The World Below (by Michael Ross)

Not much has been written here about the inner world of the Tres, i.e., what lies below its deck.

Before I was able to set foot on board, I have always been curious about what’s there.
Now I can report from first-hand experience.

Beginning with the bow, there is the locker, where various things are stored (there is never enough storage on a ship).
This is connected directly with the famous Focsle, (see Blog entry from 11Apr2018) where half of the trainees sleep while the other half is doing watch time.
It is reached by a steep ladder from the deck. If the hatch is closed, a small bulleye still allows you to distinguish day and night.

Each of the 8 bunks in the Focsle comes with a heavy wooden chest tight to the ground to pack your clothes into, and a small cupboard-like space for further personal things.
There is even the luxury of reading light at each bunk. Although the headroom above the beds is rather limited, the Focsle as such is not as narrow, allowing for sitting together and having a chat.

Next to it is the dry store. (I never heard of a “wet store”, though. There probably isn’t one).
The dry store belongs to the kingdom of the cook in the galley above and is visited by her frequently
when fetching food by climbing a steep ladder below the galley’s table.
One needs to have a really good memory to remember where what is. One would expect mainly tins and rice here, but not on the Tres Hombres!
There are plentiful fresh veggies and other delicacies from which the cook creates her marvellous meals, primarily vegetarian.
Vertically through the Dry Stores runs the anchor chain, hidden under its floor.
Some quite essential valves sit on the ceiling, to be operated e.g., for bilge pumping.

Further mid-ship there is the heart of our freighter, the cargo hold, fitted with brackets for the barrels and other goods to be transported.
The ceiling can be opened by removing a number of wooden planks, which are numbered and need to be put back in exactly the right sequence.

Aft, connected by a steel door, there is the library, from where the bunks of the crew can be reached.
I think there are enough books for the next 99 trips, the roster does not allow for much reading anyway.
Playing cards are available, too. I recommend the ones from “Lagerstein” (Merchandise if an Australian pirate band).

In the aft, we reach the most essential “navigation room” (also called “bridge”), where all the communication devices necessary for planning and monitoring a safe journey are.
Safety equipment such as Immersion suits is also there. It is here where the Captain, first mate, bosun and watch leaders collect information about winds,
streams, zones to plan the next days. Charts with information about almost every harbour can be found here, in form of books but also downloaded on the computer.
This is where century-old sailing techniques meet modern technology which not only helps to navigate through ever more dense traffic but also help to fulfil the demands
of an ever-growing set of rules and regulations the Captain has to obey.

The nav room is actually a very nice place to be, sitting on the benches, talking when there is nothing urgent to do.
But that’s not why we are here.

Sticking the head out of the sliding hatch of this room into the fresh breeeze, you’re next to the head, one of the other very essential rooms on board.
It even has a water flush! Enjoy!.

Hope you have now an impression of what’s in the belly of the Tres.

Michael the Catweazle.

Do you enjoy reading our crew’s adventures? Imagine being there when you enjoy our products at home!

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