- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

14 May 2013; Juneau, Alaska.

With the wind in the back we sailed up Chatham Strait heading for the Kake Pilot station at 0900 hrs. Ahead of us where the Norwegian Pearl, sailing for 1400 hrs. and the Century Celebration heading for Icy Strait. Behind us was the Oosterdam, going for an afternoon call at Tracy Arm. We are now seeing the first fishing boats of the season sailing up and down the coast. Among them there are always skippers who have a peculiar idea of how to apply the Rules of the Road or are completely ignorant of applying them at all. So we had one this morning, who was clearly heading for a collision and not doing anything. When 5 miles away we called him, with the question what was he planning to do, pass on the portside or pass on the starboard side. The answer was “I like to run a straight course” Well, don’t we all?? but if there is a big blue wall of steel in the way, that might not be the wisest course of action. To keep it simple, the big blue wall moved and our fishing boat could happily continue on his straight course. Which was not that straight at all as the wind pushed him quite nicely all over the place.

 Exactly at 0900 hrs. the pilot hopped on board and we went back to full speed heading for Juneau by sailing through Stephens Passage. I had high hopes for some good wildlife spotting but the whales had taken a day off or so it seemed as we did not see anything. That meant that without any excitement we docked in Juneau at the Alaska Steam dock. In port were the Norwegian Pearl and the Grand Princess, which are much bigger ships, so they got assigned the larger docks and those are quite far out of town. It is nice to be a small ship sometimes.

As mentioned in the blog last time when we docked, Harley Davidson was not there and neither had the shop been re-opened by this week. So I think they will be lost to Juneau. For the rest all the shops are now open again and two little huts are being constructed just under the ships bridge wing. Last year they were stands with Pilipino food. Juneau has a large complement of Filipino’s living there. Some who immigrated and some “who missed the ship” a long time in the past and they form a very hard working part of the community. Combine that with the 100’s of Filipino’s working on the ships, a food stand will always make money when it provides the favorite food of the home country. I wish there were some Dutch people living in Juneau, maybe I could get Dutch salt herring and salt licorice. They have it in Vancouver but it is too far from the ship.

ilo2I blogged awhile ago about having to prepare for the MLC2006 convention. The Maritime Labor Convention, called the 4th. pillar of deep sea regulation that comes into being on August 20th.


We have been working very hard to train all the crew; to get the paper trail in order and to make sure that we were in compliance, even with some very obscure rules we had never heard off. But we were. Today we had our audit, conducted by two auditors from Lloyds Register. Apart from going through all the files, the inspection reports and all the other records, they also interviewed 20 crew about their knowledge of the new law. I am very proud to announce that we did very well. TEAM Statendam scored 100% and not every ship can say that. So I will be a proud captain when I go home in two days from now.

blog grand p

The Grand Princess belonged to the “Shopping Trolley” class when she came out. Last year that handle bar which contained a public room was removed. It has made it look a lot better.

We left a rainy Juneau behind when we sailed at 10 pm following the Norwegian Pearl and the Grand Princess. That will also be the pecking order for arrival Skagway. The NP and GP going to the Railroad dock and we are docking at Broadway pier, just outside downtown.

The weather forecast is good, 10 to 15 knots and very little chance of rain. We will be approaching the dock at 0600 hrs. All is well in the world.


  1. Hmm….perhaps if enough Dutch HAL captains and crew make noise at the nearest Urban Market (10 minute walk west of docks), that market will start carrying those items for the summer. On second thought, maybe they will carry only the salt licorice (sweets are easier to share across borders), and you might need to explain the difference between dutch and finnish salt licorice….. I think they had the finnish type the last time I was there to get provisions for a picnic. They did have aged gouda and Droste chocolate.
    If the Statendam ever docks in Seattle it is very easy to find pickled herring. But salted??? Most might think you’re talking about the norwegian lutefisk. 😉

    If I don’t comment again before you leave for the conference on the ss Rotterdam in Rotterdam, I wish a safe voyage to the conference and home. Oh, and I also wish for lots of pictures of the good ship Rotterdam in her current role as retired ship 🙂

  2. Correction: I said ‘Urban Market’, the correct store name is ‘Urban Fare’.

  3. Barbara Smerek

    May 16, 2013 at 9:22 pm

    Captain Albert
    Congratulations to you and TEAM Statendam on a job well done

    Allan and Barbara Smerek

  4. Many congratulations, indeed!

    I have a USA friend who is living/working in Leon, Nicaragua working on where to find/purchase the kiddie chairs locally. She has the photos and she’ll see what she can learn when she returns to Leon from her own USA vacation. With any luck we might know something by the time you return from your break.


    • Marney,

      Thanks very much. The best I can do at the moment is the chair from Omaha, which another dear reader is keeping an eye on. If we could source locally, that would be great as it would help the local economy. Please keep me posted and thanks for helping.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  5. As I hear something I can post here, even if you are on vacation? We’re on the South American sailing in November but I certainly hope to have heard something from my friend well before then. She’s not going back to Leon until June.

  6. Captain Albert:

    I believe I know which herring it is that you desire. The next time you have a short time in Vancouver, go to the Holland Shopping Centre at 141 E. Columbia St. in New Westminster. Here you will find the best salted matjes herring this side of the Netherlands. They also have all manner of cheeses and the licorice that you crave. The only thing better than matjes here on the west coast of Canada would be to buy and consume from a kiosk vendor next to the main train station in Amsterdam!

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