Transition Culture

An Evolving Exploration into the Head, Heart and Hands of Energy Descent

Transition Culture has moved

I no longer blog on this site. You can now find me, my general blogs, and the work I am doing researching my forthcoming book on imagination, on my new blog.

20 Oct 2011

The first Transition podcast! A visit to the Tres Hombres, tasting a revolution in shipping

Last week I did a course with the Media Trust on how to make podcasts (highly recommended).  So, here, with some fanfare, is the first ‘Transition podcast’, I hope you like it.  If so, do embed it in other places.  It means I spent the time I would spend writing editing pieces of audio.  Let me know what you think.  So, the podcast is about a fascinating morning I spent visiting the sailing ship Tres Hombres which visited Brixham earlier this week.  It explores the potential of sail-powered shipping as the price of oil rises and the economy tightens.  It’s an exciting story.

Here are some photos to accompany the podcast….

The Tres Hombres docked at Brixham.

Information about the Tres Hombres

Captain Jorne Langelaan telling the assembled visitors about the ship.

Bottled beer from the Exeter Brewery being loaded onto Tres Hombres by local school students.

Exeter Brewery's beer stowed safely in the hold.

Comments are now closed on this site, please visit Rob Hopkins' blog at Transition Network to read new posts and take part in discussions.


Jennifer Lauruol
20 Oct 12:45pm

Thanks, Rob–this reminds me of the beautiful pictures of sail shipping in the middle ages shown in the Bayeux Tapestry

Daniel Olev
20 Oct 1:28pm

Hi, Rob!
If you are planning on doing these podcasts regulary, can you please, arrange it so that they can be downloaded via iTunes. Thanks!

Laurie Graves
20 Oct 5:03pm

Young students loading bottled beer! I doubt this would ever be allowed “across the pond.” 😉

20 Oct 8:09pm

Plastic wrap on the crates of beer? What about wood? If you are going to go the full distance, then go the full distance…

20 Oct 8:53pm

thank you for the pod cast,just what I have been waiting to hear,the use of wind power to transport goods.
I am a artisan coffee roaster and want to get my green coffee beans from a transition like source/ farm/finca in the coffee growing world.

The use of Tres Hombres coing into Brixham or some other local port would fit into my idea of a transition coffee future. (maybe a unique blend or style) Anyway I will be seeking out the details and posibilities in the meantime my ideas about fresh coffee production can be seen on the ME tag click at our ebay store. Would be plesed to discuss fresh coffee at any time. Thanks again for pod cast.

P.S. was ther not a man in plymouth who put a wing sale for wind assistance on super cargo ships?
A walker wing sail. ( I think it ran out of backing)

Regards Peter

Mark Thurstain
20 Oct 11:15pm

Excellent podcast Rob, very informative. More please. I was particularly taken with Michael Emmett’s point that all of the country’s towns and villages are within 2 – 3 miles of water. Curious to know how far upstream a typical UK river a haulage barge can go.

Max Kennedy
21 Oct 3:40pm

Great idea, about time this returned. There are a lot of non-perishable items this type of shipping can carry.

Mike Marinos
22 Oct 3:35am

Thank you Rob, excellent and very exciting podcast.

Catherine Sutton
22 Oct 8:53pm

This is great, Rob. 21st century technology! Love the voices of the characters you interviewed.
It would be helpful to have it downloadable to I-Tunes.
As a Brit ion the US, I can hardly wait for the time when boats that can carry passengers start sailing across the Atlantic.

Tres Hombres
23 Oct 7:48pm

Transition & Tres Hombres & Ecoliners, great future !!!

25 Oct 8:47pm

Hi Rob,

Thank you for the podcast. As someone else mention…setting the podcasts up in itunes would be fantastic.


Erik Curren
26 Oct 6:30pm

Rob — This is fantastic. Crazy that it’s economically viable. Makes me wonder if we have any sail merchant shipping left across the pond. I think future podcasts would be well worth the effort!

Jo Homan
1 Nov 10:35pm

*Finally* got around to listening to this. It’s like listening to radio 4. Good speed of talking. Your voice does sound slightly muffled on my machine, definitely not as clear as the people you’re interviewing (except for the Cap’n). Think the link before the ‘are the skills out there?’ bit felt slightly short. Also got confused about who all the different interviewees were. Great last link and ending.
Didn’t realise how polluting ships were. Pleased to learn there’s a viable alternative.

6 Nov 6:48pm

There are some modern alternatives to the traditional sails. A very interesting one is Flettner rotors:

Robert Vincent
7 Nov 9:12pm

I worked at Walker wingsail for a while and the wings work extremely well,being computer controlled means that the wing can be deployed or feathered (zero thrust) by the control of one person.The form did run out of funds amid some sharholder grief. there are a few wingsailed boats around one called Larinka is berthed in Portsmouth.One of the origional functions of the wingsail was to assist in propelling merchant ships, and in one instance this was successfully accomplished.

Malcolm Baldwin
9 Nov 6:35pm

This is a really interesting development, I’ve long thought that sail power might be viable. Keep going with podcasts – a great way of disseminating information.

Malcolm Baldwin
9 Nov 6:47pm

A very interesting development. I’ve long thought that sail power might be economically viable. Perhaps the next podcast could be on canal transport which I’m sure will soon make a reappearance.

andy Whiteford
15 Nov 9:03pm

Hi Rob, great news and thanks for bringing these solutions forward. You may find this more local initiative of interest



Ian Gregory
24 Nov 11:16pm

I would like to listen to it but all I get is “Missing Plug-in”. I know it is because I don’t have the Adobe Flash Plug-in on my iMac but am loath to install it. So, to re-iterate what the two Daniels said, how about making it available on iTunes? Either that or just make an mp3 available for download.


26 Nov 12:43am

Hi Peter,

your link does not work so i hope you we can get in touch here.

I represent the sailing vessel Irene, an original West Country Trading ketch built in 1907. We too are are transporting cargo under sail and will be returning from a round trip Bristol – Spain – Brazil – Caribbean- Bristol in June next year. We wil carry olive oil from Spain to Brazil and rum, cacao and coffee from the Caribbean back to Bristol. Our coffee will be Antiguan and Blue Montain from Jamaica. Let me know if we can help with your needs: