootste stadslandrot even z’n mond houdt en alleen maar kan staren in de grootsheid.

Er komt wind aan. Je kunt het voelen in de avondlucht. Je kunt het horen aan het geritsel van de herfstbomen rond de baai, ook al versta je de franse taal niet, je kunt het horen aan de toon van het gemompel in de bar aan de haven. Nog maar een dubbele ronde door het vrachtruim en de rest. Alles goed vastgesjord maatje, tijd voor een laatste stokbrood. Kijken over de haven naar de bladeren, we zullen pas weer terug komen als de bomen een lichte groene waas hebben in het voorjaar.

Dag Frankrijk, en hallo oceaan, daar zijn we weer. Rollende over jouw golven, wacht in en wacht uit. Laat de winden ons in La Palma brengen waar de rum al ligt te wachten om door ons meegenomen te worden. Ahoy we komen er aan.

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Pictures of Tres Hombres in Copenhagen 2014

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