Logbook Tres Hombres (July 22, 2012)
Tres Hombres and her French experience by Captain Andreas Lackner
Even de thick and grey weather is beautiful here. And the silence. Some seagulls from the distant fisher port in Douarnenez you can hear and the car tires, which should absorb some of the roll, generated by the light swells entering the bay. Little wind fields sweep in all directions over the flat calm sea around us, now and then some raindrops fall onto our tent from out the heavy but friendly high pressure clouds just above the tent. So close that you want to touch them. Oh, now the church bells are coming through also…slept on the cargo hatch tonight to save the crew a night of anchor watch after a week of total promotional exhaustion, a round going cold, 2 million times “parlez vouz francais?” and discharging and loading of together 20 tonnes of cargo in between the ongoing businesses.
Guillaume, our French agent from Brest and initiator of TOWT, the côte francaise of Fairtransport, arranged with great effort the unloading of 7200 bottles best English organic Avocet ale from Exeter brewery which we loaded in Brixham and the loading of 8063 bottles of exceptional French biodynamic wine from 12 winemakers in the Loire region, leaded by our friend Olivier Cousin. With him we closed one of the biggest cargo deals of Tres Hombres. Those 12 tonnes of wine for Copenhagen are just the beginning of a new trade for the ship in summer. Together with the Danish importer Sune Rosforth we will also introduce our rum there…let’s see what we can bring back down from those countries.
Now a hot air balloon perfections the horizon of sea and green hills. Cap Le Chêvre is already dipped in sunlight and so the hills around us slowly begin to shine in different green colors, some solar panels reflecting, some woods absorbing the warm light.
A day later. La Recouverance, the Leader from Brixham, Bessie Allen and many more woodies are on anchor around us, hundreds of boats sail across the bay of Douarnenez, the music and the noise of thousands of visitors come flying over from the port, together with the smell of baked pomme de terre and jam bonneau. Even the fête de Douarnenez is much smaller than the Brest one, it is very busy and the village behind the festival-fences is authentically and absolutely lovely. Our old friend Jeff, known from the festival in Calais, visited us and guided us with the dinghy while sailing out the harbor. It began already with the crew dinner, which was cancelled without replacement, while the captains got honored with endlessly appearing little snacks and wine, served neatly with lots of smile and plastic.
Tres Hombres, as the only traditional working ship of the whole fleet, got no money for her appearance in Brest. The only ship which does not only preserve tradition but live it, without engine but therefore more passion, was put aside in terms of money or attention. Luckily Guillaume could arrange a professional tug to her good berth behind Cuatemoc. The way out we made with the help of our neighbor and the wind, filling our sails quickly and pushing us through the crowd. Needless to say that we were the ONLY ship tacking out the entrance channel, but it was still embarrassing. The current ran outwards and helped us to a 90-degree tacking angle and so we managed to sail easily to open waters in time, taking the right of way from countless tall ships, so called sailing vessels. Stadsrad Lehmkuhl politely stopped the engines, I believe it would be hard for them to tack around there, but even all the small and agile ships left their smoke clouds behind them…Pictures of ships with all sails set and aback in the small passages through the rocks makes the scene perfect: un grand teatre…
Despite the fact that now every visitor knows about the mission of Tres Hombres and most people deeply respected her and the crew as a real working ship, the organization of both festivals totally neglected her. Luckily, because we had the biggest crowd around our ship, we made the front page of the newspapers, especially when Lynx installed her new figurehead. As if we would not already have the most beautiful ship, sailing the seas! She is breath taking! A beautiful, black haired savage Indian girl with a crystal ball in her belly, a silver tear running down her cheek, bright shining stones in her eyes and two little stars on her neck, as memory to my beloved sister. While fixing her on the bow it felt like being a movie star, being photographed by a big crowd which had to take care not to push people in the water…
Gently rockin on the waves, enjoying the sunset and the distant festival… Stefano calls for soup, I have to leave you, à bientôt and greetings from Tres Hombres,
Captain Andreas Lackner
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