Crew and trainees alike tend to have a variety of motivations that bring them to sailing on Tres Hombres. But even more varied than their motivations is their personalities & backgrounds. Building a crew out of those who arrive takes time, but time goes fast when you are sailing together 24 hours a day. Most of our lives we have a lot of control over who we spend time with in the world and for most people, this means we spend a lot of time with a small number of people that we get on with easily (or at least that we are used to). Onboard we have no choice who is going to share our crew list. We spend 12 hours a day with people we would never choose, but often the friendships that are harder to forge are stronger for the process.
I am still in contact with many of those whom I have sailed with, so I wanted to offer a brief caricature of a few from my crew lists.
The Finnish Glassblower – Happiest in heavy weather, or when a sufficient amount of chaos is going on as to keep life interesting. Direct, black sense of humor, knows 17 different ways to kill you with a knife (but of course never would)
The UN Translator – Speaks 6 languages fluently and others partially. But quit translating after 20 years, largely due to being frustrated at the glacial pace of policy change at the UN. Decided to become an illustrator and spends a lot of time onboard drawing.
The Redheaded Nurse – Before escaping to Tres, was assisting in emergency heart surgeries, including on newborn babies. Knows how to crack open a rib cage and has held a beating human heart in her hands.
The Austrian Clown – Comes from a clowning family, which will make a lot of sense if you meet him, or even just hear his laugh. He is deceptively good at chess… Runs on approximately 20L of peanut butter per day.
The Mini Viking – Is small, but was building Viking boats in Denmark for several years and is very strong. Don't anger her…
The Gangsta Wolf – Always wearing a tracksuit and a bandana, talks in the absolutes of a Ukrainian Mob Boss and is on top of any situation. Unless his wife calls (who is the real boss) in which case his reading glasses go on so he can reply to her texts.
The Specialist – A private doctor usually earning €400/hour. Always nice to have onboard for a free consultation, often found naked washing in a bucket in the library. Somehow manages to be always perfectly trim in even the worst weather onboard, while the rest of the crew is regressing to caveman attire.
The Danish Brew Master – Runs a microbrewery on the island of Bornholm, but is also a keen tall-ship sailor. Never mind baking bread onboard, how about gently simmering beer on the stove, then fermenting it on deck on a silent night.
The German Pedagogue – Usually found looking after lost children (and often her husband), so life onboard is not so different (especially since her husband is onboard). Pedagogical skills certainly come in handy on a ship like Tres.
The Dutch Actress – Stolen onboard by the Captain in Amsterdam, she adapted well as the ship's cook as well as the captain's bard. Like any good actress, she is a keen observer of people, with a sharp eye for any drama onboard.
The Acupuncturist (or “the sadistic Mum”) – At first only found in the galley, but once she became adept at dodging flying kitchenware, she started to return to her old hobby of putting needles in anyone who would let her (be it medical, for a tattoo or just procrastination)
The British IT guy – When not bound to his bunk by seasickness he can be found snacking on everything and anything available. Likes to postulate riddles, questions and queries for people to ponder on long night watches.
The Silent Frenchman – Usually seen listening carefully to all conversations going on around him. It is never known exactly how much he understands or remembers… It is rumored that he may one day write a book on his listening, we would be interested to read…
As I write this I am already meeting new personalities onboard. If you come sailing with us, you can look forward to getting to know your own Crew List.