23 November 2021 - Logbook Tres Hombres
Take a good look at her!
The curves. The canvas. The tempting lines.
The salt, whispering from the crevasses in the weathered wood. The wind, the memory of which is trapped into the folds of the harbour
She is Tres Hombres, Tres for the crew. Trusty, steady, free.
What most might not realize is that she is so much more than an engine-free sailing cargo ship. Sure,
carrying rum, wine, gin, chocolate, and coffee, Tres sounds badass enough.
Her true power, however, lies in bending time and transforming space.
She navigates dimensions and realities with the same grace and ease that she does the waves.
Those stepping aboard soon feel the simultaneous pull of the gravity in one direction, and complete
freedom from it in another. Like surfing a wave on a humongous windsurf board.
In the one sense, the seeming downgrade in lifestyle conveniences common in what
we agree to call the developed world comes crashing down like saltwater splashing
you from behind while you’re scrubbing the pan after the dinner, in the dark, in the cold seawater,
while the world around you rocks back and forth.
Never stable, never entirely clean, all the while clad in layers of slightly damp “warm” clothes.
You know, The Reality.
The Reality of realizing that no other life form we know has showers with hot water switched
on with a turn of a valve. Or a bed that could fit six people, but only one sleeps in it.
The Reality of weightlessness in space and time, head up, gaze tracing the neuro-net
between the stars, back to the immediacy of compass and steering,
when the line between where the ship ends and you begin, blurs, like the horizon
stitching the ocean and the sky. The ship becomes the means through which
you become a complete, inseparable part of the entire world, galaxy, universe.
It is indeed, a transporting vessel, true that.
The Reality that despite our nature and nurture, we are all more similar
than we are different, that deep down we all crave love, understanding, and belonging.
Tres is capable of doing just that. It doesn’t matter where you step on and off.
Remember, she bends time and space. Where and when doesn’t matter.
Sixteen of us started this journey together in Den Helder, four stepping off in Douarnenez,
more joining in Baiona, and so on. Already it feels like parting with family.
Speaking of which, a few days in, with the watch routine setting in, the friendly bickering
between the crew sparkled here and there, adding to the whole family vibe,
no less than grinding more coffee beans than needed (and with a hand grinder no less!)
so that the other watch doesn’t have to do it;
or taking the load off the cook’s shoulders for a day, or taking one for the team scrubbing the toilet,
or rushing to cast off the correct line when in the heat of the moment
a less experienced one mixes them. That’s love and respect.
When you trust someone else – a complete stranger in the case of Tres – to have your back,
to keep watch while you sleep, bake the sourdough bread that you kneaded and put into the pans,
you cede the sole control of the situation, thus becoming part of something larger than yourself.
That’s your belonging.
When you and your crew member dangle bent over a swaying yard, folding the unyielding sail
desperately and fruitlessly trying to convince it to furl
(“Argh – for satan!” – a classic Danish sail coaxing spell),
hear the same response from the sail: “I’m just not meant to furl, hon”, that’s understanding.
And there you have it.
Aboard the good ship Tres Hombres, many fledgling sailors learn to walk the ship as she rolls, pitches and flies over the water. Learning to walk again takes time and is a great source of entertainment for both the new sailors and the seasoned crew. Here I want to describe some of the different techniques […]
Three captains Three First mates Four second mates Four cooks Nineteen nationalities Six different bunks Two hammocks 16 harbours 60 knots in the gusts Ten tons of cacao 130 barrels 40.000 bottles of wine (roughly) 20.000 nautical miles (very roughly) Just some numbers of these last two years. Some of those numbers don’t mean much […]
7 days at sea, which is pretty speedy for this leg. We seem to be just speeding the whole thing really. Which is both amazing and exhilarating to be travelling so fast, but also exhausting as that means that the boat is moving and lurching all over the place all of the time. Walking from […]