On the aforementioned sailing forums, some guys were talking about the possible return of the sailing cargo ship. And not by adding a kite to a modern cargo ship, as some companies are currently trying to do—this was more of an effort to revitalize sailing ships from a past era and get them shipping again.

Specifically, Irene, a 1907 West Country trading ketch.


Over the next four months or so…Irene and its crew will carry organic beer from Devon to France, olive oil from Spain to Brazil and then – all being well – bring cocoa, coffee, Amazonian ‘superfoods’ and rum from South America and the Caribbean back to the UK.

This got fellow blogger Marc from The World Encompassed thinking about how he could shuttle some items around the remote islands that he plans to visit on his boat, Alchemy, when he takes to cruising full-time, perhaps in exchange for food or supplies.

I’m all for it, and I think that Irene is on the right track with moving things like “organic beer” (as opposed to that inorganic synthetic beer that most chumps are drinking.) I think that Alchemy should be on the forefront of what I’m now calling “artisanal shipping.” I’ve even started to put together some of the marketing materials for him, which I hope will appeal to his target audience.

Freighter Alchemy

He seemed to get a kick out of it.

In all honesty, I do wish that more people would come up with creative energy solutions. Running the world on fossil fuel is pretty dumb. So here’s to the hipsters, if that’s what it comes to, but let it be known that I was into artisanal shipping way before it was mainstream.


"Prepare to fend off the bridge abutment."

5 thoughts on “Artisanal Shipping

  1. You were indeed, Chip, a flippin’ conceptual pioneer. When you give that TED talk in 10 years explaining how a joke became an industry, I’ll be backstage with a bottle of the good stuff!

    (but you misspelled “environmentally”, alas!)

    Where did you find those fonts?

    1. Crap, I shouldn’t do this stuff at 2am.  That typo will be a pain to fix. 

      I’m not sure where the fonts came from—probably from other software that I have installed (Libre Office?) or something. I’ve collected a couple free ones from random places online over time, but I’m not very meticulous about it since I never intended to get into graphics until I wanted a better logo for this site. I mostly just use The Piney Eye for this stuff, and don’t actually know what I’m doing. In this case, they’re also pretty heavily modified (stretched, tilted, distorted etc.) as images. I think there are only three fonts in there:

      • Blackadder ITC (the word "Alchemy")
      • Goudy Old Style ("Artisanal Shipping and Freight")
      • Rockwell Condensed (everything else)
      • I guess the "and" is something else, but I don’t know what. 

      I also used a deformation tool called "wobble" in Paint.Net on the entire thing (but at a very low setting) once it was done to give it a more hand-hewn look. If I would have known that this was going to be such a hit, I guess I would have saved in the native Paint.Net format so that I could go back to it with the layers intact, but it was originally just supposed to be the punch line to a joke.

      Glad you like it though!

      1. Not to worry…you’ve “inspired” me and we’ll see how I can, if not replicate it, craft a reasonable fascimile.

        ‘Cause I couldn’t get a T-shirt with a typo, man. I just don’t roll that way…eheheheheh

        Thanks for the tips…now I need a rainy day to justify the futzing around in InDesign.

        Your “Captcha” is the least offensive I’ve ever seen…and on topic.

        1. I’ve fixed the image. It wasn’t as difficult as I thought.

          It appears that you’ve put a copy in your own Photobucket account, so you may want to update that for your blog (or link to mine).

          Regarding the Captcha, that’s one of the advantages of running your own site. I made that myself. I imagine it’s probably less bot-proof than some, but I can tell you that as of this moment, it’s blocked 1184 spam attempts. 

          1. Thanks, Chip…I’ll update it.

            I have domain-level spam controls for my domain/mail (I don’t have a website as such, just the blog), and I find Adblock and NoScript keep most of the stuff down to a minimum. I rarely get a comment on the blog that’s spam, but I do get a couple of spam messages a week that are caught, and my audience tracking shows (as do the spams) a fair amount of traffic from our friends the Russians.

            Oh, well!

            I’ll update the pic. Thanks.

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