Not under command under control (by captain Anne-Flore)

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.

Anne-Flore

The Caribbean of the North (by Rosa/deckhand)

“They call it the Caribbean of the North”…where you can have buckets of liquid sunshine and imagine coconuts growing on city lights. Welcome to the magical experience that is sailing a cargo of 19.000 bottles of natural French wines to Denmark.

Telling a story about the last two weeks is not easy. So many beautiful experiences were crammed into this short period of time and every day brought memorable moments of its own. They mostly involved but were not limited to awesome sailing, friendships old & new, bright Baltic summer nights, music, top-quality natural wine, delicious feasts, freshly brewed beer, and obscene amounts of ice cream.

We had a fun and intense day unloading our cargo in Kopenhagen with Sune and his team from Rosforth & Rosforth, with the traditional lunch under the bridge at the Knippelsbrogade and the equally traditional sampling of the treasures. We were not allowed to leave the immediate vicinity of the ship and as a consequence became (almost) famous street musicians: Tres Hombres crew presents “The Bilge Leftovers” & friends. Our shoreside supporters supplied us with everything we could wish for, from fresh laundry to famous Danish pastry. We accidentally ordered Pizza the night Sune arranged a Dinner delivery from his wine bar. Super fancy Georgian inspired lunch at sea en route to Bornholm anyone? We sailed Kopenhagen – Bornholm in 23 hours and discovered that there actually exist other courses than full & by…20 knots in the butt hip hip hurray!

In the port of Gudhjem, we were invited for delicious feasts at Provianten every night. Maria and Thomas did not only open their restaurant to us but also their home. The Bilge Leftovers kept rocking and we had a hard time finding our way to bunk with the sun never completely setting. Which of the many local ice cream shops is really the best? Only one way to find out. We went for an excursion to Svanneke brewery. In turn, brewmaster Jan went for an excursion all the way up to the royal yard. Sune came sailing and shared our life aboard for a few days, experiencing first hand how much hard work and pure happiness flow into the transport of his cargo – and how tranquil life can be without a phone. During our stay in Bornholm, his family stayed in the cargo hold, which doubled as a wine tasting parlor in the daytime. His kids were a welcome addition to the Tres Hombres team on the football field, where sailors who are used to walking (no running on deck!) a maximum distance of 28 m have lots of fun but lose their breath quickly.

Leaving a place like Gudhjem is not easy, but ships and sailors rot in port and we are eager to return to the sea. So one last icecream everybody and we cast off our lines to the sound of Ursula singing opera and half the village waving us farewell.

This has been my third wine run to Denmark. The generosity, the heartfelt welcome, and the shared enthusiasm for our cargo sailing mission we encounter there leave a deep impression on me every time. Thank you, everybody, for making this happen together, the crew of our beautiful ship and the crews on land, in Kopenhagen, Gudhjem, and Den Helder.

Rosa

Creation (by captain Anne-Flore)

The departure maneuver in Copenhagen was super cool and smooth!

It is great to move a big sailing ship like this in a harbor under sails. Nowadays being under sails inside a port is forbidden.
I allowed us to do it because it’s possible and it’s very important to understand your ship under all circumstances, in all places. It’s esthetic, it’s cheaper, it’s in silence, it’s an achievement. If you don’t try, you will never know the capacity of your ship and the ability of yourself to handle different situations. Pushing the boundaries means creation, without creation life is boring.

The smiles of the few crew members left on shore and Sune’s team singing for us were warming up our hearts. The Welcomes and the Good byes are precious. Later, I received pictures of the Tres Hombres from different spots on the coast. It’s hard to let a home, a friend sailing away. You feel like a part is missing in your heart. If you accept, the one who leaves goes lighter and stronger. The one who stays has to make sure that the inside healthy firework feeling will be recreated to get as high as possible to set it as a norm, life is exciting and too short to be wasted.

Yesterday we expected South wind all away through the narrow Sound Passage which wasn’t real. Of course, we tacked for a while, passed the ferry lanes which can be two at a time. Then the wind decreased so much that we were not under command, drifting on the edge of the channel to the right direction, but for how long?

No worries, we are safe, but that doesn’t mean that we have to wait for the miracle to come. So we dropped the dinghy into the water and Collin pushed us for an hour. At 7.30 pm we were out of the Passage. The current helped us to come in a wider area to progress and the wind came back from land. “Watch change” good luck.
Last night it was very rainy, sometimes 9 kts, dousing sails, sometimes 3 kts and setting sails.

In 24h the 6 new crew members got a large spectrum about what we are doing on deck with all this stuff above our heads. It doesn’t make sense yet. Don’t worry, you are part of the team and every hand is useful.
When you step on board you can’t be a spectator. And acting makes you understand “why”. You live the process into the details.

Today is sunny finally, linseed oil is spread here and there. As well as little repairs for the ship to go to Den Helder. Soon the big yearly refit comes…
(see you next year Copenhagen and Bornholm)

Anne-Flore and the crew thank the Rosforth & Rosforth team, Sabotoren and Provianten gigantically for their trust in Fairtransport and for bringing awareness to consume good quality products that help to provide healthy earth, healthy people, and working in short circuit organization.

When the Sun never sleep (by Collin Bertron/Deckhand)

It’s midnight, we wake up. It’s morning light outside! We can clearly see.

The deck, the water surrounding us, the faces of my shipmates, the horizon melting in thousands of colors of blue. The moon goes to sleep, the other watch also.
We’re alone on deck with a very light breeze.

We’re like an evolution in a painting. Time is suspended for another night, it’s not dark, not bright, just in between, eternal dusk, ethereal feeling of eternity.
Was midsummer celebration a couple of days ago, Saint Johns. But as we keep going North, it looks like a race with the time, even slow. It seems we are still winning a few minutes on him.
The wind, him, is not that regular and foreseeable. In one day, he blew us through Dover, flew us over Belgium and the Netherlands even before we had time to see it on the chart, but now is blowing somewhere else, letting us drifting in the North Sea, trimming our sails to try to find him again, but no jealousy, we can share, other ships might need him as well and he will turn back, he always turn back.

The North Sea, I’ve never been so far North in my life, in front of us just lay unknown waters.
We are entering Viking’s territories, heading for Skagerrak, the northern point of Denmark, where the Baltic and the North Sea meet. I’m curious to discover new landscapes and different cultures.
Let’s see what the little island of Bornholm has to bring us. We’ll bring them some wine. Is that not a nice present and a good way to make new friends? We gonna deliver some delicious organic and natural wines over there.
That’s our mission, trading the most delicious products from one place to another, to one culture to another. Always under sails.

Great blue sky for all

Collin

A sunny day (by captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

Paint and stain possible on this beautiful day.

All sails are up, even the jib that the kids painted in Amsterdam. We sat her under the mainsail. We call it the ‘dolphin sail’.

Some of the crew members enjoyed cooking yesterday while Soraia had a day off. Her pastas, oignons beignets, pizzas, lasagna and vegetables are so well prepared.

The wind isn’t strong, even when more than 50 miles are drawn on the chart. My first plan was to sail around the high pressure. Go straight North and turn toward the East later but the ship was more comfortable and faster last night towards NorthEast.
We definitely passed the middle distance of the travel at the midsummer day and everyone is content to get closer to Denmark. The treasures of Bornholm that are remembered on deck quite often are the ice cream shop’s, the biggest waterfall and the cliffs of Denmark, the awesome breweries, of course, Maria and Thomas’s restaurant with the collection of corkscrews, the 10h daily choral in the harbour, the family atmosphere from the islanders …

There is only one night watch nowadays. It is so bright until 11 pm and again from 04 am. The sunrises and sunsets are magnificent. Colors are settings the peace, keep awake the minds.

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.

Lenno

One o’clock, night watch (by Hanjo van Weerden)

There’s barely any wind. I am on deck, looking at the top light drawing shapes against the night sky.

Not sure what day it is anymore; I don’t really have to think about that stuff and I haven’t charged my phone in a week (at least I think it’s been a week). It’s all very relaxing.
Sailing is hard work — I mean the setting of the sails, tacking around, bracing square, joining (‘specially with 30 knots of wind) — but right now there is not much to do. I have some time to reflect.

I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stepped onboard the Tres Hombres five weeks ago but so far the trip hasn’t disappointed. I have seen dolphins swimming, jumping through our bow wave, I went for ice cream in the dinghy, I’ve learned to make whippings and servings and splices (lazy, short and ring so far), we’ve been entered by French customs officers, I’ve played 3D-Tetris with boxes of bio-dynamically produced wine and tasted the same wine while listening to accordion music, learned to plot the ship’s position on the chart, I’ve seen the ocean light up from bio-luminescence and I’ve never eaten this much aubergine. Oh yes, and I learned to sail a square rig.

Do I want to keep on sailing? Don’t know really, not thinking about the future. Not really thinking about the past either.

As the cliche goes: I live in the moment, man. That’s really all one can do when any moment you are on the deck you might have t…   — “Prepare to tack!”
And there we go again…

Fingers grab the outer jib sheet (by Marceline Mutsaerts)

Fingers grab the outer jib sheet …

Are they mine?
Hands feel the curiosity
Of last year’s boson
The mumbling drums of this refit
And that refit
Echoes of detachment sweat
That rinsed all those backs
Shaped all those minds
Into a pale blue line

Man, just had this crazy dream
Was it mine?
Boots touching the rock
Of a grassy French island
A beautiful woman
Riding a hippopotamus
Some virus stirring up the March
No dude, it’s already June
Check out the daybreak of this tune

Fingers grab a dripping heart
“It’s alright,” they say
Are they mine?

We reached the end of the world (By captain Anne-Flore)

 

We reached the end of the world as we say in Breton.

We turned around Ouessant in the mist and rain. It was mysteriously cold and wet as if England was drifting south to France showing the best hazardous black rocks on the horizon. My lovely region has many faces.
Whatever our course is corresponding to our wish, the wind comes from our beam and we don’t have to brace sharp anymore. We are going with the elements.
All colours of rain gears on deck shine the fashion show those days. Today we were all kind of flowers needed water from the sky to exist and grow. Some of us decided to be a cactus because they preferred not having so much ”humidity” falling into their hoods.
At the 16th we received a call on the VHF. They were close by in the fog, not appearing with AIS. Yes !!! Our friends from Grayhound showing off white sails and black hull. Oh Yeah, have a good trip!

We would love to cross the paths of this kind of ships more often on the waters. Cargo ships nowadays are so square, so meaningless. All sails up, the dolphin sail painted by the kids in Amsterdam is hanging under the mainsail to catch the breeze as much as possible.

5 days at anchor (by captain Anne-Flore)

in the south of YEU island.

This was the safest, closest free shelter I found near Les Sables d’ Olonne.
Rigging and deck maintenance has been carried out and the crew did enjoy beautiful walks on the island and the open restaurants and bars very much on days off.
Today it is time to prepare the ship for sailing 25 miles and organise the manoeuver with the tug and pilot at 07h00 Sunday morning.
Winemaker Olivier Cousin will come to visit us with the first part of our cargo, as well as Thierry Michon.
The producers of the wine know the entire route, the way to transport and who is acting for who. They even know the buyer and the drinker. It is a simple way to connect humans with their knowledge about the earth and sea. It is a way of taking care of all elements…
A journalist will visit us in the harbor to spread the message and we will meet an association “Tous dans le meme bateau ” (All in the same boat) that educates young people and adults to protect the environment.  They make the link between people and politics.

Anne-Flore