No more land in sight (Jaap van Krugten/Trainee)

Foto: Marco van der Does

After our departure from the Santa Cruz de la Palma harbor, the shouts of command quickly changed into shouts of joy: we are on our way to Barbados with 10 knots! During the next night watches, we can see the lights high on the islands of Gomera at port, and later on Hierro on starboard. We are making our way south, towards the trade winds. Although the little wind we have now, makes our ride less bumpy and more pleasant for those with seasickness, we are not making a lot of speed. The couple of knots we are making seem to come from the current rather than from the wind, but hey, at least we are going south.

Since the container harbor of La Palma and the lights from Gomera and Hierro, the scenery has changed quite a bit: no more land. From the top of the Royal, the view is practically identical in all directions (and quite amazing). Through the few clouds that dot the horizon, the sun and moon rises are quite astonishing, the milky way clearly visible at night. The lack of wind and the lazy waves rolling by makes being here almost surreal. Only the radio, airmail and our sanity is telling us that there is more than us bobbing around in the seemingly infinite ocean.

One morning we were treated with a beautiful sunrise during breakfast, and on top of that, four small dolphins were swimming around the ship. Simultaneously breaching and diving again, they seemed to enjoy their little visit to the Tres Hombres. The all-, yet nothingness of the ocean around us was soon stirred again by a set of sail-less masts at the horizon. As the ship slowly drew closer, it appeared to be a small ocean crossing ship, flying the French flag. Strangely, the three people and a cat got close enough to exchange some waves (not the cat), but stayed to far a way for a chat. Strange people, those Frenchies. After stealing our dolphins, they slowly disappeared to the other horizon with the lazy thuf-thuf-thuf of their engine.

The good weather and easy rolling of the ship makes it an ideal time for some maintenance. During the day watches we busy ourselves with small repairs and maintenance here and there, sanded and oiled the cleats, and stopped the ladder next to the foxhole sleeping quarters from making that annoying sound every wave. At night we resort to telling jokes and playing games like `animal chain`: the next one in the circle has to name an animal beginning with the last letter of the previous one. We got stuck at the letter `e`. Besides that small hitch during the last night watch, all is well onboard the Tres Hombres, as we slowly make our way south, towards the trade winds.

Greetings,
Jaap (Trainee)