Good progress in here through the English channel (by captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

We passed Le Havre longitude.

Downwind for a few days. The squares are braced square. Gaff topsail is going up and down following needs from little squalls. And the Royal was not in use for a few hours around Ouessant island.
The scenery just bit the screen. Teeth rocks emerged from the foamy sea where waves break continuously. Many lighthouses showed up above the cliffs.
The most famous ones of France are here, combined their careful eyes and lights to the attracted sailors who try to keep clear of them.

Today was a sunny day, the crew is playing a quiz while handling the sails. The idea is to go towards the appropriate gear when an order is given to set or douse. Clewing up the course for training. Every day is challenging. Anticipation is a law for the mate in charge of a watch.

Our cook Jeroen had his weekly day off. Every watch one of the crew members takes over and realizes how intense the cooks job is, while Jeroen is refreshing his inspiration for the next day.
A team of swiss-german is 200% on galley cleaning after a meal and it seems to be a fun experience.

Orange sunset is a gift towards the end of the day and initiates the start of the night. Tomorrow we will go through Calais-Dover-Strait on one tack pushed by the good wind.

The ship brings the wings to the ones who need unity because she goes away when hands are on her, supporting, carrying, moving on, forgiving. Powerful in making sense. Boats, seas, and salty souls.


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Dover Callais line in a magical orange sunrise (by Lenno Visser/first mate)

Today we rolled our merry way past the Dover Callais line in a magical orange sunrise, having now officially left the English channel at our stern. Where we also had a stark reminder that not all of us are as privileged and free as us here on our little square rig shipping around a Corona scared Europe as we closely passed a blowup canoe manned by two people hoping for a better life in England having fled their own war-torn country behind them.
It reminded most of the crew that we are the lucky ones and that we shouldn’t take our freedom and our liberties for granted as people are willing to risk their life paddling across the busiest waterways in this hemisphere.
But further on we rolled our chariot down and into the north sea.
We followed the shipping lane claiming our own spot among vessels many times larger than us.
But going 8 knots we held our heads up high as the wind is pushing us ever closer towards the north and into the shortest night this year.


What a day … (By captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

as every day the tide is changing, our course over ground is changing, the side where the sails are set is changing, the meals as well.

Although something never changed since we left Amsterdam; the motivation expressed from all buddies on board. Yes, it is hard not to sleep well because of the boat bouncing into the waves, because of muscle ache from all the line handling. Today many plasters have been stuck around fingers and cream to heal hand wounds. Our hands are using all their strength to grab as strong as possible the smoothes or roughs halyards, sheets and down hauls. Oh yeah, the body feelings print the adventure in our memories.
I would like to say thanks a lot to some person on duty radio for “Dover Coast Guards ” and “Gris Nez Traffic” who made our passage easier and friendlier instead of asking strictly to apply the rule nb 10. Between theory and reality, tolerance should be accepted. Let’s create a new rule inspired by the Historic Passage of big ships who were racing here. The ones who don’t get the deep experience of pure sailing through the screen, please become a trainee on board!
The perseverance of a crew to realize more than 50 tacks within 72h is Funtackstic!!!
Tomorrow we will continue some repairs on the sails cause of the tough conditions. The inner jib has 2 seams slightly open to be restitched, a thimble disappeared through the mainsail from the clew outhaul of the main staysail who made a hole, also some shaved lines to splice.
Let s go for quieter weather forecast all sails up!!


15 miles circle for eternity (by captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

It has been a 48h of tacking in the very agitated sea and sky…

With the tide, we came back exactly where we were the day before in a distance of 15 miles straight line. The reality is that we needed so many little straight lines to reach this 15 miles further south. The explanation is maybe difficult to understand because we are “losing our north” sometimes. I stopped counting how many times we tacked and jibed. The picture is messy on the chart but all was under control. We reported our plan to Dover coast guards and Gris Nez Traffic who keep a sharp lookout on the traffic on the English and French side. Of course, we are annoying them by being the only one ship making a zig-zag route. Not so many options for us aiming the English channel. Some manoeuvres are impressive for those who’ve never seen the dear Tres in such meteorologic conditions. Facing high waves, big splashes, strong gusts in our ears. Our faces are burned or brown from sun and salt, muscles are getting tight and the new rain gears are baptized. Still a lot of positive and useful Joyce on deck.
The gale warning is cancelled now. It means the wind is decreasing and will shift to the West. The ship is well-positioned to go through this bloody tiny busy channel. We are looking forward to going through, at any minute now.
Under fore staysail, topsail and mainsail 1 reef. That is not much but enough. The royal and gallant furling was quick and successfully done with eager crew members called Jules, Colin and Lenno.


Surfer dans le canal (par Wiebe Radstake)

Le 28 avril, j’ai réveillé l’équipage à 5 heures du matin.

Bonjour à tous: il est temps de lever l’ancre! Une demi-heure plus tard, nous sommes toujours à errer dans la baie de Douarnenez avec une petite brise. Nous avions fais escale ici car nous étions déjà en mer depuis 5 semaines et les vents dans la Manche n’étaient pas en notre faveur ce qui nous forçait à virer de bord régulièrement et nous manquions de nourriture. Nos amis Rémi et Liz ont fait le ravitaillement pour nous (merci!) Et l’équipage du Tres Hombres a pu dormir quelques jours.

Quelques heures plus tard, les courants nous sortaient de la baie et le vent commençait à augmenter. Les pluies devenaient de plus en plus fortes. Huit heures plus tard, nous étions hors de la baie à tirer des bords avec un vent d’ouest entre le cap du Raz et l’île d’Ouessant. Les forts courants ont rendu la navigation difficile. Dix heures plus tard, le vent a enfin tourné d’ouest à sud-ouest. Avec ce vent, nous pouvions atteindre la côte sud de l’île d’Ouessant mais les courants venaient du nord, nous ne pouvions donc pas avancer. Cette nuit vers 4 heures, le courant de marée a changé et nous avons pu contourner l’île et enfin naviguer dans le chenal.

Je savais que c’était le moment idéal car une petite dépression allait arriver au prochain changement de quart. Énormément de pluie et 30 nœuds de vent qui a soudainement tourné. Nous avons donc dû nous préparer à empanner.

Maintenant, nous naviguons et, même mieux, nous surfons dans le chenal, en faisant entre 6,5 et 10 nœuds dans la bonne direction. Comme on dit aux Pays-Bas: Het paard ruikt de stal! (Le cheval sent l’écurie!)

Nous sommes tellement impatients de voir nos familles et nos amis même si nous devons agir différemment avec la règle des 1,5 m.


Encore quelques jours en mer, tout va bien.


Wiebe Radstake