The sea flows through his veins. As does adventure. When did he begin his career at sea, how did he end up with TOS and what are some of the many things he has seen and experienced?
Were you destined to be stationed at the bridge?
‘My father – a Chief Officer himself – actually wanted me to become a Chief Engineer. However, at the open day of the Maritime Academy in Rotterdam, my mind was made up. Radars, a reconstructed bridge… it was love at first sight! After four years of study, an internship at the GenChart shipping company and many hours at sea with different shipping companies, I finally became a captain.’
What is it like to work with TOS?
‘I visited the Veerhaven regularly, right around the corner from TOS. In 1998, I registered with them. My first job: filling in for a sick captain on a tugboat in Hamburg. It is now nearly twenty years later…I never left after that. The lines are short, you can always reach someone and often you work with people you know… You build a relationship with your contact persons. To give an example: Tim Spitters, who I always call to give a follow-up report after a trip. Also, Kees Wagenaar still always recognises me and comes to have a chat when I see him. You’re not just a number at TOS.’
When did you begin as captain in ship delivery?
‘Since 2008, I take care of ship deliveries for Damen via TOS. We sail mainly tugs, dredgers and patrol boats to their new owners. With a small team, we make sure that the ships arrive as good as new, despite the many nautical miles. A great responsibility. We sail all over the world: from Romania to the Bahamas and from Shanghai to Siberia.’
Which ship delivery do you remember the most?
‘One I still remember clearly is a Multi Cat in Venezuela. We brought that Multi Cat, a self-sailing work platform, all the way from the seaport via the Orinoco to the inland waterways of Venezuela. The course was upstream and we travelled only by day because it was pitch black at night. So every evening, we moored at a settlement or little town and partied with the locals. A legendary trip!’