- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

17 May 2013; Ketchikan, Alaska.

This is my last blog entry for the time being. Today I will leave the ship and then fly tomorrow to the Netherlands for the Senior Management conference which takes place on the old ss Rotterdam this year. After that I will go on leave until August 11.  Then I will return to the Statendam, until December. See also the schedule on the blog under one of the other tabs.

rotterdam in rotterdam.jpg

The Senior Management Conference or SMC takes place every 18 months so that the head office can touch base, face to face, with those on the ships. That is made possible because there are two meetings, each of  three days. I will be going to the 2nd one, and my relief who is flying in to Ketchikan, went to the first one. Three days of meetings to bring us up to speed of what is new in the fast changing world of the cruise business. There will be in total of about a 100 people attending and some sessions will be for all of us and then there will be breakouts, separate meetings for each function. With 15 ships, there will be at least 15 of each rank present. Apart from that there are some evening functions and that is a nice chance to catch up with old colleagues. As everybody in my age group has now made captain, you do not see each other anymore so the SMC is really the only time you can catch up.  On days that the ships meet in port, there is hardly any chance as there is so much going on each day. So this is an excellent opportunity.

Therefore it is time to say goodbye. Thank you for being my faithful readers who are willing to keep up with my daily ramblings. I hope that sometimes I was able to insert a small pearl of wisdom or tit bit of genuine interest in the daily blog.

I will be checking my blog regularly as I have to clean the spam out and approve postings that are coming in.

Thank you again for all the support.

Over the summer I hope to add a lot of material to the captain’s website. I have nearly all the information complete until 1937 and a lot of photo material is coming in, so that can now be uploaded.

I also hope to complete a manuscript for publication, and publisher willing, it might come out over the winter months.  I do not think that I will have an idle summer, but first to Holland. My wife will be waiting at the airport and then together we will go to see my 98 year old mother who has not seen her only son since I left for sea on March 15th.

Thank you all, I will be back

35 Comments

  1. Sue in Nebraska

    May 18, 2013 at 7:14 pm

    I always enjoy your daily blogs. I’ll be sailing HAL this summer to Alaska, my 5th with HAL. Enjoy your time off, and I will look forward to your return in August.

  2. Best wishes for a relaxing vacation doing the other thing you love – the history of Holland America. I hope your conference goes well. We will all be waiting for your return in September!

  3. Pat Frederick-Perona

    May 18, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Captain Albert,
    Thank you for your blog. I enjoyed the stories of your journeys and the information about the “unseen” crew and their jobs. I wish you a good journey and time with your wife and Mother.
    Pat

  4. I remember at the beginning of your contract you indicated that one of the Statendam captains has now retired. Who will be Statendam’s new relief captain?

  5. I’ve enjoyed your blog this season…(maybe a bit more than in the past-much more interesting info and pics!) Hope you have a great time at your conference and gain much insight into Hal’s future plans for us cruisers. What a wonderful gift to have your mom of 98 years to visit–that’s super and I hope you guys have a great visit! I’m due to have back surgery in a month but hopefully, I’ll be good to go for my August cruise–no, not with Hal yet…but cruising just the same…:) Looking forward to your next blog entries—have a nice vacation break Captain Albert.

  6. Captain Albert, whenever you go on leave I “miss you”…..:-). I am in the habit of reading your blog daily and look so forwardd to all of your enties as they help to fill the void when I don’t have a cruise coming up soon….I know you look forward to and need your time away tho…..have a wonderful vacation after your required meetings…..

  7. For all of August, we will be on Prinsendam for back-to-back cruises, one of them going thru Kieler Kanal, where I will be watching for the folks who always came to wave to you. Will report if they are still doing it :-)) ! –
    With Capt. Gundersen retiring, ( possibly at the right time of your rotation/contract), is there a chance you return to Prinsendam?

    We wish you a great summer, with a good visit to your Mother (hope she is well !) and then a wonderful closing of the Alaska season sailings !

  8. We hope hat one day soon you will be assigned (again) to the Prinsendam. Of all the cruises we have taken (many), the one on your ship the Prinsendam, was the best experience.
    Thank you.

  9. Thank you for taking the time and effort to write this blog. I have really enjoyed reading it, and have learned a lot about what goes on behind the scenes on a cruise ship. You are a very engaging writer and I will miss hearing from you. Best wishes for some well deserved time off. Enjoy!

  10. Nicholas Sabalos, Jr., CDR, U.S. Navy (Ret.)

    May 19, 2013 at 12:26 am

    Wishing you a great summer, Captain! As always, your daily reports will be missed during your absence, but we take comfort in knowing you are able to get a much-deserved break, and spend time with family and friends.

    Thank you for teaching this retired Navy “ship driver”/navigator something new each and every day!

  11. Wishing you and Leslie a relaxing summer. Sure will miss reading your daily blog. Thank you for taking the time to take us along on your journeys. Will be waiting for August 11. Safe travels!

  12. Tot Ziens Captain Albert.

    Looking forward to your return in August.

    Ruud Hartog

  13. Robbie Robinson

    May 19, 2013 at 6:13 am

    Certainly do enjoy reading your blog and thanks for taking the time to write it. Look forward to your return. Enjoy your time off!

  14. I’m so going to miss your reports, but hope you enjoy the meetings, and I will look forward to your return later in the year. Have a great few months off with your other management!!

  15. Elbert L.J. Bosma

    May 19, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Waarde Kapitein,
    Dank voor uw prachtige en leerzame blogs, die de lezers nu enkele maanden moeten missen. Uw verlof is u van harte gegund! Ik wens u ook een goede SMC op het ss ‘Rotterdam’ toe. Graag tot weerziens in augustus.

  16. Barbara and Tom

    May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Best wishes for a relaxing vacation. We read, and very much enjoy your blog every day. We sailed on the old Rotterdam several times. What a great ship! Have a safe trip home. We will be looking forward to your return.

  17. Barbara and Tom

    May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Best wishes for a relaxing vacation. We read, and very much enjoy your blog every day. We sailed on the old Rotterdam several times. What a great ship! Have a safe trip home. We will be looking forward to your return.

  18. Barbara and Tom

    May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Best wishes for a relaxing vacation. We read, and very much enjoy your blog every day. We sailed on the old Rotterdam several times. What a great ship! Have a safe trip home. We will be looking forward to your return.

  19. Barbara and Tom

    May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Best wishes for a relaxing vacation. We read, and very much enjoy your blog every day. We sailed on the old Rotterdam several times. What a great ship! Have a safe trip home. We will be looking forward to your return.

  20. Barbara and Tom

    May 19, 2013 at 3:37 pm

    Best wishes for a relaxing vacation. We read, and very much enjoy your blog every day. We sailed on the old Rotterdam several times. What a great ship! Have a safe trip home. We will be looking forward to your return.

  21. Have a good SMC in and on the Rotjeknor Capt. Enjoy your vac and see you in September

    Het beste!

  22. Waarde Kapitein Albert,
    Fijne vakantie en “aaa the best”op de “Rotterdam”. Er staat een leuk stukje over je baas in de laatste ” Elseviers Weekblad”. De HAL wordt weer goed gepromoot in Nederland hierdoor.

    Kweekschoolgroet
    Jaap Ruygrok

  23. Have a wonderful vacation. It’s exciting to hear that you are working on a manuscript for publication. Best of luck with all your endeavors!

  24. Enjoy your stay in Rotterdam. It is almost as cold in NL as in Alaska at the moment.

  25. Capital Cruiser

    May 21, 2013 at 12:42 am

    Always enjoy your blogs and will certainly miss you while you are on your well-deserved vacation. As the only child of a 91-year-old mother, I know whereof you speak!

  26. Amigo, Captain Albert. I think U are one of the top HAL ship Captains. HAL has some good ones and unfortunately some duds. We sure enjoy reading your blog and sailing with you on the Statendam from 12April to 05May this year. Happy travels. Be safe. You are so lucky to have a mother to visit. Keep blogging. Auf wiederzehen.

  27. Dear Captain,

    It has been a pleasure to read your blogs once again.
    Would you be so kind to report a little bit from the conference on the SS Rotterdam?
    I am sure there is some interesting stuff to tell about!
    Enjoy your time off! We look forward to August!

    All the best,
    BJ

  28. Thank you so much for keeping us updated year after year. Enjoy your days off and the conference. We surely do appreciate you.

  29. Dr. Wendy C. Kasten

    June 25, 2013 at 10:50 pm

    Thanks for taking the time to keep this blog. I have been on the inside passage cruise, and it was a wonderful adventure.

    But, I have an ulterior motive for commenting. I am a writer. I am working on a novel for middle grade students set in 1923. Part of the story takes place on the Rotterdam IV. I have found ship manifests on the Ellis Island website. I can find the names of every passenger. But where would I find the names of the captain and crew? I don’t find this voyage listed on any HAL website. It took place from around Sept 10-11, 1923, and landed in Hoboken, NJ on Sept. 23, 1923, starting from Rotterdam. Any ideas you have would be a great help.

    thanks,
    wendy

  30. Beste Albert,
    mooie site over de schiedenis Holland America line. Ik was op zoek naar een foto van een kapitein (Potjer) en die heb ik op je site gevonden, bedankt daarvoor. Ik zocht deze foto omdat ik een onderscheiding van deze kapitein heb. Mocht je interesse hebben dan kan ik je afbeeldingen sturen voor je site.
    Vriendelijke groet

  31. Really enjoy your blog and now lookng forward to joining the Statendam on 29/9/13 for 66 days -my second time aboard-have been various dam ships and am now a 4 star mariner

    Just hope that the South Pacific weather will be pleasanter than encountered last December

    Hasta la vista !

  32. Captain, I have some information about acquiring the chairs for the Corinto school. I think I have located someone local there who can help. When you receive this message if you can let me know how best to send you the information and vendor names that I have in Granada Nicaragua (not that far away I don’t think) I will send you the correspondence I have. This blog may not be the best place to do that.

    George and I look forward to joining the Statendam in November for 31 days, and we hope you have had a restful vacation.

  33. Missed Career at Sea

    August 10, 2013 at 11:38 pm

    Welcome back on board, Captain! You must be flying or readying for tomorrow’s handover of the pager o/b ms Statendam. I thought I beat the crowd by adding my welcome to the goodbyes of yesterday 🙂 Ik ben nog niet “de oude” but I’ll be alongside at arrival and departure ….

    • Nice to see you on the dock again. Tthe acoustics at Canada place are not very good, especially from the higher railing, so I could not understand you., but I hope that all is still well.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  34. It’s a pleasure to find your blog so early this morning! When you have everything organized for Alaska and are starting to think about the Corinto project perhaps we can talk about the little school chairs and see if the information I have about where to get them locally will serve the purpose.

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