Aegean Cargo Sailing: Reviving a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Aegean Sea |
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Aegean Cargo Sailing: Reviving a Sustainable Blue Economy in the Aegean Sea

Aegean Cargo Sailing:

The Aegean Cargo Sailing project is what the SAILMED organization has been working on since 2013. transporting cargo in the Aegean Sea and the Mediterranean with clean, truly renewable energy, pursuing a two-fold aim: on the one hand to promote the idea of moving from fossil-fueled maritime shipping to sail power, at least on a local scale; and on the other hand, to advance the local economy through the transportation of local goods, produced in a traditional and of course environmental respectful way.

To achieve the above aims, there were several obstacles to overcome, from obtaining the necessary permissions and preparing the sailing yachts to coordinate the transportation depending on the demand as well as of course on the weather conditions. As a driving force served our team’s strong belief that such a project is absolutely viable: for thousands of years and until recently the Greek merchants distributed local natural products of high value throughout the entire Mediterranean region only with the power of wind. More than just a romantic aspiration of reviving millennia old
tradition, this project intends to respond to a genuine need: to take action against the impacts of conventional sea transportation on the maritime environment and the climate. Last but not least, our effort focuses on supporting the local production: the Aegean islands, apart from an
international tourist destination, are the place of origin of a wide range of traditional products of a high quality: wine, beer and raki, olive oil and vinegar, honey, marmalades and sweets, dry fruits and aromatic herbs, smoked sausages, and long life dairy products. These products represent the outcome of hard personal work very often under adverse conditions. Hence they deserve a more personal, “experiential” and of course ecological network of distribution rather than the impersonal, technical modern logistics.

DETAILS ABOUT OUR PROJECT:

In our first round trip in summer 2017 we connected producers and retailers on 6 Aegean islands. In summer 2018 we achieved to sail to 18 islands with a single sailboat. This summer we intend to increase our fleet up to ten vessels in order to cover the demand of our ever-widening
transportation network. I order to do so, we need supporters to participate as crew members and sponsors. As a SAILMED organisation member wrote after her participation in our first trip back in
2017:

“Our journey may be over, but we are just getting started. Planning for the future is imminent. But first, we must spend the time to reflect on the successes and areas where we have room for improvement.

This takes thoughtful reflection and collaboration with our partners and feedback from our team of how to make this bigger and better next year.
I have really enjoyed being a part of the SAILMED team and I hope to be able to come back and do this again with my awesome crew.

I can never forget the experiences and memories that I have gained here in Greece with friendships that will hopefully last a lifetime. We cannot change that which is immovable, but maybe we can maneuver around it to find new ways to grow.

The meaning behind this is that sometimes it is better to think outside of the box to realize it may just be a relic of the past that needs to be admired from afar.”

This year our freight vessels will newly set sail from Attica, Greece, to traverse the Aegean islands, connecting communities of nice people, picking up and/or delivering them healthy island products.
Follow the winds with us and participate in the revival of an ancient tradition, while supporting at the same time the ideas of clean shipping and a smarter future for healthy products and environmentally responsible maritime transport.

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