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)

Tres Hombres Blog: Wild waters, crowded of sea life

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Biscay was awesomely rough, the hurricane in the north Atlantic made his presence definitely felt by our nutshell. How deep those oceanic valleys and how small we are! Wild waters, crowded of sea life… Dolphins and whales, one even appearing at few meters from our stern. What a bless to see such creatures free in their own environment. 
This crossing was Unforgettable and exciting, powerful and challenging, true sailing and olympic extreme cooking on the rolling stove of mygalley. Best learning school for a ship cook! 
Now, after three days of tacking back and forward in front of Porto, our destination and port of cargo operations,dreaming of hot shower and sunny terraces with port wine, the harbour master finally denied the possibility to get into the Douro river and rest by its shore. We are so obliged to change plans and in order to escape from a SW gale, we hoist full sails and fly over the waves at 8knots to go back to Galicia and anchor in Baiona under a beautiful full moon… 
We’ll stay there few days,show up if you’re in Northern Spain!
#doyouwannamakeGodslaugh? Tell them about your plans or sail engineless!

Giulia Cosi, Cook

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Tres Hombres blog: That Leaving Feeling

I caught it again this year, as we slipped our mooring in Willemsoord, Den Helder, and headed out for Den Helder lock and the open sea; that leaving feeling. It must be similar to what seafarers felt in the old days, pre-globalization and pre-internet, when leaving for an eight month’s voyage meant likely no news from home for the whole trip, no contact with the familiar ways and people and places. It’s like the wind over the ocean, that feeling, bracing and exhilerating and a little bit frightening. Awe-inspiring. It’s knowing that you don’t know what’s about to happen, but knowing that you’ll do your best to face it bravely. It’s like the moment before you jump from a high place into water. You take your courage as you find it and leap with all your heart, because a half-hearted leap is only a stumble.

Unlike those old sailors, I will have news from my friends and family for the next eight months, I will exchange emails and pictures and phone calls, keep up with what’s going on in my hometown, what changes and what remains the same. But I have cast off my lines from my land life, and headed out into the unknown, under bright stars and sun, through foggy days and rain-filled nights. I go with my whole heart, I hope, and all my courage, and whatever new horizon tomorrow brings I will keep my eyes as open as I can to see it. The lines are off. The ship is free. Who can say what will happen next?

Elisabeth, deckhand

Sail along with the Tres Hombres from rum destination to rum destination. Taste the delicious Tres Hombres Rum before it arrives in Europe next summer. 
Cross the ocean and enjoy the wildlife of the Atlantic Ocean. 
Jump into this great adventure … a once in a lifetime experience!
Sign on: 16th of December in Santa Cruz de la Palma to Barbados, 2460nm. Only two spots available for the quick decision makers.
For more info: http://fairtransport.eu/sail-along/ or email booking@fairtransport.nl

Nordlys blog: As a team in the rhythm of the sea

We are navigating our way from Den Helder to the southern peninsula of Europe.
When you are sailing the North Atlantic waters in the early months of the year, the weather conditions might be sometimes a bit rough.
Fortunately there are nowadays good weather forecasts for the first days to come. The depressions developing on the Atlantic Ocean are moving northeast over the continent and bring us the southwesterly gales. Keeping a good eye on the forecast can be life saving. With this in mind we had to make a stop in Brixham and another one in Douarnenez.
While we were there and waiting for fair weather, we were able to do maintenance on the ship, we tested our new anchor winch and worked on sail training. Provisions for the ship came from local farmers.
Fellow sailors, shipwrights, local merchants and friends came by on the Nordlys. Creating a stable market and expanding ideas for the Fairtransport enterprise.

We departed from Douarnenez on a shiny sunday morning and tacked our way towards the Atlantic Ocean. The Bay of Biscay is well known for its rough seas and has to be avoided in the certain weather conditions.
With a ship like Nordlys you will need about four or five days of fair winds to cross this bay. This brings us to were we are right now. We are sailing southwards on the Atlantic swell about 150 nautical miles from Porto.
On board we are nine crew, so eighteen hands to handle the sails, ropes and rudder, preparing food and so forth..
As a team in the rhythm of the sea.

Porto will be our first harbor where we charge cargo of all kind. The hold will be filled with organic products from the Douro region. We will bring these products by wind and sail to the northern countries of the continent.
Transport makes it possible to eat delicious olives, taste an excellent olive oil,use Atlantic sea salt for your meals and enjoy a natural wine, in for example England, Germany, The Netherlands, Denmark and so forth. Products which are not only produced in a nature friendly way, but also transported so. Sometimes the work on the land is slightly harder, sometimes the transport takes a bit longer… The taste of it all is definitely better! Respect the laws of nature. And nature gives it back.

captain Lammert Osinga