As the voyage over seas of the Grenada Chocolate on board the Tres Hombres continues, they have already been sailing for 4 weeks now. I’ve made a compilation of several highlights of their stories on board this last week before arriving to the Azores today. A selection of the blog that Mott is writing from the ship;
‘This chocolate delivery vessel I have been crossing the ocean on for the past 22 days is very fast. The only vessel I have sailed that is faster is my little 4 meter Hobie Cat on which I deliver chocolate from Grenada to Carriacou, a 20 mile journey I make in as little as 2 hrs in 15 knots of wind. That is even faster that this chocolate-delivery vessel, The Tres Hombres.
But, the Hobie only holds 90 bars of chocolate and is only really practical for one day journeys. The chocolate ship I am writing from now, The Tres Hombres, is now holding more than 24,000 chocolate bars and will next journey across the ocean to Europe, next year, hold twice as many. It is really fast, too. The past 24 hours we sailed about 170 miles, averaging over 7 knots. Going 8 and 9 knots at times.
This ship moves about half the speed of the wind when the wind direction is on the beam (perpendicular to the ship so we get the affect of the ships’ motion adding to our speed, apparent wind) and about one third the wind speed when sailing down wind or closer into the wind. That is fast. Also, the ship is so massive that even when it smashes into the big waves, it does not slow down, a formidable feeling.
‘We saw a whale jump several times today and spray its water in the air, a magnificent site and I thought auspicious for the occasion of my birthday – we do not see whales out here really at all, although we are always talking about it. I was steering the ship at the time, and stood on the roof of the chart room, steering with my toe so as to get a clear view of the horizon as we waited for each whale jump.
My watch ended at 8 am but I did not go to sleep as usual because 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. After lunch, at our daily muster (meeting with whole crew and captain), we had a little party. The day ended with a beautiful sunset and a magnificent rainbow across the whole windward side, to starboard.’
‘We are tantalizingly close to our stop in the Azores, the group of islands a few hundred miles off Portugal, after 24 days at sea. But, the wind has shifted to the east and the Azores is now upwind from here. So it will requite going many more miles, tacking to get there. It is NOT that we are brave and strong, perhaps a little daft, In Stitched in our ways, but actually we simply have no choice!’
‘The sea is like glass because there has been no wind at all for almost two days, and therefore no movement of the ship. We can sea the stars in the sea almost as much as in the sky. When I rose for my watch at midnight I first thought there was more phosphoresce plankton shining in the water that usual but then I realized it was the refection of the stars as the sky is cloudless and the sea is like glass!’
‘We are proving that we can indeed deliver lots of chocolate bars to Europe on The Tres Hombres, our trans-Atlantic chocolate delivery vessel, the ship with no engine. This is a grand statement and worth enormous amounts in this jaded, oil-dependent world where everything is required to move so fast. The lesson here is not only great patience but flexibility/adaptability, because a week ago we were zooming straight for the Azores and was almost there when our power source, the wind, went away, ran out like a tank of petroleum. The good thing, the inspiring thing, is that the fuel will come back one day by itself with no damage to the earth or extra expense. For this, it is worth waiting, RENEWABLE ENERGY!’
‘This morning we saw our first land after the crossing of the ocean, now on the 27th day at sea. Quite an exciting feeling. All day we have had the Azore Island of Flores in view. Now, late at night we still have it in view, lights from it that is. Almost strange to imagine being on land now that the sea has become the home I am used to. I think I will adjust fast especially after a shower and salad of fresh vegetables! Today, I felt for a change so I made blackberry truffles, taking advantage of such mild seas and very gentle ship motion. I used our 71% chocolate and some Dutch blackberry juice and rolled in a bit of our cocoa powder. Very delicious after-lunch, muster dessert.’
‘This morning we were presented an amazing arrival gift from the universe, a 20 pound tuna (black fin bonita type)! After having our fishing lines out all the way across the Atlantic for thousands of miles, we finally caught one, and a huge and delicious one.’
Video of the Tres Hombres letting their anchor down earlier on this trip, on the way to Grenada. A very heavy one to pull up again…
‘An amazing and wonderful crossing we had. Yesterday afternoon, The Tres Hombres, with 12 of us and 24,000 Grenada Chocolate bars arrived safely on the Azore Island of Faial off the coast of Potugual. One month on the ship from Grenada, and 21 days at sea for the big crossing from St. Martin in the Caribbean.
Our wonderful captain Jorne and all the rest of us crew and all the chocolate bars are very happy and celebrated after we arrived and cleaned the boat, decks, furled the sails, etc. Wine, rum, etc . . .
Was really interesting to chat so joyously with everyone, my family in a way for the moment, referring to the crossing in the past tense, like coming out of a magical dream. Was a bit like that. Very focused, very sober, quite dreamy and with short sleep sessions supplying amazing dreams.
We all came to the conclusion that how well we got along and how cool everyone was in all conditions and the overall nice sailing conditions were the main reasons it was such a nice ride, such a good time. We also concluded the the continual, unlimited supply of Grenada Chocolate bars to eat, and Grenada Chocolate cake we were making certainly helped the comfort/joy factor too!
So the crew is on land for the next few days before they continue their journey to the Europe, planning to drive in the first next stop half of May – Portsmouth UK. Read the full stories and new adventures on Mott’s blog and the ships blog…
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