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

What a day … (By captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

as every day the tide is changing, our course over ground is changing, the side where the sails are set is changing, the meals as well.

Although something never changed since we left Amsterdam; the motivation expressed from all buddies on board. Yes, it is hard not to sleep well because of the boat bouncing into the waves, because of muscle ache from all the line handling. Today many plasters have been stuck around fingers and cream to heal hand wounds. Our hands are using all their strength to grab as strong as possible the smoothes or roughs halyards, sheets and down hauls. Oh yeah, the body feelings print the adventure in our memories.
I would like to say thanks a lot to some person on duty radio for “Dover Coast Guards ” and “Gris Nez Traffic” who made our passage easier and friendlier instead of asking strictly to apply the rule nb 10. Between theory and reality, tolerance should be accepted. Let’s create a new rule inspired by the Historic Passage of big ships who were racing here. The ones who don’t get the deep experience of pure sailing through the screen, please become a trainee on board!
The perseverance of a crew to realize more than 50 tacks within 72h is Funtackstic!!!
Tomorrow we will continue some repairs on the sails cause of the tough conditions. The inner jib has 2 seams slightly open to be restitched, a thimble disappeared through the mainsail from the clew outhaul of the main staysail who made a hole, also some shaved lines to splice.
Let s go for quieter weather forecast all sails up!!

Anne-Flore

15 miles circle for eternity (by captain Anne-Flore Gannat)

It has been a 48h of tacking in the very agitated sea and sky…

With the tide, we came back exactly where we were the day before in a distance of 15 miles straight line. The reality is that we needed so many little straight lines to reach this 15 miles further south. The explanation is maybe difficult to understand because we are “losing our north” sometimes. I stopped counting how many times we tacked and jibed. The picture is messy on the chart but all was under control. We reported our plan to Dover coast guards and Gris Nez Traffic who keep a sharp lookout on the traffic on the English and French side. Of course, we are annoying them by being the only one ship making a zig-zag route. Not so many options for us aiming the English channel. Some manoeuvres are impressive for those who’ve never seen the dear Tres in such meteorologic conditions. Facing high waves, big splashes, strong gusts in our ears. Our faces are burned or brown from sun and salt, muscles are getting tight and the new rain gears are baptized. Still a lot of positive and useful Joyce on deck.
The gale warning is cancelled now. It means the wind is decreasing and will shift to the West. The ship is well-positioned to go through this bloody tiny busy channel. We are looking forward to going through, at any minute now.
Under fore staysail, topsail and mainsail 1 reef. That is not much but enough. The royal and gallant furling was quick and successfully done with eager crew members called Jules, Colin and Lenno.

Anne-Flore

Surfen in het kanaal (door Wiebe Radstake)

Op 28 april werd ik om vijf uur ’s ochtends in de foxhole wakker.

Goedemorgen iedereen: tijd om het anker op te pompen! Een half uurtje later was het anker omhoog en met een heel kleine windje trokken we op en neer in de baai van Douarnenez. We zijn hier gestopt omdat we al 5 weken op zee waren en de wind in het kanaal niet zo goed was (overstag gaan met lichte wind) en we bijna geen voedsel meer hadden. Onze goede vrienden Remi en Liz hebben de proviand voor ons verzorgd (bedankt!) En de crew van Tres Hombres kon een paar dagen slapen.

Een paar uur nadat het anker was opgepompt, stroomde de stroom de baai weer uit en begon de wind langzaam toe te nemen. Ook werden de regens steeds heviger. Acht uur later waren we uit de baai overstag gegaan met een westelijke wind heen en weer tussen Cap du Raz en Ile d’Ouessant. Zware stromingen maakten het een heel bijzondere navigatie. Nog eens 10 uur later nam de wind toe en trok hij zich terug van west naar zuidwest. Met deze wind konden we de zuidkant van Ile D’Ouessant bereiken, maar de stromingen kwamen van noord naar zuid, dus we konden er niet omheen. Vanavond rond 4 uur veranderde de getijstroom en konden we rond het eiland gaan om de zeilen te zetten en uiteindelijk het kanaal in te zeilen.

Ik wist dat dit de perfecte timing was, want een laag dieptepunt zou een wacht later over ons heen komen. Regen, regen, regen en 30 knopen wind van het ene op het andere moment. Dus moesten we ons schrap zetten en het schip een gijp laten maken.

Nu zeilen, of beter surfen we in het kanaal, met tussen de 6,5 en 10 knopen (weer afhankelijk van stroming) in de goede richting. Zoals we in Nederland zeggen: Het paard ruikt de stal!
We kijken er zó naar uit om onze families en vrienden te zien, zelfs als we anders moeten handelen met de 1,5 m-regel.

Nog een paar dagen op zee, het allerbeste.

Wiebe Radstake