Logbook Tres Hombres (May 30, 2012)
Sailing into poison! by Captain Jorne Langelaan
Slowly our little vessel is drifting into the North sea, deeply loaded with goods from foreign lands. Rum from Cabo verde, Barbados and the Dominican republic (this last kind, our own brand, the best blend we could find, 12 years old!). Cocou from the Domincan Republic. Spices and other specialities, from all around the Caribbean. Fine wines from France and Portugal which crossed the ocean in a sailing ship, twice by now, carrying the unique story of this endeavor. Wines, tea and jams from the Azores all transported in a fair and clean way. Being the only products in the world carried this way...
Variable wind, calms and clear skies. For our ship not the best circumstances to arrive in time in port. Everything has its reasons though... Slowly the reason is being unraveled as we drift further into the North sea. We are surrounded by ships. The ships who carry the goods, we, our community, our culture is depending on, to live the way we are used to. It becomes all clear as we realize the sky around us is turning yellow, yellow of smog. In front of us, and behind us, ships are passing by, their engines throttling along in a sickening monotone sound. All factories without emission filters, using the most polluting fuel you can think of. HFO, Heavy Fuel Oil, a fuel which is often mixed with chemical waste and holds the residue tar which has been filtered out of the gasoline of our cars. Al around us, because of the lack of wind, it is visible now. Our crew is rather upset with the sight of this crime, which our economy depends so much on.
I would like to climb on the roof of the wheelhouse and shout at them, I know it would not help. I know I sailed on these ships. I know that nobody, 99% of my family, friends, people around me, people like you and people I never met before. Do not know about this. It is like a big, no huge, invisible (invisible ashore) machine, monster, industry which is unstoppable, polluting, damaging and destroying our earth. We do not know about it, or the few who know about it, do accept it, silently. For us, for me, it is not invisible anymore. I know the facts: the reports about fine dust and emissions twice the amount of the aviation industry, the ten-thousands of yearly deadly casualties and the ingredients of HFO. Now I do not only know it, I have seen it! At the end of this voyage, under sail, I got the opportunity to witness the facts with my own eyes. You can see it as well, on a fine day on the beach...
The past voyage of Tres Hombres is not about the few goods she carried back, how nice and special they might be, it is really a statement. A shouting of attention, a call towards you! And yours! To change the shipping industry, to stop using goods transported this way, and work together to organize, finance and undertake a revolution. A peaceful positive revolution. Taking matters in your own hands, because you can make the difference, because the alternative is there and so simple, it has been used for thousands of years without problems. Look into the future and return to the age of sail!
Very truly yours,
Captain Jorne Langelaan
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