- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

15 December 2011; Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica.

It rained off and on during the night and then in the early morning it really started to pour. We are already in the rainy season but with the weather system in the Carib pushing everything back to Middle America, we now get it all. Everything that might have drifted away is stuck above the Middle American countries and it rains. It pours; it reduces visibility to half a mile at times. Normally when you enter Golfo Dulce, the hot air coming from the rain forest pushes the clouds away a little bit and you still have a clear view of the shore side but when the rain clouds get bounced back it does not work that way. Thus this time we did not see much shore line at all. Our travel guide tried to describe as best as he could what we should have seen but how do you describe a lush and tropical rain forest when the only thing you see is a grey dull curtain of rain?  With no alternative out there as it rained everywhere, I still had to make the call. Also because we get here the clearance for our call tomorrow in Puerto Caldera as it is the same country. A very small boat comes out, carrying a local customs officer and his whole family (he clears the ship, they eat ice cream) and they remained on board while we went around the Gulf. 3 hours later they disembarked again and we sailed slowly towards Puerto Caldera.

Not much to relate, if not much is happening. We finished the yearly inspection for the new Passenger Ship Safety Certificate and the Lloyds inspectors only had a few remarks. A few outside speakers were not working; guess why, courtesy of the rains in the last few days. They found some of the light bulbs on the local indication panels out; also normal with several hundred’s of red and green lights all over the ship. One power fluctuation and several pop out. The electrician can and will never get to a 100% target and that was about it. Thus the inspectors were well pleased and signed all the paperwork, produced the certificates and the Statendam now has a new passport for the coming year. They will come back in San Diego to see if the lightbulbs and speakers have been repaired. They will have been; but no doubt by that time a few other bulbs will have popped.

That brings me also to the end of my blogging period. As mentioned I was supposed to go home on the 9th but my colleague was delayed. It has now been confirmed that he is in the air, so tomorrow he will make it to the ship. I will be going on leave until March 16th. That will mean no daily blogs but I will continue updating the captain’s bio’s and add a few ships histories. I would like to thank you all for reading my daily musings and I hope that you found them interesting and to some extent also diverting. 

In the mean time, thank you and Happy Holidays, either at home, or on one of the DAM ships.

Best regards Capt. Albert .


  1. Happy Christmas, and a healthy, prosperous 2012 ! Hope you have a safe transfer to the airport :-)) !

  2. Thank you for keeping this blog. I have learned so much from your writings and now have another perspective of cruising, with many answers to my “I wonder…” questions. I will be on the Statendam when you return – looking forward to it.

  3. We have enjoyed your blog and are now even more anxious to begin our 28 days on the Statendam Feb 3. Sorry we will miss you. We sailed with you to the Amazon last Dec. Merry Christmas to you and Leslie.

  4. Thank you, Captain. You will be missed. I hope you and your wife have a happy Christmas and a healthy, prosperous New Year. I have enjoyed reading about all the things that take place during the inspection. I have sailed Holland America and I am not surprised that you passed with ease. Have a wonderful vacation.

  5. Missed Career at Sea

    December 17, 2011 at 2:39 am

    Many thanks again, Captain! There were, as usual, many new things I never knew could happen on board a cruise ship.
    It’s also incredible how sailors are being flown around these days. I don’t even SEE an airport at or near Puerto Caldera …
    My continued bestest wishes to you and Lesley, as we face yet another year of rapid changes on a ‘global’ scale 🙂

  6. Jennifer MacDonald

    December 17, 2011 at 4:31 pm

    Thank you Capt. Albert, for your infomative blog.
    I wish you and your wife a wonderful Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year.
    See you in April, when my husband and I will be sailing with you.

  7. Thank you Captain, and it is not only very interesting, but also extremely educational for those of us not in the Maritime Industries.. Enjoy your vacation and Happy Holidays to you and your family… Jon

  8. Happy Christmas, Captain, and best wishes to your Mother. I’ll miss your blog and I look forward to your return in April. All the best.

  9. Gezellige en mooie feestdagen gewenst en misschien tot ziens op de nieuwjaarsreceptie HALLO.
    Het was leuk om de verslagen te lezen.
    Geniet van de vakantie met uw vrouw en de hartelijke groeten

  10. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your wife. Hope your Mother is doing well. Enjoy the holidays and your time off. We will eagerly await your return in March to once again read of your experiences on the high seas.

  11. Thank you Captain for all of the blogging that you do. It brings a whole different perspective to cruising as a passenger. I’ve learned much and look forward to learning more in the future.

    I hope you and your wife have a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year!!


  12. Thanks for your blog. One of the highlights of my day.
    Have a very merry Christmas

  13. Thank you Captain for your writings. This helps me get into the mood of sailing into storms and the great unknown (at least for me). With your experiences of more than 30-years, it soothes me to know the real people who are in control of my immediate future. My wife and I are proud to be on board tomorrow, 12/23 and be with you and your crew for the next 28-days.

  14. Oops, I finally paged down on your last blog. You are on leave until Mar 16. Sorry to not have a chance to meet you.

  15. Merry Christmas Captain!

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