Reflections on a nice trip

The delivery voyage on the double ended ferry “Hornelen” from Turkey to Norway has finished already. It was a nice trip, and very fast as well: the ship made much better speed than expected and we had good weather all the way around except for a bit of rolling in the Bay of Biscay and on the North Sea.

So where I expected to be away for about 4 weeks I was home just after 3. Everybody involved in this delivery voyage was very happy with this outcome.

You can read more about the trip on the Redwise Maritime Services website, unfortunately for most it’s in dutch. Sorry.

And after arrival & handover of the vessel back to the owners we went home……by ferry (only till Bergen from where we took the plane).

One thing did stand out for me, and I knew this from my earlier visits to Norway: Norway is a beautiful, rugged country, really nice. I do love sailing through the Fjords.
It was also very nice to work for Redwise again, a very professional & pleasant company to work for, thanks a lot guys!

So now some R&R, a course and a holiday and then I’ll be ready to go on again for another trip per the 17th of October. Please do get in touch (via here) if you have something interesting for me.

A ferry from Turkey to Norway

Screen Shot 2016-08-21 at 21.18.27

No, this is not a regular ferry service from Turkey to Norway…..it’s a delivery!

After spending the (quite rainy) summer at home it’s time to do some work again. This time I’ll be acting as the master on the MF “Hornelen” (IMO 9771638), a Norwegian flagged double ended ferry which needs to be delivered from the builders in Tuzla, Turkey to it’s working port of Florø in Norway. The trip will take about 4 weeks in total so I should be back home again towards the end of September. This delivery is managed by Redwise Maritime Services, a company I used to work for quite a while ago and for which I’m very happy to do some work again.

See you all at the end of september!

Site Makeover

foto-2-8

During the last weeks I’ve given the site a complete once-over and I’ve renewed the whole look of it all. The old look, although still ok, was showing it’s age so I’ve cut, welded, chipped & painted all kinds of digital stuff together to give you a new refreshed & clean look.

The contents are basically still the same except for some cleaning of superfluous information and some streamlining here & there.

So come over and have a look, feel free to browse around!

In other news: 2 weeks ago I did the BST/AFF/PSCRB Refresher (at the G4S Heerenveen location) so I’m all upto scratch according to the 2010 STCW Manilla Amendments. Now to apply for the various new CoC’s.

Book review: Finding North by George Michelsen Foy

9781250052681_Finding_North_.indd

Reading books is something I love to do, Science Fiction, Thrillers, Fantasy, Biographies, Popular Science, everything that seems interesting to me. I read a lot while traveling, when on board and at home.
And the above pictured book: Finding North by Georg Michelsen Foy definitely seemed to float my boat (pun intended ;-D ): informative, well written, human elements and, last but not least: about navigation.

(Full disclosure: I was asked if I was interested in reviewing the book by the publisher so I received a free electronic copy of the book to do so.)

And when I finished I wasn’t disappointed…not at all. On the contrary.
The writer who comes from a seafaring family and has some nautical experience himself  as well runs through the history of navigation while at the same time describing himself navigating the always difficult process of dealing with the loss of a loved one. And he does so admiringly but, when I say “run through through the history” I do actually mean so. The history of navigation is long & elaborate and goes off in many ways, the author does touch on that and highlights some parts of that history but for me, this book left me wanting more in that aspect.

Still: I’ve learned things from this book that I didn’t know before and at the same time the book touches upon things that worry me as a professional seafarer: the loss of navigational awareness among people. Not only on land but also at sea, and what I didn’t realize: the effects this seem to have on our brains.

I enjoyed the way the author tries to find out what happened in the last day of his grand fathers life and to recreate for himself the way ships were navigated in those (& other) times, the struggle he has with astro-navigation I know well and I admire him for not giving up and going the easy (GPS-led) way.

All in all I spend an enjoyable time reading the book, learned stuff about a few subjects, recognized other things (sometimes too well) but was left wanting more on other aspects. I do feel that a little bit more in depth information here & there would have made the book more interesting for me personally.

I recommend this book to anybody having a bit of interest in navigation, amateurs or professionals; it takes you to places you didn’t expect and at the same time makes you recognize other subjects. And all done in a colorfull and well phrased language. Well done!

While you go look for this book in your favorite online shopping centre I’m off to see what other books the author has written.

To Rotterdam & no further….

2016-06-09 16.49.02

And that’s where I left the TSHD “Severnaya Dvina”, not because we broke it but because it was planned this way…
But let’s start from the beginning:
About halfway of April we left Da Nang in Vietnam on the brandnew Damen designed & build TSHD 2000 “Severnaya Dvina”, we called in Singapore for bunkers and some minor repairs, we picked up a security team in Gale, Sri Lanka, we passed the Suez Canal without much trouble and finally arrived in Rotterdam at the end of May. The trip lasted 46 days of which 45 were ranging from beautiful to gorgeous, like this:

2016-05-03 07.29.41

and only the last day was terrible weather: a combination of 24 hours of 45 knots wind, building seas & dense (as in: I can’t see the bow) fog, welcome to the North Sea!

2016-05-30 07.08.26

And in Rotterdam a week of hectic, controlled chaos ensued on the shipyard: fixing all the little nigly bits that popped up during the trip, some stuff that still needed to be done, drydocking  and painting the vessel so it looked tiptop for the client who was anxious to receive the vessel and get it working.

But due to a bit of delay in Vietnam & during the trip I, unfortunately, was no longer able to stay on board as I had earlier made commitments. So a colleague of mine took over command and will bring the vessel to Archangelsk.
So, to quote my wife: “you bring her all the way from Vietnam just to leave her high & dry, typical!  ;-D”

Anyway; I had a good trip, now some time for myself, family & friends, a course here & there and then we’ll see what the next trip will be.

A trip on the Severnaya Dvina to the Severnaya Dvina (eventually)

SEVERNAYA_DVINA
Picture by Cor van der Leer via http://www.marinetraffic.com

For the coming weeks I’ll be working as master on the brandnew Damen TSHD2000 “Severnaya Dvina” to deliver the vessel from Da Nang in Vietnam to Europe, initially to Rotterdam in the Netherlands and later maybe even further to Archangelsk in Russia. (Severnaya Dvina is a river in Northern Russia, this river ends in Archangelsk, the future working area of the vessel.)
It’s going to be an interesting trip, via Singapore, Suez-canal & Gibraltar Strait (and all connecting waters of course) to the North Sea, gonna take about 8 weeks. Our progress can be followed through the services of Marinetraffic.com but I’m not sure if it will work while we are passing the high risk piracy area’s, the AIS transmitter might be switched off then (no worries, we’ll get protected by a highly professional security team o/b).

When we are underway I’ll have very limited access to the internet, especially while in Asia. Once we are in Europe I might pick up a bit more GSM-networks. So if you want to contact me: please send an email and be patient, I promise I’ll come back to you at some point. Normal service should resume by the end of may.

Liverpool chapter of the Propeller Club

For more than a year now I have been a member of the Liverpool Chapter of the Propeller Club, the second branch of this US based global maritime association to be established in the UK since the London chapter opened in 1936.

The aim of the Propeller Club Liverpool is to promote cooperation and understanding of the maritime industry for its members, within its local community and across the global Propeller Club network.

They do organize quite a few of events for their members, one of them is the monthly networking event called First Thursday. As the name already implies it’s on the first Thursday of every month. These are fun nights during which you’ll meet a good number of people engaged in the maritime industry in a broad sense of the word. And you can enjoy a few drinks while doing it.
And afterwards there is always the pub for those who want to continue the evening.
Unfortunately I don’t get the opportunity to go to these events a lot as work usually does tend to take me too far away to attend but whenever I’ve been it’s always been fun. I did manage to go to last Thursday’s one and it was a good evening, met a lot of nice people and had some good conversations. Good times indeed!

So if you are living/working/visiting in the Liverpool area & fancy coming along: please see the website for more details and becoming a member….I’d recommend it!

See you there!