- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

20 September 2011; Blog update.

I have been able to add some more information to the Captains from the Past sub directory on this blog.

Several new names were added to the list (click on the Captains from the Past header), namely the captains Burger, Buhse, Van Erp, Geldtelder, Sjerp, Swart, de Witt, Coerkamp E and Coerkamp R. (it will be interesting to find out if these two were brothers or family) Kimmerer and Soutendam. These were all cargo ship captains in the period 1915 to 1930.

Photos were added of some old timers from the early years. Captain Bote Bruinsma, Captain Aldert Potjer and his nephew Adries Potjer, Captain Herman van der Zee, Captain W. Bakker, Captain Willem Ponsen and Captain Adriaan Roggeveen.

Also the bio and obituary of Captain Hans Eulderink was added, together with two photos. More will be added as soon as I have the paperwork of those years scanned in from the years that I sailed with him.

Best regards

Capt. Albert


  1. Captain,
    The HAL Captains provide for interesting reading.

    I believe you have an error in Captain Bonjer’s biography.

    Captain Bonjer was the first commodore of the company, made so, when in 1893 he completed 100 voyages in command for HAL. He was also the Master of the Rotterdam III, when it made the first company cruise to the opening of the Kieler Kanal in 1985

    I believe the Kieler Kanal opening should be 1895.

    I noticed where you mentioned the decision to eliminate the Commodore rank. Was it typically awarded as a courtesy after 100 voyages in command or were there other considerations given to earn the rank?

    Thank You for a wonderful blog.


    • Good morning,

      Thank you for your correction. As far as commodores are concerned, I think HAL started the title as other company’s were doing it as well. So 100 voyages was a good excuse. Since then the company had the policy of awarding the title to the most senior captain who automatically sailed on the newest and largest ship. It made sense, especially for P.R reasons to have the captain with the longest track record on the company’s newest ship. HAL kept a commodore until 1968 when the function of Hotelmanager was created and the balance of ships sailings went towards cruises. HAL clearly wanted to indicate that it was time for a new approach to sailing, and cancelling the commodore title was one of them. It was also difficult to keep awarding it, as not always the most senior captain sailed on the largest ship and or newest ship any longer.
      I have almost my listing of Commodore’s complete and then will add a page about the issue.

      thank you for reading my blog.

      Best regards

      Capt. Albert

  2. Great stuff Capt, thanks! Love the historical part of the line!

  3. Does a senior captain (ie the captain with a long track record) have a choice in deciding which ship they sail on? Or do they go to the ship they are asked to go to? Instead of having a commodore there must be quite a few senior captains within HAL. Do they get any special privileges for their loyalty?

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