MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR TRAINEE EILISH

Age: 23
Nationality: SCOTTISH
Position on board: TRAINEE FOR THE WHOLE JOURNEY
Former occupation on land aka how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing?
I am working for an arts company, the “Black Dog Puppet Company”, which is expanding into an arts hub called “Create”.
Since the beginning of it, I am working there, doing a little bit of everything: performing but also building and constructing.
Which book, film, or song (or else) inspired/sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
When I was really young, I read a book: the brother of the main character loved boats and I guess that inspired me a lot. Then in my teens, I read a series of books set on tall ships, the Liveship Traders trilogy, which was very fun. And in high school, I studied traditional boat building for a year too. So when I finished my last year of high school, everybody started to look for universities, but I didn’t want to.
So I started to look for tall ships and I found Tres Hombres! I signed up for the half trip, but then a hurricane happened and it got cancelled. In the meantime, I studied organic farming in Norway and had a taste of some traditional sailing there in the fjords, which was very exciting. Then because of Covid, I could save some money and so now I am able to do the whole trip a few years after my original signing on.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Loads of socks! More than you think you should pack. Also some way of documenting things, camera or diary, something like that and a good
snack for night watches.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Dramatic interpersonal dynamics (D.i.d.)
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
The Gaff Top Sail (not rigged) for snuggles and my bunk when the foc’s’le is empty (nap time)
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Okidoke, Samshine, Fun.
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?
It’s too difficult to choose something, it’s elusive. I can’t pin it down to one thing.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
My biggest fear was, that I would be s***t, that I just would be bad.
My greatest satisfaction is, that’s not what happened.
Why Tres Hombres?
I was drawing tall ships in art at school because I find there is something inspiring about them, they are pleasing in every sense.
When I found Fairtransport, the idea grew. And the Tres has no engine, which makes it even better!

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MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR TRAINEE NADINE

Age: 25
Nationality:GERMAN
Position onboard:
TRAINEE FOR THE WHOLE JOURNEY
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
I work as a nurse and this kept me busy most of the time. I was assisting with heart surgeries. So as my daily business I was touching beating hearts in open chests.
Which book, film, or song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
I went sailing in the Netherlands with an exchange, organized by our youth centre back in my hometown when I was 13 or 14. Since then I went sailing in the Netherlands every year. Someday I thought: I would like to cross the Atlantic!
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
I wish I would have brought my knife! But definitely, you should bring a unicorn.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Phone.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
The galley roof!
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Leaving and especially sailing out of the harbours.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Douse the royal!
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?
While climbing the rigging sometimes reminds me of riding a bucking horse.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
I was worried about how it would be out in the Atlantic, without being able to reach civilization easily and my greatest satisfaction was to find out how much I enjoyed it when I was actually doing it. And how much I enjoyed not being available!
Why Tres Hombres?
Because I was looking for a safe way to cross the Atlantic. The Tres impressed me with her beauty and the fact that there’s no engine on board. I also wanted to join a traditional sailing vessel, to learn some traditional seaman skills.
I didn’t want to do the crossing in a plastic boat!

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PROVISIONING IN LA PALMA

LOCATION NOTES:

La Palma, also named “La Bonita”, is known for her Jurassic wild flora, black sandy volcanic beaches, and for delighting the visitors at night with one of the purest skies in the whole Northern hemisphere. It is also one of the steepest islands in the world: the top of its main volcano raises above sea level up to 2423 mt.

Biodiversity thrives here, also thanks to its blessed position in warm latitudes swept by the fresh Atlantic breeze, almost always blowing, being at the entrance of the Trade Winds route.

The island got worldwide famous last year due to the major eruptions of La Cumbre Vieja, which lasted for several months and severely impacted the inhabitants of the island and its wildlife. Growers, farmers, and producers have been struggling in such harsh environmental circumstances but the local solidarity made it possible to cope with the situation and get over it.

PROVISIONING:

We landed on the first island of the many we will encounter during our trans-Atlantic voyage: La Palma, on the Canary Islands. Last years’ cook, Sabine, who has lived on the island for many years, linked me up with lots of small-scale producers. It was great getting to drive around the island and picking up the fruit and veggies direct from them. What a provisioning dream this island is, such a great selection of locally grown produce, including things that are specific to the Island. I tried Yuca for the first time and surprised all the crew with this unsuspecting root vegetable. They look like brown sweet potatoes but have the texture of water chestnut and taste like sugar cane! I added them into salads during the crossing which was delicious. They kept for about a month. I also tried Tomatillo, they look a little like plum tomatoes and also grow on a vine, however, the skin is thicker (and a little bitter) but the taste of the fruit inside is really strong and tropical. These fruits are sturdy and I saved them till at least two weeks into the crossing, they were a nice surprise to pull out long after the rest of the more tropical fruit had been used up.

I also enjoyed buying passion fruit that I would add to fruit salads and to ‘refreshing beverages’ that I would sometimes make and had out to the crew in an extra effort to keep them hydrated.

Being this the first time that I provisioned for a big crossing I was for sure carrying some newbies anxiety. I probably over-bought on some things, and maybe under-bought on others. However in the end the crossing went well and we still had plenty of fresh food by the end. I think another week could have gone by and I would have been able to keep the meals at a good level of freshness and interest.

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MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR TRAINEE MARKUS

Name: MARKUS
Age: 32
Nationality: FINNISH
Position onboard:
TRAINEE FOR THE WHOLE VOYAGE
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
Arthur [First Mate] would describe me as a gipsy pirate Viking.
Which book, film, or song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?Watching “Around Cape Horn”.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
I have been the happiest about my sunglasses.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
I don’t have anything with me, I wish I wouldn’t have it with me.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone?The royal yard, but also the helm and also my bunk and also my headphones
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Sailing!
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Live a little.
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?
Thore Olsen [one of the deckhands on board]
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
My biggest fear: Heights and the ocean.
My biggest satisfaction: Enjoying them both now.
Why Tres Hombres?
It’s a non-charter-square-rigger. This should already say everything, I think.

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Sourdough Bread on board (By Guven Daragon, second mate)

This post is for those who thought that we could spend all this time at sea without bread. Let me tell you that we could not!

If you already tried to bake bread, you might have experienced that it is a real learning curve, and onboard taught us to let go and trust our fellow salty crew, regardless of the efforts you put in to mix the dough or knead it, as usually the one making the bread isn’t the one who will shape and bake it.

Our breadmaking journey started this year in Den Helder with a sourdough starter given by a generous bakery from Amsterdam and a recipe that has been used onboard in previous years.

Sourdough bread is a real art and is pretty demanding, as you need to feed the sourdough starter, make the dough, knead it, proof it, shape it, bake it and finally enjoy it. To make things a little more spicy and interesting, imagine all this being done in a moving galley, where you have to dive into the bouncing dry store to pick up flour when you can be called at any time on deck for manoeuvers while your hands are dipped in flour, and where the temperature and moisture evolve as we sail along different latitudes.

As we all love to have fresh crispy warm bread for breakfast, the bread-making process is split in between watches to have it ready for 7h30. The dough is thus made from 20 to 00, kneaded and proofed from 00 to 04 and baked from 04 to 08.

We have been experimenting with many different consistencies and shapes, and don’t get it wrong, all bread was always appreciated, however, not all looked like bread. Do not get mistaken, bread making is not a fair game, regardless of the time and energy you put into it!

As a sourdough starter needs to be fed 3 times a day, ours became one of the “babies” we have onboard, got a name and got taken care of by all of us alternatively, big up to those who have taken greater care.

Here is a shortened version of the sourdough starter saga.

Early in our journey, our first sourdough starter had been named Herbert. To supply our bread consumption, the sourdough starter had to get bigger but still fit in the galley. That’s how Herbert got split in two one morning and became respectively Her and Bert.

Eventually, Her got spread all over the galley table by a gentle wave one morning. Scooped straight back in her homepot, she turned out the next day to be more active than Bert! Accidents sometimes make things better than they were before!

However, all stories do not necessarily end well. Unfortunately, our beloved sourdough did not survive the post north Atlantic ocean crossing in our stopover in Martinique where they got left aside a little too long, ending up with respectively an ore-dish and blue-greenish colours on their tops.

Fortunately, as all sailors have to have at least a plan B, we’ve been backing up our sourdough attempts with dry yeast, which turned out to be the easiest, less demanding and best bread results we made so far.

For those how are curious, here is the recipe the Tres Hombres crew (almost) always succeeds to make.

In a bowl, put 2 kg of flour with:

2 Tablespoons of salt for the taste

1/2 Teaspoon of dry yeast for the fluffiness

2 Tablespoons of sugar to feed the yeast

A drop of vinegar to reduce the yeast taste and help fermentation

Mix dry ingredients and add 1 litre of water.

Cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise for 6 to 10 hours depending on which latitude you are
sailing by.

Shape and bake for an hour at 230 degrees. Enjoy! (For nicer results use a Dutch oven!)

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MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR TRAINEE DARIO

Name: DARIO
Age: 22
Nationality: AUSTRIAN
Position onboard: TRAINEE
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not
sailing)? 
Acting, clowning, basketball.
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the
dream of a life at sea? 
Titanic and Castaway.
Once I spent 1hour on a ferry. I really liked the calmness of the sea, this was touching. I felt free.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Snacks! Nail clipper!
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Razor
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
The poop house.
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
The poop house.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Good morning, foc’s’le! [ Traditional wake-up call in the crew accommodations ]
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?
A camel! You can store a lot of water in a camel.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
To fall overboard & not to fall overboard.
Why Tres Hombres?
Well, the rum seemed to be pretty good.

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MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR FIRST MATE ARTHUR

Age: 29
Nationality: ENGLISH
Position on board: FIRST MATE
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
I am a jack of all trades which centers around old wooden ships. Carpenter most commonly.
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
For me, sailing has always been an escape, so I guess the true answer is: getting fed up with land-life is what inspires me!
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Socks (and more socks).
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
A dead fish with gas.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone?
The dinghy. If people talk, you just turn the throttle.
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Ali’s [deckhand] secret stash. NOM.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Gaff Topsail Adventure.
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one would she be?
Estee…
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
Becoming obsolete & becoming obsolete.
Why Tres Hombres?
Stockholm syndrome.

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MEET THE CREW

MEET OUR BOSUN CAMILLE

Age: 28
Nationality: FRENCH
Position on board: BOSUN
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
I’ve been a physiotherapist, but now for 4 years, I have been working on tall ships.
Which book, film, song and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
It was directly a ship, Hermione. I met l’Hermione at a maritime festival and I saw people working and sailing on it, who were absolutely not professional sailors. Just ‘normal’ people. So I applied and that’s how it started for me.
A book I recommend is ‘Carnet du cap horn’ and ‘ Deux années sur la gaillard d’avant ‘ [Two Years Before the Mast].
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
You really need to take a knife, spike, and a lot of tar and linseed oil. And personally, I brought Mout-Mout and Moska (a big sheep and a little monkey).
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Connections (in a general meaning), so you can focus on the little community around you.
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
Somewhere in the rigging, it doesn’t matter where just up there.
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
Plenty of things! But I especially love the fact that there are no engines: not for the ship, not for the anchor winch nor the bilge. Also, the food, which is mostly vegetarian, and so the cook, who is preparing it.
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
Bosuns Are Magical (to be read on the first mate’s t-shirt).
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one would she be?
A small and fast whale.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
Fear: responsibilities of my role.
Satisfaction: what a nice crew we have! Really motivated people, I am so happy about that!
Why Tres Hombres?
…because I got lucky !

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Crew visit at Conacado (by Martin Keil)

For more than 10 years Tres Hombres is carrying cocoa beans from the Dominican Republic back to Amsterdam.

On Thursday, the 24th of February the Tres crew went on a field trip to the backland of the island to meet the farmers of the cooperative Conacado. The inner backland is the agricultural centre of the country. On the 3 hours bus trip to San Francisco, we saw large plantations of rice and banana passing along the street. The cooperative is a local enterprise that hosts 10.000 cocoa farmers. The annual production is approximately 80.000 tons of cocoa. The small farms are up to a size of 20ha to avoid a monoculture in the area.

Cosme Guerrero, the operational manager, explained the mission of Conacado. Farmers get support from specialists to plant organic cocoa to the highest sustainability standards to increase the crop. They are also shareholders and decision-makers in the annual assembly. This mission results in a higher resilience and independence of the farmer. It also improves the price stability of cocoa and increases the social-political impact of these communities.

Cosme gave us a tour around the modern factory. They produce cocoa powder, oil and butter. In the labs, samples are tested to receive the quality requirement of the licenses. In the factory, the shell of the cocoa bean is separated to be used as a natural fertilizer. In another step, the beans got roasted and ground before becoming the final products. Everything is automated and controlled by computer programs. Solar power is covering 20% of the energy consumption of processing cocoa from 4,2-4,6 Mwh. At the end of our tour, we have got a delicious hot chocolate from their own production. In exchange, we brought some of the chocolate that gets produced in Amsterdam with their beans.

After a local meal with local food, we drove to the village Comedero to visit one of the plantations of organic cocoa. First, the cocoa beans are fermented for 6 days, the process of fermentation increases the flavour of the cocoa. Many customers, like the Europeans, prefer a stronger cacao flavour. On the site, there are greenhouses to dry the cocoa beans. For eight days the beans have to be dried and turned every 45 min with a wooden rake.

On the plantation, the cocoa trees there are up to 80 years old and grow happily in a humid warm climate. The harvest time is between February and May when the fruits are turning yellow and orange. All fruits are harvested by hand. Manuel, one of the farmers who was showing us the plantation emphasized there is a change due to the global warming effect in the last years. Longer dry periods and longer wet periods put the plants under stress with the result of a lower crop and shorter lifespan.

In the late afternoon, we went back by bus passing picturesque villages and landscapes and arrived at our ship at 8 pm. It was a very inspiring trip for all of us.

We gained a deeper understanding and relationship of the farming and processing of cocoa and we were impressed by the strong social mission of the cooperation Conacado. The next day we received 10 tons of cocoa beans in bags of 70kg for the Chocolate Makers in Amsterdam. Their fermented aroma will guide us on our way back to Amsterdam.

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Meet the crew

MEET OUR TRAINEE SAM

Age: 21
Nationality: FRENCH
Position on board: TRAINEE FOR THE WHOLE JOURNEY
Former occupation on land (or how do you keep yourself busy when you are not sailing)?
I do marine carpentry and I used to work in a shipyard for wooden boats in the South of France.
Which book, film, song, and/or event inspired and sparked in you first the dream of a life at sea?
I don’t know when and where the original spark of inspiration came, or a particular movie or song. Maybe it was more about people I met. And also projects I heard of, like the one in Costa Rica (SailCargo Inc.) or Low-Tech Lab. And I think because nobody in my family has any relation with the sea: it was an adventure and seemed extra exciting to me, to do something that nobody around me has ever done before.
What to pack for your sea chest, absolutely?
Snacks to share at night watches and difficult moments. A knife and all the sailor’s gear and tools. And I am very happy to have my Jallatte (my boots) with me.
What to leave ashore, doubtless?
Rubber boots. Problems (sounds like an easy answer, but it’s true). And sand, of course!
Which is your favourite peace corner onboard aka where do you hide when you need to be alone.
I am still looking for it, but probably somewhere in the rigging. Ah, no! Of course in the papalagi [little wooden dinghy of Tres Hombres used for recreational sailing].
What do you like the most onboard: a detail of the ship, a routine, a person, an activity…?
I love the breakfast! When everybody has still small eyes and is still sleepy. And I like it when we pump the anchor chain: the sea shanty singing, the whole situation feels great! Also, I like the arrival of the barrels. And the night watches. And Guven’s [Second Mate] lessons (he taught us about sailing theory, weather, lights and signals, and so on).
Three Magic Words to hold fast to onboard?
It’s not a real word but the ringing bell for food could be one of the sounds that will stay forever, like a reassuring noise.
“Royal” (the highest sail on the foremast) means different things to me: it recalls that epic “douse the royal” in Biscay, all the nice moments I spent up there, the freedom it gives you to think, and other stories you can hear only if you sail on Tres.
“Nadine!!!” To use as a curse if you hit your feet in a killer corner.
If Tres Hombres was a wild creature, which one she would be?
A kind of weird creature, friendly, a bit wonky like a squint pelican.
Biggest fear before joining and greatest satisfaction on the way?
I was worried about my English skills and communication. And also, that I would love it too much (and yes, I really do).
Why Tres Hombres?
I didn’t want to go on a tourist boat to do the crossing. I like that it’s useful and we are sailing for a bigger sense, especially without an engine. It’s tricky and we have to find other solutions, and I enjoy that! To keep on sailing would be wonderful. This was and is the first step, the entrance into this sailing cargo world and I would love to continue being part of it. 

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