Lucy and the New Dawn Traders

Fare Traded by Sail

Northward ho!

Friday: Departure on a blood moon. When the layers between the material and spirit world are thinnest. On a ship of good souls. It’s a kind ship. The orders from the top are kind. To take care of each other. Watch who is present and check on your watch mates and to wake the next watch gently. Ideally with songs! Meals times are like clockwork as needs to be when watches clock on and off. We have to hot bunk a bit as more crew then bunks.

The full moon looked like a crystal snowflake peeping behind a fluffy matrix of rippled clouds. By nightfall we were making 9-10 knots in moderate swell. Most the crew are sea sick. I made pasta with a creamy broccoli sauce. I added some tomato purée which combined with some fermented soy sauce made it taste like it had cheese in it. I made tomato olive oil and basil pasta for the 3 vegans. Only one of which ate in the end. I made some fresh ginger and turmeric tea to settle tummies. It’s great being back cooking on a boat. Every thing is an adventure trying to stay upright and juggling the kettle. Trying not to drop all the plates as you bounce up and down through the ways.

Alex lent me her mini rig and some cool tunes to make my first galley day vibesy. Minirigs are definitely essential sailing kit! We are sailing on a bearing of 010. Almost due north. We have past a few oil platforms and there are lots of fishing and Cargo boats passing us on the port side. We have a look put stationed most of the time looking out for vessels and fishing gear. I’m a little bit uneasy about climbing the rigging. The idea of furling the royal in a swell in the dark gives me the shivers… Gotta do harness safety training soon… Amaury has made me smile most today. He reminds me of my brother Charlie with his blond hair, joking around happy go lucky puppy nature. All the crew are lovely.

Breakfast wake up at 6:30am. It’s still ink black. The moon is now setting on the port side. I make porridge with 6 mugs of oats, half a bar of coconut cream a half cup of hemp seeds and some cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Good morning fuel. Plus top up of ginger tea and green tea. Wrestled with the coffee. The system we have on board to make coffee is ridiculous. Involves pouring through a filter balanced precariously on a jug. Every time the ship pitches we almost throw the coffee across the galley. It’s like a comedy sketch. I’m not making coffee anymore. At least until we have a cafetiere or coffee press.

Appelstroop is delicious in the porridge. This is my new favourite breakfast. Francois made a make shift croissant by thickly spreading butter on bread, rolling it, closing his eyes and dipping it in hot coffee. No fresh croissants on this ship except in our imaginations.

The decks are now laced with grip lines. The storm nets went up yesterday before dark. We have made at least 160 miles by breakfast. Not quite half way but very good speed. We re dong about 9 knots still northwards. At 8am we were at the same latitude as Esbjerg in Denmark.

For lunch I roasted pumpkin and made cous cous. The pumpkin is enormous. I had to stand on the bench and use all my weight to slice into it. There’s been some swell and things flying around the galley. There is a storm heading our way so after lunch the royal and course were furled. The captain, Arjen, made the decision to hang back to avoid sailing into it

I spent the late afternoon in the chart room. Learning about the instruments and charging my laptop. Dinner I made lentils and got out sauerkraut. It was yummy. But a lot of the crew are still sick. We gybed over dinner and pans went flying. Every galley day is an endurance test with holding of extreme yogaesque poses and wedging in to stay stable at an angle. The galley isn’t gimbled.

Steven had a wave break over him on the foredeck in the process of gybing. The boys all seemed miserable and wet over dinner.

Alex described the sensation of sailing in the galley as being perched in the clouds aboard a wobbling striding beast.

More gems from Alex include: enjoy puking. Relish it and eat for it, then sea sickness passes faster. Gross.

Tomorrow I’m going to make shepherds pie and bake a cake. Apple cake.

Seems like Tabea and Cole are making friends… If you know what I mean!

Sunday: breakfast is eggy bread or wentelteefjes. Which translates as ‘turning bitches’. We tacked after Breakfast. I had a funny dream where I was running around in my underwear having lots of flings while never quite making it to ed dowdings birthday.

We tacked after breakfast. Morning was idyllic. Bright sunshine and warm on deck. Arjen and Vincent helped me chop in the galley. We made bread pudding from all the bread, apples and pears. Lunch was a hearty soup with the organic cheese from the lighthouse keeper. I made tons of herby croutons too. The period just after lunch is my favourite time. Often the captain, mates and off going watch stay for a while drinking tea.

I went to my bunk to have a little rest and it all changed. I came back 45 minutes later to find the rain lashing down. I sat in the navigation room to type a blog and all of a sudden thunder bellowed and flashes of lightening struck almost at the same time. Arjen turned off all the electrics as a precaution and we waited for it to pass. I went back to the galley to make tea and remembered the bread apple pudding which was simmering nicely in the oven. I served it right away. I managed to find a can of squirty cream to the delight of all the crew. I think being in a steamy galley in a thunder storm eating apple cake and cream is pretty rocking. We pinned he our back as the storm cleared to view an enormous rainbow over to port.

Dinner was roasted ‘home fries’, green beans and the mackerel caught earlier lightly baked in dill. I collapsed exhausted into bed at 9:30pm. Over dinner we discussed a sailing sit com. Maybe set in the galley of a ship as a stage show. Always moving. Today has been absolutely comedy and I dearly wish the galley was installed with go pros and sound recording! Everyone here is absolutely hilarious. Chimra told some awful Jew and baby jokes. Cole is non stop bad taste comedy.

My legs feel like they have been running all day.

This way that way forwards and backwards over the northern sea. A bottle of rum to fill my tum. A sailors life for me.

Monday. It’s blowing. I’ve had a roller coaster of a night in my bunk. I found a leeboard to wedge myself in. Scrambled across deck to the galley to make porridge and found some sleeping trainees. It’s really difficult to do anything when the ship is pitched over 20 degrees and surfing up and down waves. Managed porridge and a can of green tea. And waited to serve people as they filtered in one by one soaked from the wind, rain and waves. As it was extreme cooking conditions, I made relatively plain risotto rice with vegetables for lunch. It’s pitching 25 degrees most of the time. I took a nap as breakfast and lunch preparation had been exhausting. I passed Arjen in the chart room who informed me that we were on the edge of the storm.

I went back on deck to make tea at 4:30. I stood on deck aft next to the wheel and watched seagulls fly by. There was one beautiful gull with an orange neckerchief. The sea is slate grey and the sky endless grey. Every now and then the cusp of the sea breaks and there is a flash of aquamarine.

For supper I made cauliflower cheese to go with the leftover rice. It took ages and was difficult to manage sliding all over the place. I have many more bruises than before. After supper I retired to my bunk and changed my thermals which revealed the extent to which I’d battered my self around the ship. Finally we are heading to Stavanger. Then we sailed straight into the storm. Cue a long night, mostly at 35 degree angle, getting thrown out of my bunk.

All hands were on deck. At 4 am the Norwegian coastline was spotted and by 10 am we were making plans to get tugged into Stavanger. I missed the worst of it as I was in my bunk. When I came on deck in the morning to make breakfast I was sad I’d missed being on deck, by the helm, in the howling winds, surfing the waves and galloping through the waves at 12.5 knots….

Hey ho. Next leg I’m on watch. It will come soon enough. I love being back on the water in a weird family community cooking at silly angles. It rocks. Big time.

PRESS RELEASE – Tres hombres in Stavanger


A unique visitor has arrived with the winds into Stavanger this week. The only trans-Atlantic cargo-vessel in the world without an engine, brigantine Tres Hombres is currently moored in the port of Stavanger on it’s fifth journey to Brazil and the Caribbean Islands. There the Tres Hombres Ship will stock their cargo hold with cocao and rum, which will be sailed emission-free to their destinations in Europe. The Tres Hombres was founded by three sailing-friends, two Dutchmen and an Austrian, who made it their mission to reduce the CO²-pollution at sea by the re-introduction of sailing cargo-vessels, with high-tech sails and clean engines for sustainable fossil fuel free shipping.

The aim in Stavanger is to source stockfish destined for Lisbon, Portugal. Stockfish has historically been traded with Portugal for centuries. Fairtransport Shipping aim to establish a regular sail cargo trade route to Lisbon.

The captain, hombre Arjen van der Veen and his crew are welcoming the public aboard the ship to talk about their mission. Fairtransport shipping are joined aboard by Lucy Gilliam and Alexandra Geldenhuys from the UK sail cargo shippers, New Dawn Traders. New Dawn Traders have joined Tres Hombres ship to retrace the historic trade routes and are writing stories of what trade was, is currently, and what the future of fair trade could be. They would welcome the opportunity to meet people involved in local trade and production in the area.

The Fairtransport Ship Tres Hombres can be visited in the old town Port of Stavanger and will stay until Wednesday 30th October 2013.

More information on the Fairtransport Shipping and the New Dawn Traders can be found on their websites and

Pictures available on request.

Baptism of Ice

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Den Helder to Stavanger. The first leg of our voyage to Brazil.

Our ‘Shakedown’ dreamteam Crew: Captain Arjen, 1st mate Ruurd, 2nd mate Steven, Bosun Cole, Chef Lucy, Sail trainees Erik, Amorie, Alexandra, Adrian, Alistair, Francois, Biz, Mijke, Tabea, Josepha, Rob, Vincent, Chimra, Amors, Christof

The tug arrived 10am prompt on Friday morning ready to manoeuvre the ship of the harbourside and out through the lock to the open sea. After 5 weeks on the queueside she was ready to sail complete with new sails, spars, ropes and a brand new ‘shakedown’ crew. The departure had been delayed a few days due to bad weather so the crew were eager to get sailing.

Once out of the lock the orders were given to unfurl the sails. Quickly harnesses were donned and the rigging scaled ready to start setting the sails. The was a good breeze and once the sails were set we were making 9 knots in a northerly direction. Leaving the most northerly tip of Holland to starboard.

The watch system was instigated after lunch. The system onboard is the Swedish system of in the day 6 hours on, 6 hours off, with 3 times 4 hour watches in the night. The trainee crew were split into port and starboard watch with Ruurd and Steven as the watch leaders. As the chef aboard I’m not in the watch system. My day runs from 6.30am till after serving supper around 8.30pm. By mid afternoon the swell and the motion began to get the better of some of the crew and a wave of seasickness set in that has taken a full 3 days to shake off for some.

A hearty meal of pasta with vegetables and béchamel sauce was provided for the crew with strong stomachs. The sky was filled with rippled clouds and a bright full moon, which resembled a giant glowing snowflake as the bright rays of the moon filter through the matrix of cloud. The waters are busy in this area of the North Sea and a look out was stationed to check for ships, fishing boats and fishing line buoys.

The following morning I was gently stirred from my sleep by Steven, the 2nd mate. Orders from the top are to wake people gently! Makes for a happier ship. A vat of porridge was prepared to warm tummies of the night watch and fuel the arriving watch. There is a strong wind and lines have been threaded along the decks to clip harnesses along. Everyone on deck is now wearing a harness.

After lunch and much discussion over the weather forecasts, the Captain Arjen made the decision to slow down the ship and stay in the area of sea below the storm.

The warmest place on the ship is galley. This means there is an almost constant stream of sailors coming in to sit down, have a cup of tea and chat. Anything and everything is talked about. We have several young professional tall ship sailors aboard who come with funny tales and lewd jokes from previous escapades. The fact that the galley is in a deck cabin is one of the nicest aspects of the ship and makes for a real community. Saturday night we had a big pot of steaming lentil stew with cous cous, sauerkraut and roasted pumpkin. This made Steven very happy as his favourite thing in the world seems to be sauerkraut AKA powerkraut. I personally absolutely adore it to and it makes for perfect sea going fare as full of Vitamin C and last well in the stores. All meals are washed down with buckets of green tea on this ship. A drizzly wet night ensued. This is the North Sea after all. We could hardly expect sunshine and hot weather in October!

An abundance of bread meant a breakfast of ‘wentelteefje’, which literally translates as ‘turning bitches’ AKA ‘french toast’. The language of the ship is a mix of Dutch and English. We have 11 nationalities on board; Dutch, British, South African, Israel, Italian, German, French, Belgian, Canadian, Welsh and of course Friesland!

A morning of food prep passed lazily in the sunshine. Peeling potatoes, scrubbing carrots and chopping onions. One of the trainees requested plain rice to eat so a big pot was made to settle stomachs and get them back on their feet. Lunch was a pot of soup with croutons and handfuls of cheese sourced locally in Friesland from the lighthouse keeper who is also a cheese maker! Francois caught the first mackerel today. In total we caught 4, which will be making their way straight into the frying pan to complement tonight’s supper of roasted potatoes, green beans and cauliflower. Already the ship feels like a family. This is accelerated by the fact that many of the crew aboard have been working on the refit over the last 5 weeks so know each other well.

After lunch our trainee and onboard weather expert Alistair gave a lesson in weather systems, how to read high and low weather systems and plot your course through the wind changes drawing out his illustrations with a giant piece of chalk on the roof of the navigation house.

In the afternoon (sunday) we sailed through thunder and lightening. As a precaution all the electrics on board were turned off to prevent a direct strike. Whilst lightening struck around the ship, apple pudding and whipped cream was served steaming in the galley.

We thought the storm would pass by that evening and that we would be able to make our course in good conditions. However despite valiant efforts not to, we ended up sailing into the storm. By midday Monday conditions were harsh. The ship was heeling at least 20 degrees and rain was lashing down. A request was made for plain rice for lunch. One by one, wet soggy seamen swept through the galley taking brief respite from the conditions with a mug of tea, biscuits and warm food before heading back out to battle the sails and waves.

The very worst hit in the middle of the night. All hands were called on deck as the ship. A restless night before first land was spotted around 4am on Tuesday. The coastline of Norway was rocky and dotted with pointed houses. We set our bearing for the lighthouse and tacked into the fjord heading up wind to safe harbour where a bright red picture book tug named ‘Buddy’ met us and tugged us into the old harbour. The overarching feeling of this first leg has been how spectacularly comical it has been. As if lifted straight from the pages of adventure story book complete with primary coloured illustrations and animated boats… The level of good spirit on board, which remained until the bitter end, was magical.

Talking of good spirit… as always when safely snug in harbour, the sails were stowed and a bottle of celebratory tres hombres rum cracked open!

An epic start to our trans Atlantic escapades.

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!

Follow further news at

A little dose of Inspiration

“Now here is what I believe
real adventure is not polished
it is not the result of some marketing budget
there is no hashtag for it
It burns brightest on the map edges
but it exists in all of us
it exists in the intersection of imagination and the ridiculous 
You have to have faith
It will find you there
and when it does
there is just one question in this life
when the road comes to an end
will you keep pedelling SAILING?”

I discovered this perusing the interweb while waiting for fellow shipmate Biz to source a waterproof sleeping bag… Thought I’d share…

%d bloggers like this: