Lucy and the New Dawn Traders

Fare Traded by Sail

Category: In Port

Departure 10:00 hours

Wow! What a week. Finally we are departing. At 10am tomorrow morning the tug boat has been scheduled to tow Tres Hombres out of the harbour. The week has been filled with last minute rigging, painting and fixing.

We have stowed 70 kg of peanut butter along with many other dry goods in proportions required for 7 months at sea. Barrels of flour, sacks of potatoes, bundles of carrots, ooodles of noodles… Calculating the required provisions has been a tough job for New Dawn Trader Alex requiring the compilation of a series of detailed plans, spreadsheets and costings.
New Dawn Traders Lucy and Alex have also been getting well acquainted with the galley and regular steaming dishes have been making their way into the bellies of the hungry sail and rigger crew.

While the last bits of the refit have been taking place, Steven, the first mate has been taking the trainee sail crew through basic sail handling and training. They have been learning the art of splicing ropes and climbing the rigging. Running up the ratlines is no easy task and it takes practice to learn how to clip on and off with safety harnesses while unfurling sails and lashing lines.
In amongst the chaos of preparations, shipmate Biz Bliss managed to get snapshots of the motley crew. The atmosphere is friendly and excitable as the crew get to know each other and share stories and experiences of previous sailing trips of travels.

After a long 6 week refit the ship is finally ready to take to the high seas once more. Our captain for the first leg will be Arjen Van der Veen, one of the founding 3 ‘hombres’. We have a short hop northwards to Stavanger, approximately 400 miles. There we will collect a cargo of dried salted fish destined for Lisbon in Portugal. The weather looks to be fair. We have waited to leave on friday to avoid some of the gusts and gales that have passed through the north sea today. Tomorrow there will be a light northerly wind (5-10 knots) for the first day with stronger south westerly arriving saturday followed by a strong easterly (20+ knots) as we approach Norway. The plan is to arrive sometime on Monday.

Hopefully the swell won’t be too high for our novice sailors aboard. The first few days at sea can be painful if you suffer from seasickness. But we have lots of ginger stowed just in case!

While the Tres hombres is sailing to Stavanger, another of the founding 3 captains, Jorne Langelaan, will be travelling to the UK for a tour of London, Bristol and Falmouth over the coming 2 weeks. Jorne will be speaking at various places about fair transport and zero emission cargo freight. Plans are afoot for a sail cargo vessel capable of carrying 170 tonnes of cargo, by the power of the wind. Slowly but surely the movement is building and the dreams of a sail cargo fleet are materialising.
So until Stavanger in a few days! Wish us well in the North sea!

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Storytelling for Sea Change! – 7th February @ Hermitage Moorings

Come on a journey with us through the arts and the seas, to hear how some ambitious projects are bringing to life stories of a sustainable shipping future and communicating climate change through more creative means.

This discussion will be aptly hosted at the Hermitage Community Moorings, on the Thames river by Tower Bridge.

We invite you to arrive on 7th February at 6.30pm to a welcoming of sea shanties and refreshments including delicious cocktails made with organic Brazilian cachaça from Abelha. At 7pm we present our three speakers and their inspiring projects, followed with a lively discussion. We hope to inspire you to run away with us and sail the seas!


Lucy Gilliam : The New Dawn Traders :

Having crossed the Atlantic and back, trading goods via sail and connecting slow food communities, the New Dawn Traders are spearheading a revival of shipping under sail and telling the story of sustainable shipping.

Sam Kimmins : Forum for the Future’s Sustainable Shipping Initiative :

The Sustainable Shipping Initiative brings together some of the biggest names in the maritime sector to plan how it can contribute to – and thrive in – a sustainable future.

Chris Wainwright : Cape Farewell :

Cape Farewell aims to instigate a cultural response to climate change, famous for its expedition taking artists, musicians and writers to the Arctic, to inspire them to communicate the effects of climate change through the creative arts.


16 Wapping High Street, London, E1W 1NG … Nearest Tubes: Tower Hill and Wapping



Nowhereisland – A creative exploration of nation-ism!

| Now Here Is Land | No Where Is Land | No Where Island | Now Here Island |

If you go down to the beach today you are sure for a big surprise…

If you go down to the beach today you’ll never beleive your eyes…

The arctic melted and birthed a new land…

It sailed down south to moor off the sand

Today’s the day that I became a Nowherian

A land were the unknown is not feared but studied

This week I ventured to Weymouth to find out more about an unusual piece of rock called Nowhere island. Nowhere island is a migrating island recently released from the Arctic from the melting ice and has journeyed 2000 miles south through international waters to become the worlds newest island state with citizenship open to all. Nowhere island is currently moored just off the beaches of Bowleaze coveway and is inaccessible to public. However the ‘Embassy’, a beautiful mobile cabinet of curiosities, is open daily upon the cliffs for all to visit. Nowhere island will tour the south west over the next 6 weeks culminating in Bristol from 7th September for its last days.

The embassy of nowhere island! Filled with all sorts of exquisite curiosities, photographs, and information relating to the Arctic. You can just see the island on the water in the background!

Nowehereisland is the brain child of Artist Alex Hartley who voyaged to the Arctic in 2004 and discovered an island revealing itself from a melting glacier. He was the first person to set foot on the island and you can view his muddy wellie at the embassy. He then set about exploring sovereignty with the Norwegian government.

Citizens of nowhereisland are invited right away to start shaping the principles on which the nation is built. A notice board with the evolving constitution is displayed for all to edit, approve and add to.

The evolving constitution. My favourites were ‘wifi shall be free’ and ‘spontaneous dance parties will occur frequently’. Hallelujah!

Upon learning about this  new land I signed up right away. Nowhere island arrived in Weymouth on Wednesday 25th of July drawing a massive crowd of onlookers and serenaded by citizens, surfers, school children and shanty singers. A significant part of the project has been local engagement in schools led by Nowhere ambassador Michael. It was a joy to see children rifling through the cabinets, quizzing the ambassadors and scrawling their ideas of the nation they wish to see.

Nowhereisland is part of the 2012 cultural olympiad and is the only visiting nation to bring itself to the Olympic games. Weymouth is the home of the Olympic sailing events which I don’t think you’ll be surprised that I’m really quite excited about! Team GB have their strongest sailing team ever. Fingers crossed for Ben Ainslie winning his 4th gold olympic medal!

One possible criticism is that there are significant costs and emissions from carrying out this project from the fuel to move the island to all the materials used in making and travelling with the embassy. Maybe those would have been better spent on building wind turbines or insulating homes.

But I have to say I was really inspired by the banners, the evolving constitution and the creative way the project invites people to come up with their own ideas. It is a really creative way to engage with ideas of climate change, nationality, migration, democracy, utopian societies. And I think it is really important that everyone is included in designing the world we wish to see and be part of.

Citizens exploring their rich cultural history at the Embassy

How would you receive a migrant island to your home town?

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Tenerife on the chart

My first thought when we rounded the peninsula and caught first sight of Santa cruz was ‘Babylon’. A sprawling dusty arid city. Little casa’s and abodes splattered across the lunar landscape of the Tarifa coast.

Saturn day

As we arrived on a Saturday and had been boat locked for 7 days and nights we thought it a great idea to head out on the town and samples the nocturnal delights. We had a leisurely supper of tapas along the main boardwalk of Santa cruz to line our tummies. We then ventured out into the centre to find a fine dancing establishment which ended up proving rather difficult. We wandered the dusty streets for quite a while before finally stumbling on a strip along an old river bed through the city. We found a fab roof top terrace. A strange experience being surrounded by hoards of people after our confinement.

But a release of dancing energy was much needed. As per usual we managed to clear a ring of bemused onlookers as we (well actually the girls; Antje, Martina, Kat and I) grooved our arses right through the floor. All the girls here appear not to dance in any way (strut and sway in a confined manner is the highest level of activity), wear fetish platform shoes and pout off their boyfriends arms (Lip gloss sales here must be through the roof). The look of distaste as a few checked us out with our dishevelled boat look was hilarious.

As we walked home at the end of the night we wandered through the main streets and stumbled across an installation of orbs and a series of ponds and fountains. Almost couldn’t resist going in.

The sky was filled by the most incredible moon suspended by Venus and Jupiter and emitting an incredible halo about 20 moon widths out from it. So surreal that Ville, Antoine, Antje and I had to take a moment, sit down and take it in. I have no idea how the moon halo could be created on such a scale. March 2012 is about as good as it can get for planet watching. All 5 visible planets can been seen in the night sky: Mercury , Venus, Jupiter, Mars, Saturn (mid to late evening).

Tonight as I write (Mars day -13th) Venus and Jupiter will only be 3 degrees apart in the sky.

Sun sun sun day…. Always a fun day…

I woke bright and early after a blissful sleep in my hammock on deck. The warmth of the morning sun on my face roused me gently. All the crew much needed rest day free from boat tasks so we headed out together to check out the beaches (apart from antoine who hitchhiked to the volcano solo). As Tenerife is a volcanic island the sand is black. To create desirable beaches the islanders imported golden sand from the Sahara in 1973.

Tenerife imported the sand from the Sahara in 1973

We lazed and swam. At one point a tour bus turned up and about 50 pensioners got off the bus, walked down the beach took some snaps and then walked back onto the bus. Very weird. Jamie couldn’t help but stand up and pull silly poses in view of the snapping cameras.


The Antje, Martina and I have been busy making repairs to the Irene weaving more of the baggy wrinkles.

Baggy wrinkles on the rigging

We have completed the first set of baggy wrinkles and Damon installed them on the rigging after being hoisted up in the Bosun Chair to make them fast.

Weaving more baggy wrinkles on Irene

Carving the new jaws for the gaff.

Ben, Irenes shipwright has been building new jaws for the gaff. Its been a hard slog to find good wood for the repair. Fortunately some pitch pine was sourced from a second hand timber merchant on the island.

Jamie and I spent the day of mapping out provisions again and topping up some of the stocks that have got low. We lost some of our fruit due to mould in the fo’c's’le  (fore cabin) so are having to rethink our fruit stocks in this heat and humidity.

In the evening Karin from Alva paid the crew of Irene a visit armed with a bottle of fine rum. It’s her last night aboard the Alva before heading off to build a boat in New York. We toasted our ongoing sailing adventures.

Mars day

Jamie and I are heading out to check out the ‘Mercado’ in Tenerife… More to follow soon. The market in Tenerife requires its own posting!


Tale of our ale

Valentines day. A bright start to the day.

Work on board started early. Damon has been preparing the sails and testing the staysail.We were eagerley awaiting our first cargo, the ale from Exeter brewery.

It finally arrived on pallets at 2.30pm! (We had been expecting it at 10am. Imagine the frustration!)

We quickly got it to the pontoon.

We were joined by Alan and Ali from Exeter brewery. They were excited to be sending their 2 nd cargo of ale to France. The first time was last October with the tall ship Tres hombres.

We quickly formed a human chain, passing creates of ale from person to person.

Leslie popped out to observe us loading our precious cargo and joked about how long it would last with us lot around.

Jamie assured him that the ale is in safe hands.

The ale was predominantly stowed in the saloon with some in the forepeck and the master cabin taking care to ensure the cargo is evenly distributed through the ship.

The forepeak is the cabin at the front (bow) of the ship which contains 6 crew bunks.

Our captain, Laurance, presented the sailing plan to the crew before supper.The wind is forecast to be Force 7-8, northerley so we will be running / broad reaching to Brest. Our scheduled departure time is 1200 hours.

Our day ended with purple thai curry and a celebration for Ramon’s birthday. Happy birthday Ramon!

We were absolutely exhausted. We dispersed early to our bunks to get all our kit stowed, packed ready to sail and to get an early night.

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