Week seven at sea has passed again and brings the ship very close to their first destination; Portsmouth UK. Winds have changed a couple of times and eventually turned for some ‘racing towards home’ as the end of the voyage is already coming near now. Read below about the highlights past week and find full texts on Mott’s blog and the Tres Hombres blog;
‘The Tres Hombres has a nice start now, moving swiftly along with a good breeze in a good direction toward Portsmouth, England for the big chocolate delivery.
Back in the 19th century this route, we take from the Azores to Europe, was often used by similar size and design ships as Tres Hombres. These where the fruit schooners, with their lofty rigs and fine lines, they carried fruit from the islands to the London markets. Now we do the same with chocolate, although our voyage is way longer, since we crossed the ocean already from Grenada.
Yesterday we set stunsails, these are extra sails next to the squaresails, which help to make our vessel move even faster. The weather is cooperating these days with a nice South Westerly breeze to bring us closer to our destination. The sailors take their turns on the wheel and lookout and the mate and I are watching over the optimal sailtrim and route strategy. Just another day on the ocean.
Unlike (or even more than) on a motorship, on a sailing ship: the ability to make fast and safe passages, depends entirely on the happiness, skill and teamwork of the crew. On Tres Hombres the conditions for the crew can be called though at times. Due to her size and good stability, she can move violently through the waves. Her quarters are small and spartan. The food is good, but she does not carry a big refrigerator or cooling unit. There are lots of people on a small space. The voyage duration is unknown before arrival. The work can be hard and tiring.
So how to keep a happy ship? It is the good food. It is the constant communication. It is the fun, jokes and optimism between the sailors. It are the enchanting and exotic destinations of our vessel. It is the comradeship of the crew together facing the elements of nature. And a daily ration of the Grenada chocolate is given out to the crew. And, just this, might hold the secret of our happy ship!
A nice Little Film Made on the Ship During the Atlantic Crossing;
Lots of tacking and moving the wrong direction at times to work their way upwind into Portsmouth. Going to take a while, although the wind might shift direction again in our favor.
Apart from the nicest chocolate in the world, the ship has carried and carries a load of other fine freight. What to think of the biological olive oil: Alfandagh, from Portugal. Stockfish and wood from Norway. Food for the world food program to Haďti. The finest wine from France and Portugal. And currently, next to the chocolate, but already for the third year in row the worlds only fair transported Tres Hombres rum from the Dominican republic.
While we are sailing here on the Atlantic, with a strong breeze seven points off the nose, I can not help, not to think about a future (sooner than we might think) where all transport over sea will be by winddriven or at least sail assisted vessels. This, out of economic necessity, we see now already appearing in between Grenada and Cariacou…
First a bit of chocolate… and then, back on deck, to face the grim waves and spray of the North Atlantic again. Ahoy from a proud master of the fine ship Tres Hombres. Sailing along, the leedeck frequently awash and the full topsail still standing.
In the tradition of the clipper ships, Tres Hombres is racing to reach Portsmouth before the 19th of May. Rumors go that the crew, like in the old days, will be rewarded with a bonus, when reaching the port of destination in time! Currently all sails are set and our vessel is ghosting along with 4 knots in light airs. Tomorrow the wind is supposed to veer to the West and later on, become a strong breeze! Which will prove spectacular sailing!
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