Age: 28
Nationality: FRENCH
Position on board: BOSUN
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
I’ve been a physiotherapist, but now for 4 years, I have been working on tall ships.
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
It was directly a ship, Hermione. I met l’Hermione at a maritime festival and I saw people working and sailing on it, who were absolutely not professional sailors. Just ‘normal’ people. So I applied and that’s how it started for me.
A book I recommend is ‘Carnet du cap horn’ and ‘ Deux années sur la gaillard d’avant ‘ [Two Years Before the Mast].
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
You really need to take a knife, spike, and a lot of tar and linseed oil. And personally, I brought Mout-Mout and Moska (a big sheep and a little monkey).
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Connections (in a general meaning), so you can focus on the little community around you.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
Somewhere in the rigging, it doesn’t matter where just up there.
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Plenty of things! But I especially love the fact that there are no engines: not for the ship, not for the anchor winch nor the bilge. Also, the food, which is mostly vegetarian, and so the cook, who is preparing it.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Bosuns Are Magical (to be read on the first mate’s t-shirt).
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one would she be?
A small and fast whale.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
Fear: responsibilities of my role.
Satisfaction: what a nice crew we have! Really motivated people, I am so happy about that!
Why Tres Hombres?
…because I got lucky !

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Crew visit at Conacado (by Martin Keil)

For more than 10 years Tres Hombres is carrying cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic back to Amsterdam.

On Thursday, the 24th of February the Tres crew went on a field trip to the backland of the island to meet the farmers of the cooperative Conacado. The inner backland is the agricultural centre of the country. On the 3 hours bus trip to San Francisco, we saw large plantations of rice and banana passing along the street. The cooperative is a local enterprise that hosts 10.000 cocoa farmers. The annual production is approximately 80.000 tons of cocoa. The small farms are up to a size of 20ha to avoid a monoculture in the area.

Cosme Guerrero, the operational manager, explained the mission of Conacado. Farmers get support from specialists to plant organic cocoa to the highest sustainability standards to increase the crop. They are also shareholders and decision-makers in the annual assembly. This mission results in a higher resilience and independence of the farmer. It also improves the price stability of cocoa and increases the social-political impact of these communities.

Cosme gave us a tour around the modern factory. They produce cocoa powder, oil and butter. In the labs, samples are tested to receive the quality requirement of the licenses. In the factory, the shell of the cocoa bean is separated to be used as a natural fertilizer. In another step, the beans got roasted and ground before becoming the final products. Everything is automated and controlled by computer programs. Solar power is covering 20% of the energy consumption of processing cocoa from 4,2-4,6 Mwh. At the end of our tour, we have got a delicious hot chocolate from their own production. In exchange, we brought some of the chocolate that gets produced in Amsterdam with their beans.

After a local meal with local food, we drove to the village Comedero to visit one of the plantations of organic cocoa. First, the cocoa beans are fermented for 6 days, the process of fermentation increases the flavour of the cocoa. Many customers, like the Europeans, prefer a stronger cacao flavour. On the site, there are greenhouses to dry the cocoa beans. For eight days the beans have to be dried and turned every 45 min with a wooden rake.

On the plantation, the cocoa trees there are up to 80 years old and grow happily in a humid warm climate. The harvest time is between February and May when the fruits are turning yellow and orange. All fruits are harvested by hand. Manuel, one of the farmers who was showing us the plantation emphasized there is a change due to the global warming effect in the last years. Longer dry periods and longer wet periods put the plants under stress with the result of a lower crop and shorter lifespan.

In the late afternoon, we went back by bus passing picturesque villages and landscapes and arrived at our ship at 8 pm. It was a very inspiring trip for all of us.

We gained a deeper understanding and relationship of the farming and processing of cocoa and we were impressed by the strong social mission of the cooperation Conacado. The next day we received 10 tons of cocoa beans in bags of 70kg for the Chocolate Makers in Amsterdam. Their fermented aroma will guide us on our way back to Amsterdam.

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Meet the crew


Age: 32
Nationality: GERMAN
Position on board: DECKHAND
Former occupation on land (aka how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
Before joining the world of tall ship sailing, I was employed as a social worker providing psycho-social support, care, and protection for children. I also used to work as an outdoor pedagogue and got myself quite involved in a farm project based on animal-assisted therapy. Mountains can keep you busy as well!
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
When I was a kid, I used to live in Italy with my family on the island Elba, where my aunt was running a sailing school. This place was kind of a Kindergarten for me. I guess that it was the very first spark! I also went sailing with my father when I was younger. But mostly it has always been a…feeling. I don’t know why, but I felt like longing to connect myself to the sea and the wind, to leave the Alps and my mountain life behind. A song I was listening to a lot in the past while dreaming of a life at sea was ‘Le vent nous portera’ by Noir Desir, covered by Sophie Hunger. Now, after all this time and especially after the crossing of the Atlantic, the meaning of it [being carried by the wind] has deeply changed.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Boots, awareness, music (instrument and headphones), sense of humour, a proper piece of old dutch gouda or parmesan, gratitude, chocolate for the crew (and especially for my officers, so that they can forget more easily when I do something stupid), a generous portion of Zen, quickdrawl, waterproof bag, self-mockery, patience, a really (really) waterproof gear (jacket and trousers), a knife, harness and joy.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Doubts. And everything connected to it. It’s challenging to leave them ashore, they are sneaky and can find their way into your luggage easily. They are also pretty resistant, but absolutely useless out there. So double-check your bag before embarking and replace them with the things mentioned in the question above.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard (aka where do you hide when you need to be alone?)
Definitely the bowsprit! I already felt that during the refit and it got even more proofed at sea. Especially below the bowsprit, possibly in a hammock. Somehow I also really like the cargo hold. Not always, but still. Occasionally it was and is one of my favourite places. Also, I enjoy being at the royal yard. During the crossing, when the ship was rolling through this big blue, the movement was even more intense up there. That’s very unique, very exhausting, very beautiful. Nobody else around, quite a special feeling…
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Night watches, starry skies, Ed’s [the Ship Cook] extra effort to take care of my special diet needs, falling asleep when we are rolling, Arthur’s wake up calls (even when waking up itself is difficult), glowing plankton, Guven’s [Second Mate] lessons, having the opportunity to learn so much, a big bunch of wonderful humans and characters I am very happy to have and/or have had onboard, anchor-chain-action with Camille (the Bosun), leaving shore with the sound of the wind in the sails, putting my feet on a new piece of Earth for the first time and thinking that I got there thanks to the wind.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Depending on my mood I would say either “Try, Trust, Love” (I know: it sounds pathetic, it is pathetic!) or “Tar is Tarmendous”, which can work pretty well too…
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be? I see a dragon. Not a dangerous one, maybe a combination of a Chinese dragon and a friendly kids-books-dragon with a big belly. One which is slow while walking, but when it gets up in the sky becomes elegant and flexible.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
To be the most useless deckhand the world has ever seen or will see.
Satisfaction: to experience the patience and warmth of mates and the whole crew. And to see a moonbow (a rainbow at night) during the crossing.
Why Tres Hombres?
Serendipity: the effect by which one accidentally stumbles upon something truly wonderful especially when looking for something entirely unrelated.
This could be a good answer, to begin with: the opportunity to be the deckhand for this season came to me quite unexpectedly, even if I was dreaming of sailing and getting more involved in the sailing cargo movement. What happened though was far beyond what I could imagine…
The part of me which is still a pedagogue was eager to commit to a project, able to inspire the new generations, to bring them more awareness regarding the environmental issues and the lifestyle challenges we face.
I truly believe in what Fairtransport does and achieves, it is a project which is authentic and true. Now that I experienced it first hand both in the shipyard and on board, I can definitely See and Feel the positive and educational impact, its potential for the future and the possibility to deliver a greater change.

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Swimming cargo: salty, sweaty & satisfying – by Nadine Gamerdinger

So three months have already passed since we left Den Helder.

We’ve visited several ports and cities, survived the bay of Biscay, sailed past a volcano island, and crossed the Atlantic ocean.

We finally arrived in the Caribbean. To be honest, it took me a moment – and another look at the map – to realize where we were. So far from home, but still feeling at home.

The ‘pirate ship’ has reached its destination, ready to fill her belly with some of the finest rums.

Loading the barrels in the ports of La Palma and Barbados – surrounded by huge cruise ships – was impressive, but let me tell you a story about swimming barrels from boat to the beach, and back!

Approaching the beautiful island of Marie Galante really looks like it’s cut out of a movie. Crystal clear water, empty white beaches, palm trees, and turtles popping their heads out of the water every now and then. We dropped anchor in the bay next to St.Louis and took the empty barrels out of the cargo hold to prepare the unloading for the next morning.

First a little explanation. Why do we swim the barrels?

On an engineless sailing cargo ship, like Tres Hombres we like to stick to this spirit as much as we can. So whenever it is possible we use our own muscle power, instead of burning petrol. It’s also a tradition of the old days of sailing cargo we like to keep alive and celebrate on Tres Hombres. Back in the time when there were no big industrial ports, it was normal to anchor, drop the barrels overboard, and swim them to shore.

Last but not least it’s a lot of fun and a highlight for the whole crew and all the people who come to watch and sometimes also join us.

A working day on board Tres Hombres


Waking up with the sunrise, enjoying porridge and coffee for breakfast.


Dropped the first barrel overboard. I took the chance and grabbed the first barrel, followed by three other swimmers and one mermaid (yes, you read it right, a mermaid!). Enjoying a nice swim, facing a small Caribbean paradise island, and watching little fishes pass you by. What a way to start a working day.


After a 20 minutes swim we reached the abandoned beach. We rolled the barrels out of the water and carried them through a little palm tree forest to the trucks of the distillery. Together with the people from the Pere Labat, we unloaded our barrels and off they went to be filled.


Our Captain Francois joined the team at Pere Labat Distillery and filled up the barrels himself. The Pere Labat Distillery is one of the three distilleries on the island, which produces Rhum Agricole directly out of the sugar cane juice.

A few days after loading the barrels we visited the distillery and were able to get a glimpse into their production process, and of course, getting to taste some of their delicious rums.


After a few hours, the barrels were back at the beach, ready to be carried off to the ship.

For unloading the barrels from the truck we used the help of a small crane because after being filled up they weight around about 250 kg. The reason that we weighed them is for quality control, to know their weight when they leave the distillery and then how heavy they are upon arrival in Amsterdam. During the crossing evaporation of the rum occurs, making the barrel lighter. This is what we call the angel’s share.


Rolling the barrels back through the palm tree forest and down the beach, our swimming team was ready to take over again. It’s tough work because we have to roll them in a special way, to make sure that the cork doesn’t get stuck in the sand. If you get close to the cork you can already smell the rum inside. Swimming the full barrels is the easiest with at least two people, to be able to push them through the waves and towards the ship.


Back at our Black Lady, as we like to nickname her on board, the other part of the crew has already prepared the ropes and chains to hoist the barrels out of the water. Now, the sweaty part starts. The barrels have to be loaded carefully, they’re almost as heavy as a baby elephant. Good communication and teamwork are the keys to a satisfying loading so that the barrels are stowed securely and arrive safely at their destination – which could be your living room!

Now the sun is setting on another adventurous day. We end the cargo day with a more refreshing swim in the turquoise waters, raising a glass of last year’s stellar rum, all hands toasting together: Long Life to Sail Cargo!

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Age: 32

Nationality: ENGLISH

Position on board: COOK

Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?

I am working for New Dawn Traders. I am an acupuncturist, carer and set builder.

Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?

The wish to do it was just always there. To go to the unknown, to the extreme.

A movie that inspired me is  The life aquatic of Steve Zissou.

What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?

Superglue, woolen socks, woolen jumpers, boots, burn cream.

What to leave ashore, doubtless?

Obligations, ‘loose-ends’ and D.I.D (aka Dramatic Interpersonal Dynamics).

Which is your favorite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.

My cabin, because I have the privilege of being alone in there.

What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?

Mealtimes! Inviting friends to my little Bistrot for food, 3 times a day, every day.

Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?

Not’ a f***ing word! This will make sense only to a few people, but it is a homage. It is related to a personal story, a fellow sailor, a friend, someone who was very dear to me and who is not with us anymore.

If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?

A black horse; sometimes it feels like we are galloping through the sea.

Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?

Falling overboard and dying in a storm were my biggest fears.

Making flatbreads in Biscay (in tough weather conditions) my greatest satisfaction.

Why Tres Hombres?

‘cause she is a badass engineless ship!

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A short report on rolling (by Patrick Vasy de la Cruz)

For this short report, a selection of aspiring, novice, and salty sailors have been chosen as participants.

This motley crew is being subjected to a series of ongoing experiments, courtesy of the Mid-Atlantic Wind Fund – whose investment has been considerable. We thank it for fair winds, hours of laughter, a few sprains, burns, and bruises and most importantly friendship – the best ship.

I would like to open with a question to my dear reader – have you ever tried washing army-sized pots, heeding nature’s call, or simply standing still on a rolling ship? If not, it’s not too dissimilar to attempting these tasks on a roller-coaster. It’s bloody fun, but gravity becomes an ephemeral and distant force whose return you eagerly await (while your dinner flies past you).

Some initial observations from rolling’s first tests include dust rolling (an especially jarring discovery considering the daily deck wash), letters seemingly having a rave on your page, and the waves getting a little too friendly with our deck.

At present, and according to the latest studies, only around 10% of our nutrition ends up on the floor. Most of it is consumed afterwards though, so fear not zero waste warriors. Nonetheless, we await further contributions to the field. As predictions stand, we expect an increase in these numbers (and thus galley floor spice in our food), as the trade easterlies pick up.

Moreover, we are excited about forthcoming qualitative reports on the subject. Some of the preliminary observations suggest sawdust in pesto pasta, morning jam in evening jam (with crumbs and other non-descript particulates), office supplies in the soup, banana in the peanut butter (ravenous sailors are to blame for this one), and olive oil sprinkled on noodles, a tragedy however intentional, Guven.

The Tres’ systematic shuffling and dipping into the ocean also provides a luxurious, free-flowing paddling pool on starboard and portside alike. Perplexingly, this unrivalled onboard feature is met with grunts of complaint from the sailors who find recourse in a “fungus towel” to enter bed with merely damp feet instead of the more traditional ‘soaked to the bone’ (which most opt for). The perennially wet deck has also claimed a few bruises and bashes but these are always taken in good spirit, with the prospect of a massage and perhaps an extra something in the dinner insight.

The sometimes (mostly) uneven undulation of the ship has trained a new kind of bipedal movement in the participants that I’m hesitant to call walking. Movements happen with opportunism and seldom dignity. Nevertheless, an added bonus of the current maintenance works is the glue (known as tar onboard), which is seemingly lathered on anything within arms reach. The substance grips onto hands and clothes, overwhelmingly ensuring a successful (and scented) deck crossing. For more details on how braving the deck has been surmounted, see Petrie’s work on the matter.

To conclude, rolling has had a mixed effect on the participants. For example, sea-sickness was prevalent at the start but quickly dissipated. While a favourite for dinner conversations were the adept and ingenious ways of wedging oneself in the head – seemingly making it one of the many new and valuable skills learnt on the Tres. It is safe to say that rolling has added to the rhythmic and dynamic life onboard. Not only has it been a source of innumerous smiles and bursts of glee, but also a mellowing force, whose pattern and ability to warp time will be sorely missed when we rejoin the land-lubbers. It will have also, hastily and fundamentally, accompanied us for a 2700NM crossing – a gift words cannot account for.

Once again, I will take the opportunity to thank the Mid-Atlantic Wind Fund for its unwavering support (even if it was a couple of days late).


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A North-East breeze (by Captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

The NE breeze was already blowing gently during the night.

What a wonderful moment to give freedom to our rusty anchor who held us for 48 hours in 25 m deep and let her dry under a warm sun on the cat head. Once we started drifting, lashing the anchor and securing the chain at home in the dry-store, the sails were one by one sat into the air as many lungs carrying the wind for us to go.
We are going together in the same direction, the crew, the wind, the current, the black lady. What a change, the crew learnt how to wear the ship instead of tacking. Still so much motivation to spend hours in the rigging to reinforce some shrouds with leather. This prevents the shrouds to be damage by the yards.
Braced square, the sail plan show giants cinema screens, unfortunately hiding the solar panels in the afternoon. The electric balance is made by the windmills. The generator has been tried only for Fire Fighting drill. And when I give the report to Joburg Traffic about bunk capacity, the radio operator seams surprise by our little 200 litres tank. “Ha yes, engine-less cargo … , remember of you”. Very nicely.
The new destination Les Sables d’Olonne makes our travel a little longer, happily received by all. Due to the meteorological condition, the passage is announced to be great as it is now. It seems very important also to get closer to the vineyards by ship and to use the soulless trucks a lot less! The loyal charming receivers of the precious and bio-dynamic wine can hardly wait until the precious organic and bio-dynamic wine is brought to the ship ;-).

Persbericht : Swingend welkomstfeest voor ​zeilend vrachtschip Tres Hombres.

(voor directe publicatie)

10 JUNI 2015

Swingend welkomstfeest voor ​zeilend vrachtschip  Tres Hombres!

Na alweer een zesde maal succesvol, volgeladen met vracht, rond de Atlantische Oceaan gezeild te hebben, zal zeilend vrachtschip Tres Hombres weer terugkomen waar haar reis negen maanden geleden is begonnen; aan de kade voor het Schipperscafé ​Museumhaven op Willemsoord te Den Helder. ​

Fairtransport​ organiseert een welkomstfeestje ter ere van de zeilende vrachtvaart, het schip en haar crew 13 juni .a.s.

De zeilende handelsvaarder Tres Hombres van de Stichting Fairtransport Foundation (voorheen Stichting Atlantis Zeilende Handelsvaart) heeft voor de zesde achtereenvolgende keer volledig onder zeil een reis naar het Caraïbisch gebied gemaakt.
Op verschillende eilanden in de Carieb is er vervolgens 10 ton cacao, 7000 chocoladerepen, 2,5 ton melasse, 21 vaten Tres Hombres Rum en Aloë Vera geladen. Haar lading, welk op de meest duurzame wijze is vervoerd,  is vorige week na aankomst in Amsterdam gelost.

Veel rust zal schip en bemanning niet worden gegund, want de Tres Hombres gaat de komende maanden in Douarnenez, Frankrijk, een lading wijn ophalen. Deze wordt emissie-vrij naar Kopenhagen gebracht.

Eind Augustus zal Tres Hombres aanwezig zijn op het Sail 2015 evenement met een prominente ligplaats in Zaandam.
​Tijdens dit evenement, 19 t/m 23 augustus 2015, bent u van harte welkom een kijkje te komen nemen aan boord.

Fairtransport is een initiatief van de drie zeilvrienden Jorne Langelaan, Arjen van der Veen en Andreas Lackner.

Zij bouwen samen met vele mensen aan een toekomst waar vracht vervoerd wordt onder zeil.
Een tweede ​zeilend vracht​schip, ​de 141 jaar oude Nordlys, komt deze zomer in de vaart en de ontwerpen van het derde zeilende vrachtschip,de driemaster Noah, liggen op de tekentafel.
Wij geven een feestje om zeilend vrachtschip Tres Hombres welkom thuis te heten en u bent van harte welkom.

De swingende band Zinkzand zorgt voor de muziek!
Datum: 13 Juni 2015

Tijd: vanaf 13:00 tot 17:00

Lokatie: Willemsoord 72 Den Helder ​

Voor meer informatie, ook over meezeilen en vrachtvervoer: of via telefoonnummer 0031 (0) 223 683 516.
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