"You will no longer find the world as you know it." This message reached us on March 16, 2020, from Cornelius Bockermann (Timbercoast). Three months ago, we launched our sails towards Central America. The world we left in Elsfleth (near Bremen) suddenly became a completely different one. Within a few weeks, our blue planet changed through a global shutdown: pandemic corona.
The coronavirus suddenly broke out in different parts of the world. My first thought: "A made, a pushed situation?". In Italy, France, but also in Central America - collapse. I took this message in disbelief. The following days it fell into my consciousness. We faced the sunny, rough shimmering lake in all weather conditions, were healthy. A ship that became its own little island of security. Fifteen glowing souls on board between the ages of 26 and 58 years crossed the Atlantic with pure sailing power. An expedition with challenges riddled with adventures. Foaming breaking wave crests, blowing spray, stormy winds in the English Channel. Then, in contrast, drifting, doldrums for days, right up to the sea that was again piling up. Without shore leave for not only the first month. The ocean leaned over the ship, towering over us with high mountain peaks as if it were looking into our sailing ship with impressive size and emphasized its outstanding monumental beauty. Small, with awe, respect and appreciation, we realized that the time we used for efficient, faster consumption meant a man-made race against ourselves. Have we forgotten to listen, to observe, to read the weather, the signs of nature? Generations before us were still sailing across the oceans without technology. We - as part of a flickering theatre, media consumers, played with moods, expectations, fears - are only too willing to give ourselves to the messages. Are we invoking this man-made illusion of that time? Opinion-forming media, do we really question the “facts”? Will it really be easier for us by being distracted, sprinkled, entertained? The digital world has replaced the priest of the Church and is now telling us who we should be instead. The advertising sells us for being stupid. No secret. Where does the chocolate really come from? Our coffee? A short pleasure, produced at the expense of everyone. With the price of our existence, our future. What do we trust? The living beings on this earth suffer, entire biodiversity disappear forever, die out.
Deep thoughts, questions and topics accompany me over the shimmering blue waves, amid stormy winds, the burning sun on the Atlantic. One event overturned the next and shook my view of the world. Our rescue operation at the beginning of March 2020 on the Atlantic by sixteen African refugees burned deep into me. A drifting nutshell, without water, without food, saved by our expedition.
The summit, this very eventful Voyage 5, was the closing of all borders worldwide just a few weeks later.
My thoughts rolled over: "... we, a team, as a refuge maybe a desert island, building a new existence in paradise, ...", to the intense wish that everything would be gone if we return to Elsfleth's homeland in July 2020.
The longed-for shore leave after our Atlantic crossing on the Lesser Antilles, in Marie Galante got denied. We were still without internet and network connection on the Atlantic. Tied to our imagination with the hope that the situation on land had improved.
But things turned out differently than hoped. The shocking message came out. March 24th, 2020 created certainty for us about global dimensions. The seemingly limitless freedom on the sailing ship became a contrast. No shore leave, no anchor. For three hours it was called "provisioning" and unfortunately only a filled gas bottle for the onward journey (for food preparation).
Within this short period, it was necessary to look ahead. Contact mom, dad and loved ones quickly. Calm the family and relatives down. What else was there for me, so many 1000 km apart? Panic? Or a keen eye with confidence and the best possible opportunities for teamwork at sea. Lone warriors don't survive, a community does. We shared our knowledge and emotions within the crew, gave ourselves support and continued to work optimistically on deck with all our strength.
We hurriedly brought fresh food onboard in Guadeloupe. A van lowered the hatch over the harbour wall, we unpacked the goods armed with gloves and disinfectants and brought them into our hold. Quarantine until the potentially adhering virus is no longer dangerous. We washed fresh food, left it in vinegar for 20 minutes and then rinsed it thoroughly with water. We received clear instructions on health protection from the captain: wash hands, no skin contact (pay attention to eyes, face), always disinfect. Highest hygiene measures. Our cook Giulia took the groceries in a rubber suit (oilskin) and the crew tackled the problem together. Long-sleeved tops and latex gloves were required.
Ultimately, our agent waved goodbye to us after a few hours and held our thumbs up. A step away from the paradise island. He accompanied us to the end along the harbour wall. A warming sign of approval.
We went further into the unknown. Our further supply? Stars that still have to be interpreted.
But we kept our courage. We exchanged views, continued to grow together. We had mastered the wide Atlantic with pure wind and muscle power, with our reliable Avontuur. In unison, we kept our ship in good condition, freed it from rust, spliced ropes, realigned the course and sailed with the forces of nature. Trusting in the decisions and experiences of our captain, our crew became increasingly stronger. Not only have our bodies become tougher and more muscular, but our resources have also become more sensitive. Despite the rationing on board, Giulia (The.Rolling.Galley) provides us with healthy and varied care.
After three months we are now on the coast of Honduras. Ration and coffee freight await us, is our next chance at our first trading post.
We are expected to receive final permission to enter Port Cortes in a few hours. There, 23 tons of green coffee have to be loaded by hand and provisions have to be taken on board for the journey to Vera Cruz (Mexico). No shore leave. Over the harbour wall, on pallets, from hand to hand, sack by sack (69 kg per sack, 369 sacks, 23 tons). Hoping to anchor and take a breather afterwards, we tackle it again. For fair trade, a fairer world.
The triple price (3 US $ / libra coffee) of the world market of Café Chavalo is currently paid for the coffee from Nicaragua. The price that ensures the basis of survival for the coffee producers on site. A payable price, that finds sales as well as sales. Our environment is treated or valued in such a way that everyone can exist. Earth, flora and fauna, ultimately human beings.
In addition to the 10 tonnes of raw coffee (269 bags) obtained from Jens Klein (Café Chavalo), 1000 bags of roasted coffee from Tierra Nueva are taken on board locally roasted.
The highest quality can and must become a criterion for a healthy future: organic, fair, more appreciation and added value of local products - responsibly.
Further information can be found on YouTube:
and in particular: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7TEeUFGxj0 (Timbercoast 22:26)
Podcast: Future with the smell of coffee - Sail coffee
In addition, people show us that it will be possible with willpower and interest to successfully implement global trade relationships with cleaner transport routes. Three young students from Hamburg launched TEIKEIolive (background: Podcast TEIKEIolive). Greek olive oil is sailed to Mexico on our Voyage 5.
We also transport donations to Nicaragua in our cargo hold.
The Cooperative City Friendship Frankfurt - Granada / Nicaragua (association since 1991) works directly for the local people without personal enrichment: tires and technical equipment for the fire brigade, over 1000 spectacle frames (opticians without borders, equivalent to doctors without borders) rest in Crates on board since January 6, 2020. Jens Klein used his contacts for this and, as a trading partner with Timbercoast, made this CO2-neutral exchange possible for this city partnership at short notice (background: podcast: Future with coffee scent sailing coffee 32:50).
Will we stick together stronger in the future? Do we want to act by mutual consent? Aware of our humanity, we must reflect on our true strengths - heart, mind, cooperation.
Avontuur as the only sailing freighter in Germany shows that we have the opportunity to realign our sails. Old knowledge, combined with new technology. For the benefit of all living beings, courageous and forward-looking. Always aware that we are at the beginning and in constant development.
Our feet are soaked with saltwater, sores, hands with blisters and calluses. Healing for our bodies, souls, restless hearts. Ready for anything that may come. Our motivation: to do good, to mature, to persist. Adapting to the times of constant change, in the middle of the ocean. Above the infinite waters of this earth, golden sunsets with towering clouds. Every day unpredictable, Certainly only the sunrise. An ever-changing spectacle of fluently flowing yellow-red, bright orange, up to gold-silver transformations. Again and again a breathtakingly unique painting in front of our eyes. A symbol for countless opportunities for change, growth.
The pandemic affects all of us, affects everything. But viruses are not the only thing that can spread from person to person. Sympathy, compassion and solidarity are also transferable. I therefore know that we, too, will be able to weather these difficult times of the crisis together. We are transforming ourselves again, just like the sunrise.
Our earth needs a change, needs recovery. Observations have already shown that nature can still recover significantly. In China, the sky is suddenly seen instead of the smog. In Venice, the canals are clear again and even dolphins feel surprisingly at home there. Having come to a standstill as a result of the crisis, we have a new chance: to ponder, to pause, to change course. It is up to us what we do with our time. Carefully - with patience or in a hurry - accompanied by brutal environmental destruction, continued existence of a short-lived throwaway society. Future viability or past - humanity has it in hand.
May we survive the times of crisis, may all those affected feels comforted and seen in the solidarity of the community.
To orient our daily receipt, as a ballot for earth with biodiversity, regional awareness, resource-friendly handling, respect for all living things, towards the good.
With the certainty of realigning the sails for our future, Peggy from Avontuur, Voyage 5 in times of the Corona Virus (COVID-19), greets you, Day X, April 8, 2020
I implement this expedition based on the conviction that we have a chance for a better future in harmony with nature and all living things on earth. My being serves the good of all. Since I have no income, I am happy about any support. You can help in the form of a used good GoPro (mine has unfortunately fallen victim to the ocean), but a finance or relationships/networking also mean a livelihood for me. My existence is also uncertain, I trust people like you.
Freight & cargo info: https://timbercoast.com/en/