December 3, 2019
- Log

On the way to La Palma (Chris Verhoeven/Trainee)

We are heading towards La Palma with a constant northerly wind. There were times when I – and other trainees – wished we were there… But our sacrifice to Neptune completely turned the tide. Our 'land mode' has been replaced by the rhythm of the sea. Clock time has been replaced by the routine of 4 hours of watch (0:00 - 4:00 am), 4 hours of rest, 6 hours of watch, 6 hours of rest, 4 hours of wait and so on around the clock. The body is used to the constant movements and that makes the lessons in old school sailing, doing odd jobs and enjoying starry skies, fluorescent plankton and the changing sight of the waves and skies spectacular.
I have no idea if there is a real sailor in me, but observing what happens in the atmosphere, with the ship, in the closer group and within myself is exciting enough as far as I am concerned. I can sail a bit, but now it is also important to know all the English expressions. 'Get the slack out off the braces!' 'Ease the course sheet!' And there are a whole series of other expressions that I am hearing here for the first time.
The biggest challenge for myself is to look at the mast from above. At least when I get the chance to do so, because wherever you are, there is always something to do. I enjoy the craftsmanship of the crew. And the camaraderie between people who all believe that the capitalist system we are all in, including freight transport by sea, deserves a kick in the ass. But my greatest respect goes out to the engine that keeps Tres Hombres running: Soraia, our super chef. She knows how to serve us beautiful meals under 'really tough conditions'. We have already achieved more than 500 fossil-free nautical miles! Trouble Obrigado, Soraia!

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