The Beagle Project reports that a French wine exporter will begin to transport goods by tall ship – a three-masted barque, to be exact. The Belem, was originally launched in 1896, and was the last French merchant sailing vessel to be built. (Here’s the ship’s official webpage- beware silly music.) Now the Belem has a new life transporting French wine to Ireland, at a carbon savings of 4.9 oz per bottle, or 18,375 lb per 60,000 bottle cargo. To make the operation even more sustainable, ships will return with a cargo of crushed glass for recycling into new wine bottles.
Tall ships are so beautiful that it warms my crusty cynical heart to see them making a comeback, no matter how small. Tacking a sail onto a container ship, though useful, just isn’t the same. Maybe this is the beginning of a reversal of the Last Shanty?