To Rotterdam & no further….

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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:

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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!

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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)

Picture by Cor van der Leer via

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 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.

Back home again from Down Under.


Last week we safely arrived on the RGS “Stoker” in Fremantle (Fleet Base West actually) after an uneventful delivery voyage from Haiphong, Vietnam, managed by IMS pty ltd. It was almost like a mini-cruise, sailing through beautiful surroundings with very nice weather all the way down to Western Australia. I am more than certain I can speak for the whole crew if I said that we thoroughly enjoyed it.
And compliments to the Damen Newbuilding team from CT189-shipyard for delivering a vessel that was properly sorted out, we had no problems at all during the whole trip.
After our initial arrival on Fremantle Roads we picked up a small group of passengers and almost immediately headed out to deeper water again for some remaining DP & other trials that still had to be done before delivery. Due to the wind picking up we had a bit of a challenge during these trials but all went fine anyway.

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After mooring the vessel at it’s new homeport, where the sistership EGS “Besant” was moored as well we handed the vessel over to the satisfied owner and we were ready to go home. It was good to see the “Besant” again, now fully operational (it’s not often you get to photograph 2 sistervessels together on both of which you have been captain).

Except that I didn’t go home, I stayed in Fremantle for a week for holiday, had a good time and saw lots of the city and it’s surrounding area’s. Really liked the city and loved the time I spend there, met all kinds of interesting & friendly people.
In this week I also met up with Mark Pointon, the Senior Instructor (DP) – Business Development Manager at the Farstad Shipping Offshore Simulation Centre who gave me a tour through the whole facility in Fremantle….very impressive. I’d really recommend it if you are looking for a DP-course or other offshore training in Western Australia.

And now I’m home again. But hopefully not for long: I’m available for all kinds of maritime and/or offshore things from the 1st of march. So if you need somebody as Captain, Chief Officer, SDPO or for something else: please do get in touch and we’ll see whether we can cooperate in this.

Many thanks to International Maritime Services, Damen Shipyards & DMS for the pleasant cooperation during this trip.


Vietnam to Australia on the MV “Stoker”


During the coming weeks I’ll be (once again) on board of the MV “Stoker”, acting as master on the delivery voyage from Vietnam to Australia, followed by some DP-trials after arrival.

It’ll be good to escape the cold weather in Europe!

Unfortunately I won’t be having any internet connection during the trip so please be patient if you’re trying to reach me, normal operations will resume after arrival in Oz at the beginning of February.

Martha & Justine in their younger years

Martha & Justine in Malta crop

Back in 2003 (in my younger years) I did a delivery trip from Bahrain to Trinidad on an ancient Amercian tug: the Justine, together with a similar vessel, the Martha. This turned out to be a remarkable trip which I still remember. I have written about it before in this post: Rats, rust and 2 old ladies.

Incidently I only recently found out something more about the history of these two tugs; they have been working on my regular stomping ground: The North Sea. Please see below pics from where both can be seen in Great Yarmouth.

The Martha (ex-Martha Theriot), now called Achilles.

Picture by Gary Markham via
Picture by Gary Markham via

The Justine (ex-Toya Alario), maybe still called Justine.

Picture by Gary Markham via
Picture by Gary Markham via

And from what I can find on the interwebs at least the Achilles is still working,  she can be seen in this fleet overview from A.R. Singh Contractors. I’m not to sure about the “active”-status of the Justine.

What I also found was a press release from Marcon International, Inc. about the sale of the two tugs which was the start of our adventure 10 years ago, see here.