Staff Commitment and Ship Procedures
As efficient and sophisticated as machines may be, the real secret to sustainability is not in hardware, it is in the personal commitment of the staff. Our crew members from the Chef to the Captain use their passion for nature to make our cruises as minimally invasive as possible and to conserve resources. The M/Y Tucano has highly detailed operations procedures to make our cruises as sustainable as possible and our staff use their knowledge, commitment, and creativity to ensure their success.
Conservation of Energy - Crew Vigilance: In energy conservation perhaps even more important than installed equipment are the many procedures we have incorporated into our operations. Of these the most significant is our policy of "solar power hours". During specific times of day when they are not needed we actually turn off all diesel fuel consuming machines. The vessel is designed so that even without diesel generated electricity, all critical functions operate on renewable resources including solar power. The solar power hours are generally in the early morning and late afternoon when the boat is at anchor and most travelers are off the vessel on excursions. The M/Y Tucano remains comfortable even without electrical generation because it is well insulated and because it was designed to offer water and illumination even without electricity. This allows us to reduce consumption of fossil fuel and the resulting emission of hydrocarbons into the atmosphere. The air-conditioning system does not operate during this time, but because the vessel is strongly thermally insulated the interior spaces stay cool. These hours are a good time to enjoy the wonderful stillness of the wilderness and appreciate the subtle natural sounds of the forest. Together these measures enable us to greatly reduce fuel consumption and emission of the pollutants that make up greenhouse gases, oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and hydrocarbons.
Accommodations Best Practices: The Motor Yacht Tucano adheres to best practices typical of sophisticated hotels. The best known of these is the elimination of unnecessary linen exchanges. Unless requested by the travelers, we change the stateroom linens on board the vessel every other day instead of every day. This reduces the energy consumed in washing what are usually still clean linens. Our vessel also has a policy of avoiding highly toxic cleaning products such as concentrated chlorine - an advantage both to our staff and the environment. In addition, the M/Y Tucano does not use any paints containing lead nor do we use paints that contain anti-fouling chemical Tributyltin (TBT). TBT is a biocide used in marine bottom paints, but which has a very negative effect on marine life.
In sum, in the realm of energy conservation we have equipment and procedures in place to conserve energy while at the same time retaining the comfort of our cruises. As noted in the section Solar Energy, our vessel has very elaborate dual water systems to utilize solar power as much as possible. One of these systems uses generator produced electricity for specific times of day, but instead of maintaining a supply of hot water distributed under pressure, travelers use our “on-demand” water heaters installed in each stateroom bathroom. This way the significant energy required to heat water to a comfortable temperature is expended only when needed -- a tremendous savings of energy.
Provisioning, Food Preparation, and Traveler Health: The M/Y Tucano has detailed procedures in place to ensure that the meal services on board the vessel are both healthy for our travelers and help benefit the local communities of which we are a part. The very significant volume of purchasing made in the supply of our expedition cruises is for the most part done in community markets where all of the produce is grown locally and where we buy directly from the farmer. Almost all of the fruits, vegetables, fish, poultry, and beef are grown organically. There are no pesticides, fertilizers, or preservatives used at all. Buying from small farmers also has the benefit that the varieties of foodstuffs available have not been developed for long distance transportation and are therefore more healthful and flavorful. Our chef takes advantage of all of the seasonal varieties available, and we all enjoy the flavors of the exotic fruits and vegetables. These come in handy in our vegetarian dishes which is much appreciated by the vegetarian and vegan travelers that voyage with us. Finally, our supply staff are very vigilant in verifying that all the fish served on the vessel have been legally caught and conform to any seasonal prohibitions. We are careful to buy types of fish only outside the spawning season and to ensure that any size limitations on caught fish are strictly observed. We try our best to ensure that our cruises have positive benefits our larger community as well as our travelers.
Again, the secret to sustainability is not the hardware, it is in the passion, integrity, and commitment of our crew - and our travelers. We work as a team in deep forest expeditions to look, to listen, to explore, but not to negatively impact the greatest wilderness on earth.