A month at Aegean Cargo Sailing – Part 3September 5, 2021
September vibes @ Aegean Cargo SailingSeptember 28, 2021
Dear members and friends of Aegean Cargo Sailing,
It is a few days ago that we completed our summer voyages in 2021 and we now have the time to resume the results of this year up to now and inform you on the new exciting developments.
We all know how difficult the last two years have been, including in our case interdiction to sail for a total of 11 months out of 24 and scaring away most of the potential paying crew that we were counting on to sustain the transportation of goods of the islands. Fortunately none of the core of our team contracted covid. We also had very generous support from our two most important donors. Kostas Apostolidis of Raycap who was a McGill university colleague of our captain Loucas, and Rosabelle Tarnowska who is also member and Treasurer of AEGEAN SAILS contributed to our continued operation and even expansion of our activities during these difficult times. Without their support we would have to curtail our activities completely and lose out the momentum we have previously established. Many other friends have generously donated this summer and we extend our thanks to all of them.
One clear example of the importance of longevity is that we have been asked by the producer of the documentary series “Πράσινες Ιστορίες” (Green Stories) of the national TV ERT to be the subject of one episode because we have proved the continuity of our project. They knew of the Cargo Sailing Project but they considered it as a possibly ephemeral activity and only this August they decided that our persistence proved it is sustainable.
What we have achieved this year is to run a small and a full tour of the Aegean from June to the end of August. We expanded the number of islands where we dock to either load or unload products or anchor on the way, including very small islands such as Fournoi, Leipsoi, Schinousa, Ios, Anafi, Sikinos. We have also added 8 new producers and 4 new stores of natural products. One of our last year’s paying crew embarked again this year, brought their friends and continued advertising for us. The team of sailing volunteers excelled in their task and is becoming quasi permanent. We have organised the expedition of products to Switzerland in the traditional way during the lockdowns. We have brought in contact a Greek producer with Polish consumers resulting in a new trade channel. The existing wind sailing route connecting the Aegean with Switzerland (+electric land transport) keeps expanding and it will be the main market destination of our autumn trip to Italy and France. Our cooperation with Slow Food is another source of trade and team expansion this year. Thus the autumn trip is now approaching, expected to start at the beginning of October with another tour of the Aegean followed by the passage to Italy and France with our heaviest cargo until now. This time we will charter the sailboat “Λάφρη” that we and her new owner Nicolas hope will become our regular sailing vessel.
Before starting the autumn tour, “Lafri” will star in the new film on our project that, thanks to our Canadian benefactors, will start filming in Kea as of September 18. This constitutes a totally new chapter in our ecological adventure. If successful it will become a potent communication and worldwide advertising tool but it is too early to know what will be the outcome. It is a brave leap forward and we will keep you informed on the developments. The funding is secured 100% from Canada while we provide the idea and the sailing and product trade management. Negotiation on the intellectual and financial rights and obligations is still ongoing.
We are very encouraged by the success of securing earlier this summer funding from the Green Fund for almost 50K € for the first electrification of a sailboat, 5K € prize from the Green Ideas competition and 4K € prize from the ClimAccelerator. We continue our effort competing in ecology innovation support schemes and we aim at higher distinction.
We need all your support to continue so please continue communicating and contributing.