Sunday, January 26, 2014


This time I walked from La Pallice to La Rochelle and back what took me 45 min each way. But before I went to La Rochelle I visited the local market in La Pallice what was a nice one with all kinds off stuff and food for sale. In the second world war La Pallice was a big U boat base . The bunkers where those U boats were moored are
still there . They can not be removed simply because they are to massive . We were just moored in front of them.
La Rochelle was wonderful too and I spent a few hours walking trough the narrow old
streets and the area around the old harbor. Once the ship was empty on Tuesday we sailed for Cork in Ireland to load a full load of "Waste in Bales "Yes, regular household waste.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

GENT , Belgium

Gent is a beautiful old city and everything is in walking distance
from each other. I went ashore around 11h00 and only came back to the ship around 17h00. Two shipmates accompanied me and we were picked up by the bus of the wonderful seamen's mission in Gent. They also arranged a good taxi service for us to go back to the
ship. The next day we started to discharge at 06.00 and at 11.00 we were empty. Once empty we had to shift to another berth in the port of Ghent and in that berth we had to load fertilizer for La Pallice, the commercial port of La Rochelle in France. But before we could load again we had to clean the hold very good. This took the whole Sunday and most of the Monday. Monday
afternoon the surveyor checked the holds and they were approved. Loading started Tuesday afternoon by means of a big crane with a grab that shifted the fertilizer from canal barges to our hold. In total there were 4 barges that had together the cargo we were to load. On Wednesday afternoon we sailed for La Pallice where we arrived on Saturday early evening and we went straight alongside inside the small dock, lucky us again. Why?? Because discharge only started on Monday so I could play the tourist once again. 

Saturday, January 18, 2014

ALL WEATHER TERMINAL mvAvalon steel loading


While alongside in Dordrecht NL, we discharged a part of the cargo of wheat mv Avalon brought from northern Spain. The rest of the load we discharged in Zwijndrecht, a port just around the corner of Dordrecht. Once empty, we received orders to sail for IJmuiden –
also in the Netherlands – to load a cargo of 3480 mt of steel coils. The place we loaded those coils was a special place. Due to the fact that those coils are not aloud to get wet you can not load them while there is a drop of rain. So Tata Steel in Ijmuiden made a shed where ships like the Avalon can go inside up to their accommodation and then they can load whatever the weather. Yes you can guess the name of that place: 'The All Weather Terminal'. The loading goes on 24/7. Once we were loaded we left for our discharge port of Kolding in Denmark, Solvesborg in Sweden and Stettin in Poland. Kolding was our first port and in order to reach it we had to pass through the "Kieler Kanaal". In all the ports the discharging went efficient and quick. 

Friday, January 10, 2014

mv Avalon, where Eelco is.

Hello Family and Friends,
This newsletter I write while working as master onboard mv Avalon in order to earn some freedom chips to keep Mylady and crew going. But let me start with updating you about what happened the last few months. At the beginning of October we came back from our sail to Tonga and Fiji. This time we did not clear customs in Opua, New-Zealand as usual, but in Whangarei. While underway to New-Zealand we booked a spot on the hard at Norsand Boatyard in Whangarei. This time we want to let Mylady dry out and do a proper job on her underwater ship. From the moment she was out I
only had 10 days before I had to join the Avalon. So after a week working on Mylady I left for the Netherlands while MisAle stayed on board before she flew to Corpus Christi in Texas USA. 28 October the Avalon was moored in Dordrecht in the Netherlands and that is where I joined her. 

The Avalon was built in 2008/2009 and came in service in
2009. Her overall length is 88.90 meter and she is 12.50 meter wide. Her gross tonnage is 2545 mt and her summer deadweight 3850 mt. She has a good strong 280 Kw bow-thruster and a 1250 Kw main engine with a big pitch propeller. Her bridge is full of the most modern stuff like two good radars, two ECDIS screens etc. 
If you have a look on and punch in the following IMO no 9387322, you will not only find out where we are but can also see lots of pictures of the vessel. 
Now at this stage we have a crew of 7. Master and Chief Mate are Dutch. The Chief Engineer and one of Abs' are both from the Cape Verde Islands. The other AB is from the
Philippines and so is the cadet. The cook is originally from Cape Verde but he has a Dutch passport. Yes a real mix of nations again but we have a good team. The size of the hold is, 62 meter long, 10.12 meter wide, 8.43 meter high. Here the empty hold is being prepared for the next load.