March 20, 2020
- Log
Tres Hombres

Bird-free back on the ocean (By Wiebe Radstake)

We are back on the ocean, after more than three months, four islands, a continent, dozens of tons of Cocoa and coffee, loading barrels full of rum, saying hello to crew, friends, saying hello to new friends, after not being able to sleep due to the heat , stormy winds in Colombia, calm behind St. Vincent, meetings with old smuggling sailing captains, setting and taking down sail dozens of times, after walks on deserted beaches, looking for a way through crowded tourist places, after calling home, after much homesickness but also a intense happiness combined, it was time to cross the ocean again. The hold, the crew quarters, everything on board the Tres Hombres is full of cargo for Amsterdam.
After getting away from the Dominican Republic close to the wind, crossing the Mona Passage, we were back on the ocean this morning. Another 5000 meters under the keel. The ocean swells from three meters upside down, an automatic deck wash every few minutes!
We feel like outlaws, we finally know what it is to be outlaws. We have water on all sides of the ship as far as you look, we can go in all directions but we don't know where we can moor. The freedom of an outlaw: with the virus haunting Europe, we don't know where we can sail next. We entered the ocean, healthy and in good spirits, although I can say that it is strange not to know exactly where we will arrive. With an engineless freighter it is difficult to estimate the time it will take for an ocean crossing. And now on top of that, the first port is also difficult to estimate. We sail on, first goal: Horta like all previous years. If we cannot get in there in three to four weeks, we will sail straight to Europe. Extra water and provisions have been bunkered, we can stay at sea for six weeks if necessary. Not that we want that: I would prefer to be at home with my pregnant wife right now, but if this is fate, we will no longer complain because what a moth, yes that moth.
So far the ocean is beautiful, yesterday in the Mona Passage we had about 3 squalls with wind shifts and a lot of rain every watch. Now a nice northeasterly breeze (5bft) and sunny weather, the Tres rears and rolls beautifully against it. We want to go North, near Bermuda we hope to encounter the Westerlies and roll towards the East North East. In the meantime, even the worst seasick person is back on their feet and everyone is in a good rhythm. We enjoy the sun, the waves over deck, Galley and even over the helmsman; I read books by Slauerhof and Nescio. Two traditional Dutch writers who can tell beautiful stories about the water and Holland. We are sitting on the water, Holland is what I long for, although I will continue to believe in living in the now: in a world that is in crisis, we are perhaps in the best place. For the first time in years, this method of transport is the fastest way to get from the islands to the Netherlands (since there are hardly any flights between the Caribbean and Europe anymore). Instead of worrying about viruses, I look at the compass, can the helmsman go a little higher, get a little more speed out of the ship? We are on our way back and, as beautiful as this is, I am in a hurry for understandable reasons!

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