Northwind in the Suez Canal (by captain Andreas Lackner)

Or was there another reason that the container wanted to tack there?

Any sail cargo user or other kind of realist could not have planned an incident better than what happened, congratulations! Worries about the world’s economy because of one ship. Are you all mad? What do we not have in Europe that we need to survive? A phone?

We are now 3 days and 600 miles out of Horta, Azores, where we enjoyed very much the local customs of eating, drinking and conversing together as well as the lush green nature of the island with all its scenic walking paths.
Volcanoes, flowers, cows, the sea…all is visible on a single day of hiking through the wild. For all cows. 

Talking to our good friend Paula’s partner Emanuel, we found out that many people on the island want to exchange the cow-strategy, which means just many cows, to something else.
Something, in a realistic way, would make more sense, because the cows are subsidized by the EU and they need ships to bring them, or meat and milk, far away to be converted into money. So some agricultural product which can be used locally, does not need so much ground and is also not as toxic for the soil. Flowers, mushrooms, wine, fruit, vegetables and herbs from permaculture…these are some of the options people are trying hard here and on the neighboring islands, and you can see on their backs and the prices of their goods, that it is a very hard way to survive on the island.

When you enter the Continente Supermarket all of this is wiped out of sight. Cheapest plastic fantastic from all over the world as far as you can see. The containers also arrive here. Francisco, our agent here, told us that since Corona he has a lot more work, because people order much more shit on the internet, which comes with the containers. With a good plate of (imported) food costing EUR 7,- and a bottle of good Portuguese (imported) wine for EUR 4,- in the cafe it is hard for any local farmer or winemaker to compete. But they try, also with reforestation and use of local wood for better and nicer housing projects than what was made after the earthquakes.

Again it’s the ultra-low cargo price which makes all of this unbalance possible. And the islanders who claim that they also want all the commodities from the peoples on the mainland. But you already have your political independence, the good air, no corona, tranquility, beauty and relative safety from war and terror. You cannot have everything. All this everything, which today mainly means eating cheap, industrial food in order to save money for buying phones and using the internet, is just not the best you can get, at least not on the Azores, because there is much more. I am glad to have met a few people who do it different, like Norberto, Brigitte & her sons, Rita, Ines, Yasmina & Fred and many more and you can see that they enjoy the community and the islands nature as well as the sea and her creatures which are abundant around this magic place in the middle of the Atlantic.

As a line ship with still some tramp character we also had to take in some local specials as tuna in cans and wine from Pico. And we left our mark at friendly Porto Pim, have a look!

Sailing with a strong SW-ly breeze made us a good progress through the first day on our way back home, but now NE is expected, some ocean tacking ahead of us, but still we do not have to go around the Cape 😉
Who would do this anyway, just because of cargo, something which comes from far and is not necessary for life. Would you burn fuel for that, have nature destroyed somewhere far away and intoxicate the oceans with oil and noise ? What’s up with you, are you mad??

Keep tacking dear people, there’s just no other way than the use of wind

Andreas

 

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