New Dawn Traders - Help the Good Pirates of the World

The New Dawn Traders aim to inspire change through curating adventures under sail: trading goods, knowledge and culture by the power of the wind.
Alexandra Geldenhuys
United Kingdom
3 Team Members



  • 90% of everything you buy or own has spent time on a cargo ship.

  • A single cargo ship can burn 250 000 litres of fuel every 24 hours.

  • Just 16 of the world's largest ships can produce as much sulphur pollution as all the world's cars.

The shipping industry also has a direct impact on coastal environments and communities. Apart from pollution to the air and through discharge of black and grey water, ships cross-contaminate ecosystems through the intake and discharge of huge volumes of ballast water from port to port. Even sound pollution from shipping affects the migratory patterns of marine species that rely on sound for navigation and ships can kill marine mammals on impact, should the unfortunate creature be in the way. The human impact is significant too - coastal communities that once thrived on the providence of their oceans have been losing their livelihood to large multinational companies, from cargo ships, cruise liners and industrial fishing trawlers, whilst then also being hardest hit by the pollution of these beasts.

We are ALL implicated in this yet little of it is discussed in the public arena. 

We want to change this!

To Infinity and Beyond! TARGET : £12,000

In October, New Dawn Traders Alex and Lucy set sail on a 7-month voyage around the Atlantic with the cargo vessel Tres Hombres and her crew. The beautiful Tres Hombres is pioneering a renaissance in shipping cargo by sailboat - 100% wind-powered and emission-free. This 32 meter, engine-less brigantine has been successfully trading between Europe and islands in the Atlantic and Caribbean since 2009. This year will be the ship’s first voyage to Brazil.

A short animation of the Voyage Route and Ports of Call.

Meet Dr Lucy Gilliam Alex Geldenhuys:


With our backgrounds in science, campaigning and creative production, we hope to increase the impact of the work of Tres Hombres and further develop a market for exotic products that are not only of the highest quality, with the most outstanding ethical values, but shipped without fossil fuels.

Through the physical act of trading goods between countries we will also be trading in skills, knowledge and culture. The ship is not only a perfect metaphor for this voyage of discovery but is itself a microcosm of social and ecological issues. Through our human-scale adventures, both on-board the ship and in port, we will find and develop tools for sustainable living that will be of interest far beyond our own needs.

In short New Dawn Traders is divided into two mutually supported departments: Trading Under Sail and Storytelling. Our ultimate goal is to manifest a self-sustaining, theatrical cargo ship, trading in goods, knowledge and culture by the power of the wind. Environmental and social change for the better requires a groundswell of many individual efforts, and we hope to motivate this through documenting and sharing our own path towards a healthy, happy, enchanted and fair planet. This voyage will further develop the multi-faceted business and campaigns model needed to achieve this goal and WE NEED YOU!





The above images are from previous voyages and international projects.
Image credits: Jamie Pike, Mike Tinney, Alex Geldenhuys


Voyage Objectives:

On the Tres Hombres we will be sharing the role of ship’s cook alongside our duties as trainees. From this privileged perspective we hope to deepen our knowledge of what is required to manage a ship of this scale and purpose. Whilst on board we will be experimenting in low-impact living techniques, from cooking to sailing and all the maintenance and entertainment in between. In port we will be organising research excursions meeting local producers and staging small-scale cultural events.

All of this activity will culminate in the following:

1. NEW DAWN TRADERS VIRTUAL HUB: An ever-evolving online portal to document our journey. Filled with regular blog posts, photos and films collected on the journey as well as live participant engagement through “Skype in the Classroom” and “Google Hangouts” where groups and individuals can communicate with us on the boat in real time. It will be our virtual round table, shop window, stage, office and media warehouse and extend the impact of our campaigns to a global audience.

2. PURA VIDA GALLEY MANUAL: “Pura Vida” or “Pure Life” is not only carved into the anchor winch aboard the Tres Hombres, but is also the name of a small cocoa farm in Bahia, Brazil, where the seed of shipping cargo by sail was first sown. Life on an electricity-free farm, as much as on an engine-less ship, revolves around food - the fuel for the crew! This book will contain our anecdotes and success-stories of running a kitchen without all the modern conveniences. We’ll be embracing all the good advice, old and new, for making tasty nutritious food out of limited resources.

3. BOUNTY HAMPERS: A collection of stories as embodied in objects and edible produce that we discover on the voyage. These will give future stockists of fair-transport goods a tangible taste of what is available and help grow trade along our route. We will also stock up on goods for our summer pop-up bar and online shop alongside our range of Tres Hombres products that we broker for them in the UK. As we will only be able to take up a very tiny portion of the cargo hold, all goods will be selected for their outstanding quality and unusual story.

4. CAMPAIGNS AND CANAPES: From this voyage we will develop several case studies for the viability of appropriate cultural, environmental and educational campaigns. Research excursions to local community projects and climate change hot spots, along with hosting small gatherings aboard the ship, will give us the opportunity to build relationships in each port with a view to co-creating larger happenings on future voyages.


What We Need:

Below is our voyage wish list. With the highest priority at the top, all funds raised will be spent in this order. Some of the items are for skills, services or products that could be gifted or traded in kind. This is an on going and ever evolving project so all advice and assistance is valued highly! For this reason we will be running the campaign beyond our departure date. Do follow our progress here and on our blog:

a. £8,000: SAILING WITH TRES HOMBRES: This will secure our position on board for the full round trip. This covers our basic living costs, our contribution to the running costs of the ship and covers the extensive sail training that we will receive.

: This allows a £200 budget to use for procurement of goods in each port we visit.

: To maximise the quality of how we produce our stories from the voyage we would like to invest in the following:
Virtual Hub:
Our website needs a revamp and upgrade to better fulfill our “Virtual Hub” requirements.
Voyage Story Collecting:
Canon 7D or equivalent / Large SD cards / Back-up hard drives / Zoom lense / Audio recording equipment (zoom H4N with windbreaks and wireless mics).
Sharing Stories:
Tech solution so that we can Skype easily from the ocean.
Equipment Insurance.

d. £500: ECO-TOOLS:
From our short visit with the Tres Hombres we can see that there are a few items that would improve life in the galley especially. Items that the current cook recommends and things that we want to test out. As the ship is committed to avoiding plastic and pollutants, we have to rethink many things from storage and food preservation to cooking and cleaning tools and their maintenance.
e. £600: EXPLORATIONS AND CAMPAIGNS: A small budget to cover costs of activities in port – hosting local collaborators / procurement and research trips.

£480: RETURN TO INDIEGOGO: For letting us use their website to promote and fund our voyage.


With a crew of multi-talented epicurean adventurers, a majestic engine-less sail craft, a route connecting exotic destinations around the globe, for the trade of tantalising cargoes and all carried out in a flamboyant inclusive campaign with YOUR SUPPORT, we will forge our vision for a viable future!


Do find out more on our website:

Please like us on facebook:

And follow us on twitter:

Thank you!



1. How does Indiegogo work?

First, choose your donation level, and the perk you would like to receive. You may choose to remain anonymous if you like, but we'd love to know who are, and we welcome any comments. Leave us your addresses as needed. Lastly, enter your payment information into Paypal - you need not have a Paypal account to use it!

2. Why is this a transmedia project?

Some stories work best in print. Others on film. Still others as web shorts. Others though exchanges between groups. We don't want to miss an opportunity to share, so we're looking to do everything from Skype in the Classroom and Google Hangouts to recipe books and harbour events.

3. Can I donate an amount other than the specific perk amount?

Yes! For example, if you want to give £30 but receive the Voyage Postcard perk, just click on "contribute now", then on the main campaign page choose "Voyage Postcard Perk", then scroll to the very bottom of Step 1 where it reads, "Enter your TOTAL contribution amount” (which can be more than the perk minimum.)

4. How do I pay through Paypal without using a Paypal account?

Once directed to this Indiegogo help page , it is usually resolved! Remember to 'deselect' the box that says "Save this information with a Paypal account" before you finalize your payment. If you have a Paypal account tied to your credit card that you are trying to use, you will have to use that Paypal account.
We understand that some people prefer not to use Paypal for political reasons. Please don't hesitate to contact us at if you have any concerns or questions.

More questions? Ask us in the comments.

Find This Campaign On
raised by 46 people in 2 months
14% funded
0 time left
£12,000 GBP goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on November 8, 2013
Select a Perk
  • £10GBP

    A personal thank you email from one of us and your name added to our “Visionaries” wall on our website.

    4 claimed

  • £15GBP

    A hand written postcard from one of the ports on our voyage and your name on our Virtual Wall of Visionaries.

    17 out of 240 claimed

  • £50GBP

    You will be the first to own a copy of our very first voyage cookbook and have your name on our Virtual Wall of Visionaries. ETA June 2014, printed and posted on return of voyage.

    13 out of 50 claimed

  • £150GBP

    A hand written postcard from EVERY port on our voyage and your name on our Virtual Wall of Visionaries.

    2 out of 20 claimed

  • £200GBP

    Receive a bottle of the Tres Hombres 2011 Rum and a bar of their finest chocolate as a token of our thanks along with a postcard from the Caribbean island where these gifts are grown and your name on our Virtual Wall of Visionaries. To be posted on our return in May 2014. (AVAILABLE FOR POSTAGE IN THE UK ONLY)

    1 out of 20 claimed

  • £550GBP

    Own an exclusive hamper of goods collected from our voyage. Each hamper will be beautifully packaged, with a selection of items and an accompanying collection of anecdotes as a souvenir of our adventures, and your name on our Virtual Wall of Visionaries. To be posted on our return in May 2014.

    0 out of 10 claimed

  • £1,000GBP

    Take this opportunity to visit the ship for a night either on its voyage or on its return to the UK or Holland. Come meet the crew, tour the ship and let us wine and dine you for a fuller flavour of life aboard this unique fair-transport cargo vessel. Travel to the ship is not included.

    0 out of 5 claimed

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