Because communication from the ship is limited – the crew can only send about one email per day – some messages arrive with a title delay… Like todays post, which was written by Mott on his birthday and it seems he had a very nice one on the boat, including a whale that came very nearby, jumping several times and spraying its water in the air, a magnificent site he writes…
I especially loved the post of Mott’s blog today so I decided to make a short compilation of his experiences so far, to follow the highlights of the 23 days on the sea so far;
‘We are going 7.7 knots right now, pretty gentle seas, although the boat is going up and down as I learn to type with this movement. The sky is full of stars and some planets and that is giving us enough light to walk around the deck with no other light.
Lovely crew on board, which is very comforting.’
‘I crawled into the chocolate cool room in the hold yesterday afternoon to make sure everything is perfectly dry and nothing is shifting around with the constant pitch of the boat. All was fine.’
‘Well, we were going quite fast for the first two days and covered over 200 miles. “Now the wind has died and we are crawling along at 2 and 3 knots. The sea is very calm and beautiful, very quiet on-board. To our right, we can now see several islands in the distance, the first land we see since we left Grenada, St. Kitts, Nevis, others.’
‘The Tres Hombres is such a beautiful and sexy boat that even the bilge water is pretty, smells good, no oil. Each morning we pump out all the bilges and water almost fit to drink comes out, well maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but it really does smell good!
‘Captain Jorne runs a great ship. We are all sharing cooking duty since we do not have an offical cook. This is working quite well and we have international diveristy of menus! A great vibe on-board, everyone working together as we plunge across the sea.’
‘Captain Jorne told me about a Dutch expression that means: when shipping apples, eat apples. In our case we keep nibbling on chocolate. I crawled into the chocolate room this afternoon and removed 6 chocolate bars, which will last us about 24 hrs. At this rate we have enough eating chocolate to last us several weeks without having to dip into our chocolate cargo for delivery to our European importer. Of course, we also have a lot of Smilo cocoa powder on board which we, especially me, drink quite a bit. I also made a Smilo cake yesterday which was quite popular.’
‘Now we are in quite a duldrum out here in the Atlantic ocean. For the past day or so we have been moving at 1 or 2 knots only, the sails flopping back and forth making a rather unpleasant sound and the ocean swells throwing the ship left to write with almost no forward motion.’
‘Nevertheless, the crew stays positive and mellow, we continue to eat good meals and maintain the ship. I crawled into the chocolate storage to check on everything and removed 5 chocolate bars, the new daily ration of eating chocolate for the crew. Everyone loves the chocolate onboard so much that the daily ration tends to disappear quickly. Lately, we have all been eating Nib-a-Licious. I continue to drink lots of Smilo just like I do when I am a land lubber.’
‘Finally, we got back our speed, did between 7 and 8 knots all day today. It was a beautiful sailing day with nice seas and super blue water.
Captain Jorne declared it a clean the ship day so that kept us busy, with some sail handling here and there during the day and tonight, as the wind shifts. Tonight we got our first squall which required taking down the highest staysail in the dark but it was just a minor one and not so much wind and rain. We put the staysail back up a little while ago. Just like on my Hobie Cat voyages to Carriacou from Grenada, these little squalls are mainly annoying because of the way they take away our wind for a while until they pass. When this ship loses its wind here in the big ocean, the swells of the sea rock us hard left to right with little forward motion to stabilize us, not too pleasant. When the wind freshens up a bit, it all improves.
I’m going back on deck now to finish my watch at midnight, then I get to sleep for 4 hrs and then another 4 hr watch which ends in bilge pumping (bilge water so clean you can almost drink it on this gorgeous ship with no engine)’
‘Each day the temperature of the air and sea has been dropping as we go north. The chocolate is now being cooled almost enough from the water temperature with the a/c hardly needing to run. Everyone dressed warmer, no more bare feet for me, especially in the night. We are continuing to go as north as we can to catch better winds from the west to sail east to the Azores.’
‘We are now in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and we have lost all our wind. For the past day or so we have almost no speed at all and are sitting still, with a rocking motion in the ocean swell. As we have no engine, there is nothing we can do about it except wait for wind. The next couple of days are predicted to be the same. So we do maintenance work on the ship and try to stay as healthy as possible and avoid madness. These experiences which are hard psychologically become part of the statement the Tres Hombres and Grenada Chocolate are making. Sustainable, sail-powered transport is quite possible and simply takes a shift in mentality and lots of patience. It will certainly feel great to be moving forward toward the Azores one of these days!’
‘it was such a nice day, lovely wind, perfect bumpy little waves, sunshine and beautiful cool temperature. It is traditional on this ship to relax on sundays, take a break from maintenance work, and apart from steering the ship and making meals, we just chill out. Not too much music I hear on-board, but today Teao was playing some around the helm, and I found the Pink Floyd particularly suitable for the sea and fun to hear. Nice conversations as usual.
After lunch, at our daily muster (meeting with whole crew and captain), we had a little party. In general, this is a completely dry boat (sailors on this ship generally do not drink alcohol at all at sea, and pretty much drink at port as the main activity) except when our captain administers some. The whole crew, 12 of us, shared one double bottle of white wine I brought on-board from Grenada in the event that my birthday came while we were at sea. Then, as I had planned, we went around and each told a joke. It was good fun, started by Captain Jorne dressed up like the god of the sea Neptune parading his amphagory in dramatic fashion. Then a Smilo cake which Anne made with candles and the traditional song.
The day ended with a beautiful sunset and a magnificent rainbow across the whole windward side, to starboard.
So far the highlights of the first 3 weeks they have been sailing on the Tres Hombres to deliver the Grenada Chocolate to Europe -
This was a compilation of Motts posts on his blog, written directly on the ocean. To read the full stories of Mott check out his own blog; mottontresshombres
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