Working behind the sails (by Giulia Baccosi)

This winter I have been taking some time off sailing and got busy in the headquarters of Fairtransport in Den Helder, and once the refit was over and the ship left, I decided to stay in the office, keen to be involved more in the work “behind the sails”, as I like to call it.

So, between my daily communication and networking tasks, I also dedicated lots of time to writing the first edition of “Tres Hombres Ship Handbook – Survival Guidelines for a Happy Crossing”.
From the bilge to the mast, from the navigation room to the foc’s’le, passing through the galley and the cargo hold, everything about what we do and how we do it on Tres Hombres is explained.

It wishes to answer common beforehand questions like what to pack (and not!), what is seasickness and how to prevent it or deal with it, how the watch system works, which kind of accommodation and food is provided, what is expected or not from the trainees…

This handbook is thought to guide the first steps of trainees and new crew members on board our good ship. It is meant to be a complete introduction to life on board our engineless vessel, which is pretty unique, and it has to be properly understood and embraced to be fully enjoyed.

We live simply and we make sure to challenge the comfort zone and our landlubbers’ habits that so often generate such a heavy impact on the environment. We do not only sail without an engine, we also do not have refrigeration systems, hot water, unlimited electricity access, and all these sorts of comfort we take so much for granted at home and take such a heavy toll on our bigger, shared Home.

Moreover, traditional tall ship sailing requires learning a new language, and a square-rigged ship is a complex creature to manoeuvre therefore sail handling instructions are also provided, as much as a glossary with the most important words and commands that we invite people to get familiar with before joining.

This book will not replace the onboard training, which I love to do when serving on board as a deckhand, but steer the doubts and expectations people might have beforehand and, hopefully, blow them away.
Here, we aim to grow not only better sailors but better consumers and Earth inhabitants, out of the people who decide to experience Tres Hombres and this handbook adds to our efforts to create such an impact.

It was a great pleasure and emotion to print it before the summer trip I would be part of as ship cook first and as deckhand after. And meeting the trainees on board who actually confirmed that it has been of great help for them!

I feel somehow my work in the communication department is over, at least for now. I need to focus on my own projects and take some time off for myself. I also finished my sailing season and stepped off the ship, left my sailing home for new shore adventures, and handed over my bunk to a new deckhand. All good things come to an end sooner or later, and I’m forever thankful for all the opportunities I have been given by Fairtransport and all that I have learnt on board Tres Hombres. It was a wild, wild ride. The best I could ever wish for, but, as we say in Sicily: “you need to leave the island, to see the island.” And sometimes, as much, you need to leave the ship, to see the ship…
A big thank you to my fellow sailing crew, to my Galley Squad team, as well to all the trainees who came on board this summer and brought their passion in their bags. It was a pleasure and an honour to sail and work with you, sharing all I got and teaching all I knew about our good old black lady. Thanks for your trust, for your hard work, for your humbleness, and for your neverending care. I deeply appreciated every drop of it, from each of you. Fair winds to the new sailing crew, big up to the land team both in the office and in the shipyard who make everything we leave at sea possible.

You all, Fairtransporters, in one way or another, carved a mosaic of unforgettable memories in my heart, I hope I left something in yours too.
Fair winds and following seas Fairtransport! May your good sails always be full!

 

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