Certains attrapent des gants, d’autres des couvertures. Puis le couvercle se détache de l’extrémité de la longue boîte. La vapeur monte. Ils sortent rapidement la planche chaude. Mais attendez: vous imaginez une planche pas une poutre. Avec une épaisseur de 8 cm, celle-ci ressemble plus à une poutre. Ils l’emmènent à la poupe bâbord du «Tres Hombres» qui est hors de l’eau, où des planches enlevées ont laissé un trou dans la coque à travers lequel on peut voir l’ancien tube de poupe du temps où le navire était encore équipé d’un moteur. Ils fixent régulièrement l’extrémité conique avec des pinces à vis à la planche sous le trou et pressent contre la coque avec des poutres en bois et des vérins. Ensuite, on comprend pourquoi les pinces à vis portent leur nom: à chaque mètre, elles forcent la planche initialement droite sur la coque arquée, lui donnant la torsion nécessaire. Après environ une demi-heure de va-et-vient, le bois épais se blottit contre la coque. Il repose ici et se refroidit pendant la nuit et prend ainsi la forme adéquate pour épouser la coque du navire.
Pendant des heures, les volontaires qui travaillent à la révision annuelle du «Tres Hombres» ont fait bouillir de l’eau dans des bouteilles de gaz converties et ont introduit la vapeur à travers des tuyaux épais dans la chambre, qui est isolée avec de vieux sacs de couchage et des couvertures en laine. Dans le même temps, d’autres travaillaient sur d’autres planches, fabriquant des gabarits à partir de longues bandes de contreplaqué, découpant la forme grossière, rabotant et ponçant les planches de sapin de Douglas brut récupérées à la scierie. Ils travaillent sur une planche à tribord qui avait déjà été cuite à la vapeur hier, ils la fixe avec des crics en acier, des crics de voiture, des cales et des pinces à vis, et la battent en position avec un gros maillet. Il est à nouveau retiré pour effectuer les derniers réglages à la main. Les ajustements ne suffisent pas et le processus se poursuit le lendemain.
L’intérieur du navire est en grande partie vide. Les cloisons de séparation ont été enlevées, et même les réservoirs d’eau en acier ont été soulevés de leur ancrage de sorte que les cadres auxquels les anciennes planches étaient fixées et les nouvelles planches fixées, avec des boulons de carrosserie épais, soient accessibles. Dans le même temps, vous pouvez accéder à des endroits où vous ne seriez pas en mesure d’éliminer la rouille autrement. Le bruit des pistolets à aiguilles actionnés à l’air comprimé, des rabots à main et des meuleuses d’angle utilisés à divers endroits serait insupportable sans protection auditive. Lorsque vous vous réunissez pour une pause café ou un déjeuner, des silhouettes poussiéreuses émergent de la coque.
Quiconque a besoin d’un coup de main entre les deux le trouvera rapidement.
Ce qui semble être le chaos à première vue s’avère rapidement être une accumulation de bonne volonté qui peut être coordonnée en quelques mots. On parle anglais, comme à bord. Entre les deux, vous pouvez entendre le français, l’allemand et le néerlandais. Les métiers sont aussi variés que leurs origines: un matin, une mécanicienne d’aéronef canadienne qui a abandonné son travail chez Boeing se tient debout sur l’échafaudage avec un pinceau et de la peinture. L’ingénieur électricien allemand, qui n’aimait plus son métier dans l’industrie automobile, fixe sa première planche. Ça rentre. Et quand j’avais besoin d’une cloison pour enlever la serrure de porte complètement rouillée de la descente menant au Foxhole, mais que je n’avais aucune expérience avec la machine dangereuse, un Hongrois avec des dreadlocks s’est retourné pour m’aider. Il apporte une expérience de l’industrie lourde ainsi qu’en tant que producteur vidéo. Le remplacement du brillant travail sur la proue, qui s’est cassé au retour outre-Atlantique, a été sculpté par un jeune charpentier hollandais qui vit sur un bateau de neuf mètres comme des jeunes alternatifs ailleurs dans une roulotte. L’œuvre est ensuite peinte par le sculpteur sur bois allemand qui a étudié l’architecture. D’un côté du navire, le rap électronique résonne du haut-parleur à travers le bruit des machines, tandis que le blues du Mali et l’Afropop de Fela Kuti jouent de l’autre.
Les emplois sont distribués par un Néerlandais qui travaille depuis le début avec le « Tres Hombres ». Il s’ennuyait de plus en plus avec son travail dans la construction car il s’agissait de plus en plus d’assemblage de maisons préfabriquées. Ensuite, l’officier du navire israélien est accueilli par un bonjour jovial, qui a également amené un ami en tenue de travail avec elle. Le DJ français, qui a installé son équipement électronique sur le navire sur lequel nous sommes temporairement logés, rabote les planches nouvellement installées en douceur de l’extérieur, tandis que l’ancien pilote de ski d’essai et vendeur d’articles de plein air de France et un spécialiste du gréement de Holland Werg martèlent dans les fissures, puis les sceller avec du goudron. « Love Tar » – quelqu’un a écrit avec une empreinte de main noire sur le réfrigérateur debout à l’extérieur, qui abrite du beurre et du fromage pour les collations ou la bière après le travail.
Théoriquement, le travail se termine à six heures, mais presque personne ne commence à ranger les outils, à dérouler les câbles et à essuyer les copeaux de bois avec un balai avant six heures et demie. La plupart d’entre eux n’ont jamais navigué sur le « Tres Hombres ». Certains espèrent pouvoir naviguer dans le futur, d’autres sont simplement fiers, avec des visages brillants, d’aider à mettre en place une alternative pour le lit et la nourriture.
Ralenti par Corona
Mercredi, début de l’automne: le vent est fort.
Il déchire presque le bol plat avec la peinture de ma main. Si je plonge le rouleau dans la peinture, qui est à base d’huile de lin, parfois une rafale de peinture déchire un fil de couleur dans l’air. En dessous de moi, un collègue recouvre la ligne de flottaison avec du ruban adhésif, je dois m’arrêter pour ne pas le tacher. Plus tard, il me «poursuit» et, pour sa part, peint la zone sous le ruban de masquage avec une peinture antisalissure à base de cuivre, tandis qu’une goutte noire de peinture vole sur la lentille gauche de ses lunettes lorsque j’enduis la coque au-dessus de la flottaison.
Il y a une semaine et demie, nous avons mis la planche whisky. C’est le nom de la dernière planche qui referme la coque et qui – tout comme lors de la garniture dans un bâtiment sur terre – est célébrée avec une bouteille de spiritueux approprié et un bref discours. Le travail sur l’extérieur de la coque était loin d’être terminé: en plus de calfeutrer les joints avec du chanvre et du goudron, nous avons scellé tous les trous dans lesquels les vis sont fraisées avec des chevilles en bois. En plus des nouvelles planches, toutes les petites zones où l’ancienne peinture s’écaillait ont été poncées et apprêtées. Le fuselage a donc l’apparence d’une courtepointe en patchwork – maintenant la couche finale est deux fois plus amusante.
Malgré le vent, l’ambiance est presque euphorique. Nous aurions voulu remettre le Tres Hombres à l’eau aujourd’hui. Mais les mesures de protection omniprésentes du Corona ont retardé l’avancement des travaux. Mais maintenant l’ambiance monte: il y a de la peinture partout, cette fois sur des rythmes latinos. Sprint final. Le navire est censé être mis à l’eau après-demain. Cependant, je manquerai la fête: comme le nombre de corona augmente dans toute l’Europe, mes proches en Suisse ne comprendraient pas si je prolongeais mon séjour. Alors je suis sur le chemin du retour.
Mais quelque chose me dit que ce n’est qu’un au revoir.
Wonderful progress towards west yesterday.
The front is passing now with rain and the wind died. We brailed up the main and braced square. It is the trimming for waiting for any kind of wind. The ship is heading north but drifts east. We can only try to drift slower what we don’t want now by « steering » a certain way.
Not under command, patience is the religion here. We don’t choose, so we wait. We try not to complain because we know that it is going to influence the mood of everyone.
And what are 300 miles? (till Den Helder) It is just 2 days with a fair wind, which I know will come.
On Sunday, we take a break from jobs and maintenance. According to such absent breeze, I gave a box of table games for the crew to play in the galley.
Also, we know that our colleagues from Avontuur went sailing around Scotland and soon they will show up in the North sea maybe crossing our path before going home.
I caught it again this year, as we slipped our mooring in Willemsoord, Den Helder, and headed out for Den Helder lock and the open sea; that leaving feeling. It must be similar to what seafarers felt in the old days, pre-globalization and pre-internet, when leaving for an eight month’s voyage meant likely no news from home for the whole trip, no contact with the familiar ways and people and places. It’s like the wind over the ocean, that feeling, bracing and exhilerating and a little bit frightening. Awe-inspiring. It’s knowing that you don’t know what’s about to happen, but knowing that you’ll do your best to face it bravely. It’s like the moment before you jump from a high place into water. You take your courage as you find it and leap with all your heart, because a half-hearted leap is only a stumble.
Unlike those old sailors, I will have news from my friends and family for the next eight months, I will exchange emails and pictures and phone calls, keep up with what’s going on in my hometown, what changes and what remains the same. But I have cast off my lines from my land life, and headed out into the unknown, under bright stars and sun, through foggy days and rain-filled nights. I go with my whole heart, I hope, and all my courage, and whatever new horizon tomorrow brings I will keep my eyes as open as I can to see it. The lines are off. The ship is free. Who can say what will happen next?
Sail along with the Tres Hombres from rum destination to rum destination. Taste the delicious Tres Hombres Rum before it arrives in Europe next summer.
Cross the ocean and enjoy the wildlife of the Atlantic Ocean.
Jump into this great adventure … a once in a lifetime experience!
Sign on: 16th of December in Santa Cruz de la Palma to Barbados, 2460nm. Only two spots available for the quick decision makers.
For more info: http://fairtransport.eu/sail-along/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Till now we took down the main mast, we cut a big hole in the deck to remove the tanks in the officers/ library compartment. We dismantled the chartroom, the lazarette storage, the bosuns locker, the captains cabin, the library and the officers cabins, the dry store, the forepeak and some of the f’ocsle. There is also a nicely organised workshop container!
We also treated the whole hull from the insideand needle scaled all frames from the library aft.
Tomorrow we will start painting them. The tanks in the library are being rebuild and the black water tank modified.
The main mast chainplates are removed and some of the frames underneath replaced.
Outside we are changing around 20 planks and a third of the ship is already recaulked.
This is only possible because of our amazing volunteers from all over the world. I think the one travelled furthest is our Mexican dentist! Anyways, no differences made – literally everybody is doing all they can do and they invest all their energy in this lovely barge. Thank you!!
If you want to learn something new, if you want to improve your skills, if you have been a caulking mallet yourself for years, if you are any type of crafts(wo)man, if you are eager to help and knock a heavy mallet on your already sore knuckles, posh things up or play the flute to keep the spirits up or if you “just” want to help in Den Helder, Netherlands – please contact email@example.com Learn more: http://fairtransport.eu/tres-hombres-refit-2018-come-and-join/
My watch mates are resting quietly around me in the darkness of the focastle. The thousands and one sounds of
the ship, the Bosun tools noises, the salty sailors boots heavy steps running on the foredeck, the yelling of the maneuvers (an hard-core symphony which might have sounded creepy or disturbing in the beginning of the trip but now incredibly familiar), together with the glassy waters knocking at the hull close to my ears compose a lullaby, the melody of an old hand-and-heart-made boat that has its own soul and spirit, that breaths as a living creature, that speaks, whispers, cry and shout, at its own way, in its own language.
The red light of my headlamp, which is restricted on deck by the Captain in order to get our eyes sharper and able to see even in the darkest moonless night, brights my bunk and these pages, making me feel alone somehow, if « alone » is a word with a meaning on board of a sailing cargo ship of walkable 25mt shared with 15 sailors. Being alone is a luxury of the land, and personally my biggest saudade on board. So I grab this precious moment and surf this intimate wave of sharing with you some impressions of this whole voyage, now that it is almost over. Yes, almost. Because on an engineless sailing vessel it is hard, pointless, counterproductive and even dangerous to tell such things.
Even if the betting already started nobody can predict with certitude when we will fold the sails, step on the quay, open a fresh beer and looking back at Her saying to ouselves « it is over ». Everything can be, everything can change. You never know. You cannot know. You can do your best, but still it is not you to decide.
The old chinese proverb « if you want to make Gods laughs, tell them about your plans » is truer than ever here and finds its perfect demonstration on the Tres Hombres. The ship and the elements are fully owner of our destinies. Isnt that epic great? So we are almost there and it is time for my watch to begin, lets see what it will be.
The summer trip seems to be a different experience to the way longer transatlantic crossing, but still it is something, especially for some brand new fresh sailors as most of us.
We crossed (without particularly fair winds and currents) the English Channel twice in less than a month, the damned tricky unreliable English Channel with its unpredictable winds and its scaring intense cargo monsters traffic. This has its sailing, nautical but also emotional consequences, repercussion on moods and dynamics, on deck or down in the bunks, as well as inside and outside yourself. This can mean for example that when there is no wind and you feel stuck and bored, kind of useless with no ropes to pull, you can easily get also stuck into a quarrel between peanut butter maniacs and chocolate paste lovers, which it is not such an important either interesting issue, if you know what I mean. The presence or absence of the wind, being anchored in the middle of the Channel unable to move, drifted away or backwards by the currents, the stillness of the wait, all very very tricky elements, and you have to learn how to take care of them. It is therefore very important to keep yourself busy, at least for me it is a strategy that helped a lot. Go to Bosun asking for tasks, take care of the ship to show your love and respect to her, hoping that he will send you up in the riggings, maybe to oil the leather around the shrouds, and there hidden by the sail in the silence of the sky you can listen to your heart beat so loud, making all the other voices quiet, finally.
Sitting on the galley roof staring at the tanks which seem to have released all their petrol cargo on the surface of the sea, so quiet and oily as it looks, witnessing one of the dirtiest fact of our society, a secret hidden in the oceans were every day thousands of thousands of thousands of metal monsters,spitting stinky gases and smokes, whose bellies are filled with a pure foie-gras style with all kinds of evil goods and cheap shit for all kinds of pockets, coming and going from and to all kinds of places, all kinds of materials, colors, shapes, flavours… it seems like we need it, it looks like we desperately need it considering the speed they travel in order to deliver their cargo on the other side of a planet. But do we? Really? What for? And Why? (ps. WHY NOT IS NOT AN ALLOWED FUNNY ANSWER). Are we able to reconsider completely, till the roots, our consumption? Am I?
How many questions, new and old ones, melting together in the messy pot of your mind…and from the outside they sneak into the inside and all the little things and details and events of just a single watch can be strong heartquakes, especially if you are an hopeless empathic sensitive human as I am or used to be? A huge refit of myself started, the one that was waiting for some time now but on land you know… there are lots of ways to postpone it, not to say avoid it. On board of the Tres Hombres, there is no escape from yourself. Your ego will try to trick and tease you but if you accept the challenge and the pain that eventually comes with, you can live a very blow-minding experience. Tolerance, acceptance, adaptation, self confidence and self questioning, the discover of the potentiality of your body, the power of the trust or distrust, in yourself and in the others, the strenght that turns into weakness and reverse, your certitudes upside down… and then the wind starts to blow again and somehow you get through it and you survive your own self while pulling ropes or adding extras crazy sails. or sliding the stunsail boom under the yard inside after having gybed it for the first time believing you cannot do that without making some bullshit… but your beloved one right next to you believes in you, so why wouldnt you?…And you just do it.
I wont go deeper into details, the salty sailors who are reading these lines will probably remember, recognize,understand or at least know what the hell I am talking about and some words could eventually recall some old memories of their very first waves, and the curious followers of the adventures of this ship and her crew are warmly invited to step closer and taste the salt of our personal challenges and mission while we are also sailing cargo pushed only by the winds. The harder the environment, the greater the lesson!
We all have our own hells and heavens, our skeletons and untied knots, dreams and nightmares, and there is nothing more interesting and that will make you feel so connected with yourself, with all the dark and shiny shades of this self, than sailing here. So personally I feel blessed and I am truly thankful to have the opportunity to face this me and eventually, hopefully, grow stronger and be a better being. I promise to myself not to give up on this quest as well as on understanding how this sailing masterpiece and the elements work together and bring us from A to B emission free. Who knows, maybe my path will keep me here for a little more if life will decide I deserve some more of this magic, or somewhere else seeking the same beautiful thrills that made me feel so alive, the learning crashed, the painful downs and unforgettable ups.
I want to thank all the crew, for the good and for the bad, I learned something very important from each of you. And a special one to our Captain, a humble guy who is a pure wild sailing living legend, ready to everything, unpredictable as the winds he loves, who opened up the arms of his knowledge and experience with patience and respect, smartness and balance, it is a true honor to pull the same rope, execute his orders, listening to the explanations of maneuvers, the afternoon lectures or the sunset readings, the generosity to welcome us on board and share his floating home with us, unknown strangers. I have a long list of memories and moments to be grateful for but I will keep it for me.
You are all free to write your own joining this outstanding project to improve yourself and the world living a true life changing adventure.
« We have been longing to see it even if it was missing, but the treasure is there, for sure. Hidden by trickster demons and lost in the labyrinths of our questions and answers » Corto Maltese
Everything is moving in circles, everything is rhythm.
The waves of this rhythm are the universal heartbeat.
Life on Nordlys – living the rhythmic pulse of the sea.
This rhythm of life is moving forward in spirals.
The sun, the moon, the stars and the planets are all circling above us in the sky,
Sometimes clear to observe, sometimes obscured by clouds, mists and sheets of grey.
The clouds of water also travel with the spiralling moving flow of air.
These movements of air bring raindrops on our heads, wind in our hair and sunshine on our faces.
We are sailing this wooden ship over the surface of this beautiful planet we call earth.
Planet earth, full of water, spiraling through the universe.
This ocean planet is floating through the universe; sailing between the stars.
The magical life of circles, cycles and rhythms is forever spiraling upwards.
We are sailing this wooden ship through the breathing liquid of life.
We ARE the water, we ARE the rhythm, we ARE the spiral of life.
Like the ocean tides, we will be born and we will die,
Over and over again.
The ever changing rhythm of the universe –
No change to escape.
We are nature; and the rhythm of nature is our life.
Movement and flow ….. We travel with our wooden ship.
We bring cargo infused with rhythm and flow.
We sail with this flow, making peace with each moment
Trusting in natures rhythm.
Allowing life to deliver through us, not by us.
We are nature; technique is an entity within the universe which is living next to us.
We are no robots, we need natural food, we are the natural cycle not the technical one.
We can only thrive by rhythm of the nature.
As we remember our ancient ways to be re-anchored back into life again,
We are the new ancients, traveling back into fullness and flow
The way nature guides and gives in her own time,
we become a deeper, richer, more abundant and generous spiral.
Here we are on Nordlys; sailing this wooden ship.
Captain Lammert Osinga
How do we get back home? Tacking!
Down the flying jib and the gaff tops’l, ease the topping lift, cast off tricing lines, staysailboom midships, coils of braces and headsail sheets on deck. Ready on the foredeck? READY! Ready about! About ship, helms a-lee! Mainsheet tight, ease the headsail sheets….there she comes, helm back midships, ease mainsheet, tack the jibs and… Let Go and Haul! Cast off tack and sheet of course, haul away lee course brace as you might, change boom lift, ease mainstays’l boom, tack the bob’s, all hands (or the windlass) on the tack and pull it down together with the lee-topping lift. Tack down! Course sheet home! Trim the yards, set the gaff tops’l, set the flying jib and then coil up and clear the deck!
15 minutes of the mariners full concentration is vital for the ship to make her way up against wind and current, not to loose ground against the ever blowing Northeasterlies in the Channel.
3 weeks ago all those lines were mere mystery to the most hands aboard Tres Hombres, now, at the command of prepare for tacking, everyone is whizzling over the deck, finding the right line to cast off, haul tight or stand by! No more discussions, commands are understood and taken out with pleasure and power. At force 5, instead of life lines the flying jib is put up and the helmsman is smiling pleasantly, feeling the acceleration of the ship and her leaning over in comfort!
Good food and good company as a power ressource, one common mission: living live in a natural way!One tool: the most beautiful sailing vessel on the seas, currently hunting after De Gallant, where early sailing memories with Captain Hendrik make me think of the old days as a deckhand without any concerns, without any limits.
Now we are passing on those good times, the tools and the experience to find a way in your life, it’s your choice.
P.S. : with some unexpected SW wind we are right now passing Dover, gybing the stunsails with boom and all to use the last heap of this rare wind, pushing us into the North Sea, where the next blow of NE will await us…see you soon in Amsterdam
Captain Andreas Lackner
Is your mind filled with the glorious majesty of the white winged masts of the Age of Sail? Or are you longing to master the arts of the traditional seaman? Then sign on, sailing on a cargo vessel is a unique way to discover the world and learn the art of real square rig seamansship. Price varies by voyage. The longer you sign on for, the less you pay per day. Visit http://fairtransport.eu/sail-along/ for the latest schedule and pricing or email firstname.lastname@example.org
[pdf-embedder url= »http://fairtransport.eu/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Tres-Hombres-Winter-2018-2019-new.odt.pdf » title= »Tres Hombres Winter 2018-2019 new.odt »]
Well done, you tree huggers!!
Exploring the zeroth dimension
In the beginning it all looked ridiculously simple; we all one way or the other found out about this barge and clicked our way towards this voyage.
The mathematician may classify your first click as a hypercube of zero dimensions within the Euclidian space. It resembles an infinitely small spatial point without width, length, height, edges, faces, volume, area or cells.
Exploring the first dimension
Then things started to become a wee bit more serious; you remembered past trips or you were gathering all information you could get about sailing and you were making way towards the ship from all corners of the world.
If you stretch the zero-dimensional object into one direction, you create a one-dimensional shape.
The mathematician may classify this reach as a hypercube of the dimension 1 within the Euclidian space. A reach consists of an endless number of zerodimensional points which connect two end-points. It has infinitesimal width, height and no volume.
Exploring the second dimension
Sailing over the sea is closest to moving in a two dimensional space. There are no mountains to be possibly crossed or too much infrastructure to follow; you are just leaving the keelwater behind
If you stretch an onedimensional reach in another direction than the one it is leading at, you get a twodimensional rectangle, a hypercube of the dimension 2 in the Euclidian space. Rectangles have a length, a width, four corner-points, four edges and a space but no volume. If you widen the square to the infinite it covers the complete two-dimensional space.
Exploring the third dimension
Not only the ship moves over the sea but also the emotional ups and downs become more intense as you keep travelling and learning.
By moving a twodimensional square perpendicularly a threedimensinal cube is formed; a hypercube of the dimension 3 in the Euclidian space. As threedimensional object it has width, length, height, 8 cornerpoints, 12 sides, 6 areas and a cell. If you widen a cube infinitely, it will cover the whole threedimensional space
Exploring the fourth dimension
Travelling starts to change you, physically and emotionally; your old friends seem to become less open-minded than they were before because they do not have the same world-view you have gained within the last few months. You become brighter and shinier within yourself – some show it, some hide it
If you stretch a three-dimensional cube in a vertical direction you create a tesseract or a hypercube of the dimension 4. Tesseracts have 16 knots, 32 edges, 24 areas, 8 cubes and a four-dimensional cell; they have length, width and height plus an extra space-coordinate in the Euclidian space or as well a time-coordinate in the Minkowski-space (this space is necessary to measure changes in our universe which acts according to Einstein’s laws and is essential for example for GPS technology and air navigation)
If the tesseract expands infinitely it fills the complete four-dimensional space – a simplified explanation is all the space you reach when you travel perpendicularly away from the three-dimensional space
Exploring the n-th dimension
The more you travelled, the more you try to find answers to things and the more you see that this is impossible as everything is a matter of perspective. You start to accept yourself and others. You give up searching to a point and sigh and start your trip home.
If you stretch an n-dimensional hypercube in a new direction you get a (n+1)-dimensional hypercube. Which ‘space’ you want to use depends on your own intentions.
The three-dimensional space is great for carpenters, the Minkowski space for parts of astronomy but you can use any number of n to discuss about gravity or the age of the universe. String-theories need ten or eleven dimensions and quantum mechanics need an infinite space.
A 10-n-deceract hypercube has 1024 knots, 5120 edges, 11520 areas, 15360 cells, 13440 4-D-cells, 960 7-D-cells, 180 8-D-cells, 20 9-D-cells and one 10-D-cell.
I had to give you some last wise-arseing here, sorry the idea came from Christopher Many, Left beyond the horizon.
But, honest, keep all your edges, knots, areas and all your n-dimensional cells you discovered and found out on this trip!! Don’t let them take away from you ever, not from routine, not from accidents, not from partners. It is all yours and you deserve it.
I love you all and wish you all the best in the future; hope to stay in contact and to be sailing with you again!!
Hugs and kisses
“No matter how much I wanted all those things that I needed money to buy, there was some devilish current pushing me off in another direction — toward anarchy and poverty and craziness. That maddening delusion that a man can lead a decent life without hiring himself out as a Judas Goat.”
― Hunter S. Thompson, The Rum Diary
Secrets of the night and feeding the hungry beast.
In Holland there are holiday days happening I didn’t even think of in this time of year. Of course it’s May and we’re sailing towards European summer and all that, but we’re putting on our winter clothes and for a while my tanned knee peeking through the hole in my jeans was the only sign to remember we came from the warm Caribbean. I’m writing this blog in the chart house next to a box with electrical supplies which is marked ‘not really necessary’. We race the ‘Gallant’ all the way from Horta to Douarnenez. They turn on the engine (or not?), we set the stun sails. No news from the office for a week, the industrial civilization might finally have collapsed, I’m not really keeping track anymore.
I’m the cook on board this fine vessel as you might know by now or not and this results in quite a different experience from this trip then being on a watch. I’m feeding the always hungry beast, it is an endless process. Even if there is plenty of food, people come in an hour after a meal to eat again. Sailing makes hungry. Preparing a meal might take hours, in half an hour it’s all gone again and what’s left turns into leftovers like news turns into old news after reading the newspaper.
If a huge wave is coming, you see it approaching when you’re standing on deck. You brace yourself and if you’re unprepared and unlucky you get water in your shoe, the ship adjusts itself to the wave. In the galley I feel the impact of the water hitting the hull. I have to brace myself and all the stuff that I’m working with. This one unfitting lid falls on the ground again and if I’m unlucky or unprepared, there is a lot more that can spill on the stove or fly around and end up in various places.
It’s a nice sport to have every meal ready on the minute and in rough weather cooking in the galley demands a lot of focus and energy. It’s a different life with different struggles. The watches stand in rain and cold wind for hours. I’m boiling away, holding five things, getting occasionally seasick from the smells. We don’t know the fun, the secrets and the sorrows of each others function.
I like to feed the always hungry beast. Nothing so satisfying as a warm meal after a cold watch. To provide this is nice, and meanwhile I get to know the people with their habits and preferences. Sometimes though, I don’t have to cook and someone from the watch takes over. Besides that It’s nice not to make three meals in a row for a time, it makes me appreciate my own job more because now I can experience how nice it is that there is someone who prepares you food. And it gives other people the opportunity to feel what it’s like to cook on a rolling ship which without an exception always results in the command that their respect for the job increased. I on the other hand recently joined some night watches and with that I was introduced in the secrets of the night. All these months I was on day watch but the sailing never stops and there is this whole nightlife going on in which I’m not included. Night in night out the watches watch and for them it’s the most normal thing. For me it felt special to enter this world with its impressive sky full of stars, the moonrise, hot tea and stories. There is a more intimate sphere then during the day and although I know all the lines, handling them without really seeing them is something else.
During the crossing we had a birthday of our first mate and we organized a party for her. There was music and a fender dressed up as disco ball so that our sparkling dress also came in handy again. We went crazy with half a cup of wine and we danced under the blanket of thousand stars, holding on to the safety lines in order not to fall over while the ship was clipping along through the waves. By far the most special party I ever went to.
We often get a visit from dolphins. They’re curious and they like to play at the bow of our boat. They also show up at night and they slide incredibly fast through the fluorescent water, leaving a trail of shining bubbles. I was woken up to witness this miracle so there I stood with bare legs and a sleepy face to shiver on the foredeck until it was too cold to look at them anymore. I went back to bed and the next day I was not sure if this actually really happened or that I just dreamed about fairy dolphins.
Eight months in the trip, the end is almost in sight and there are still things to discover. Who knows, do I need another eight months to get to know the night as well as the day?
I’m a happy cook.
Judith, Ships cook,
The cook on board a sailing vessel, has the most important job. She is the one keeping the crew in great shape, be it physically or emotionally. By storing, keeping, cooking, timing and serving the right quality and quantities of food. Providing a warm and welcoming place of refuge in the galley. And having a listening ear, to every crew members: stories, doubts, fears and dreams.
Back in the days, when sailing ships ruled the waves, the food on ships was very distinctive. Instead of bread there was « hard tack », a biscuit made of white flower a pinch of salt and water, double or triple baked and kept in tins, to be edible indefinitely. But still… one could recognize a sailorman by his manners, of constantly knocking with his biscuit on the table, this would be to knock out the weevils. When it became clear that scurvy could be prevented by vitamin C, British shipowner’s would start supplying a lime a day to all their crews. From this the nickname, limejuicer or limey, for the British got established. Porridge, peas, sauerkraut, salted fish, salted meat and canned meat or « old horse » where common foods on the deepsea vessels.
Even nowadays, we choose to safe energy, and not have a refrigerator on board. Yet, every night, our deckhands, bake fresh bread. And our cook has brought it to an art, to supply us with the nicest food three times, or more often, a day. As an example this morning she made us bacon, eggs and toast, during coffee time home baked cookies, and with lunch a nice soup with bread and cheese. Every day meals are different. For breakfast: porridge with fruit, pancakes, or fish with rice. For lunch: a salad, soup, or pasta. At night a wide variety of dinners like: vegetable pie, curry, chick peas or another delicacy. Tonight, because of the Sunday, we will even have a glass of wine. Being the cook on board is not only the most important job, it is also the hardest. Ever tried to prepare a perfect meal, for 15 people, during a continuous earthquake, and without having a tap with running water, and that 3 times a day, for over half a year in a row? Judith thank you very much!
Capt. Jorne Langelaan
The need for wine from Rioja and the Bordeaux region sends our good ship Tres Hombres on a voyage in June and July from Amsterdam to Royan, Douarnenez and back this summer.
If you want to experience a coastal cargo voyage on a square rigger without engine with captain Andreas Lackner, then come and join in!
Landlubbers will get sea legs, and old salts wil get a glimpse of how it was in the good days and how it will be!
For more info http://fairtransport.eu/sail-along/ or email email@example.com