Carbon footprint calculated against conventional shipping of the natural wine cargo from Fécamp to London.
Natural Wine’s from S.A.I.N’s producers:
Fecamp, FR 12th of May 2013 , 16.30
Tilbury, UK 14th of May 2013, 14.30
London, UK 16th of May 2013, 16.30
Skipper: Lionel Brousse, aka Cpt. Asterix
Event: RAW (The Artisan Wine Fair, London)
The cargo was loaded on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th in the morning on the Quai Bérigny in Fécamp.
As the day was unfolding, all the wine cases were strapped by the crew and made ready for sea. Dealing with journalists as well as with 6 tonnes of wine made of the Sunday a full day of work; we all knew we were setting sail and that the sea outside the harbour was not going to let us sleep…
By 16.20, the Mil’Pat left the Bérigny basin before the tidewas too low to take berth nearby for the final farewells. About an hour later just 10 people were finally left on board and Fécamp was waving good bye to its sailing vessel Michel & Patrick, proud to see their boys sail to London.
Who was on board: Astérix, the master; Tomas, first mate; Sylvain, bosun; Vincent, sailor; Guillaume, from TOWT, Olivier, « the » Cousin, Eric, a friend of TOWT, Matthew, the Englishman on board, and two young lads in their fifteens: Ilies and Steve (who celebrated his 16th birthday on board).
Weather: 28-32 knots of fair Westerlies for 24h then turning SWies while rounding Dover.
Navigation: The engine was switched off less than a minute after departure. The strong cross wind propelling the Mil’Pat at her best speed, 6 to 7 knots, just a few hundred meters from Fécamp.
Cross winds also mean cross swell and rapidly four went down, leaving 6 people sailing through the night. The vessel rolling on the swell was nonetheless sailing fast as her max speed record was beaten by 2am at 9.7 kt as Sylvain was at the helm.
Winds further strengthening by 4am Monday, the mainsail was reefed and the forestaysail taken down to be replaced by the storm sail. By 9am the wind speed had gone down to 18-20 kts and all sails were up again. Only 22 hours after departure, the Channel was crossed and over 180 nautical miles had been sailed London bound. Given that the estimation was of about 50 hours to reach Tilbury, that the crew were knackered and that the tide was against us, it was decided to make a call in Ramsgate. Steven and Ilies first set foot in England in Ramsgate at about 15pm local time. After a couple of courtesy pints everybody was on board for a 6pm dinner: the alarm would ring at 3am sharp the next morning.
On the Tuesday morning, the Mil’Pat departed Ramsgate at 4am making the most of the Southwesterlies (10-14 knots) to sail against the tide for about 2 hours to finally use the tide to be propelled within the Thames estuary. Progressively with more South in the Southwest, the Mil’Pat was making a good way under sail (app. 70° to the wind) toward Tilbury.
Arriving at 2pm sharp local time, the altogether 52 miles from Ramsgate to Tilbury were done in no more than 8 hours – from which about 2 were with the engine on. Altogether out of the 172 miles from Fécamp to Tilbury, the engine had been on for less than 3 hours, less than 20 litres of diesel: anything other bid for a more CO2-sober way?
Reception at the Victualler
Sailed wines presented at RAW
Good bye London
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