to ship cocoa by commercial sail. And as a TWIC-carrying PortSide volunteer, I was invited into Red Hook Marine Terminal to blog for the unloading of cocoa from the schooner. Black Seal, a 70-foot Colvin “Sea Gypsy” design with the biggest cargo hold and steel pilothouse, has been the 25-year building project of Capt Eric Loftfield. Tugster has featured many fotos of two other Colvin boats: samples at Rosemary Ruthand the misguided Papillon. On her maiden voyage, Black Seal traveled from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Puerto Plata, DR . . . to Red Hook, New York. With cargo. Twenty tons of organic cocoa beans,
The cocoa represents about a year’s worth of Dominican beans used by Mast Brothers Chocolate. Click on the 8.5 minute clip for some background.
According to Capt. Loftfield, a Cook Inlet pilot in Alaska, the total amount of fuel used, including motoring out of and into port as well as running the generator and galley was
Some inspiration for using commercial sail to move cocoa from the Caribbean can be traced back to Ross Gannon and Nat Benjamin of Gannon & Benjamin Marine Railway. Ross Gannon is the uncle of PortSide New York‘s founder and director Carolina Salguero. Gannon & Benjamin has received their own cargo (wood) by sail. Some other examples of current commercial sail projects include Beth Alison, Tres Hombres, Kwai, and Albatros. I’d love to hear about others.
All fotos by Will Van Dorp, who is ecstatic to witness extraordinarily-prepared people learning how to do extraordinary things by . . . jumping in–when the time is ripe– and doing them.
Challenges abound; the story of schooner John F. Leavitt illustrates the risk of jumping in prematurely, of not being extraordinarily prepared.
For the Wall Street Journal version of the story, click here.