- Captain Albert's Blog -

Stories from the Sea, Past and Present

23 December 2008, At Sea.

It was a stormy day indeed. The Cold front with its rainy sector was lying over the Yucatan channel and created Gale to Storm force winds and strong rain showers in the afternoon. We had the wind three quarters on the stern so we did not feel the full brunt of it but it was still windy especially on the portside. However, if we have to go through a stormy cold front better today than tomorrow when we are in Belize and the guests want to go ashore to enjoy the beaches and the water life. The Veendam moved around a bit for most of the day, courtesy of this wind three quarters on the stern. The swell, whipped up by the wind, caused the ship to move in a cork screw motion.

This is a motion that is not really rolling and not really pitching but a combination of the two and not in a regular pattern. Thus the stabilizers had a hard time taking care of the rolling part as there was no real “rolling rhythm” to the motion. It rolled a bit, it pitched a bit and then there was a “lurch” all of a sudden. The ship settled and then it would start all over again.

In the course of the afternoon it eased off slowly but steadily while we moved deeper and deeper into the Caribbean Sea. By the time it was evening the ship had settled down to a gentle motion that did not bother anybody much at all.

All on board are getting into the Christmas spirit slowly but steadily. We had a tree lighting ceremony the first evening, decorations are all up and the crew is rehearsing for the Christmas choir. Apart from rehearsing the songs we also had to do the walk through in the lounge to get everybody; there are normally a 100 of us, on the stage in the correct location. During these late night meetings there is normally only a core of the crew present and those will lead on Christmas Eve the rest of the group the proper way. I managed to attend the first three meetings but tonight I have to let the last one go by as it will be a very early arrival tomorrow morning, thus I need my sleep. However Senior Management (my wife) will do the honors, so we will all be in good hands.

The international choir will be singing three songs: Jingle Bells, The most wonderful time of the year and Rudolf the red nose reindeer. The Indonesian and Philipino choir have religious songs. We all enter the lounge singing O, Come All Ye faithful and we end with Silent night. If all works out, the guests should have an enjoyable evening.

I will do some more Q&A after the holidays but to answer one question quickly about the Nieuw Amsterdam model of 1938 which I had on display in the Veendam atrium. In consultation with our SR.VP Fleet it was decided that the model will go to the new Nieuw Amsterdam in 2010. The Eurodam and her sister have a corner in the crow nest called the Captains lounge. On the Eurodam there is a Ryndam (1951) model on display with some related memorabilia and the same will now happen on the new Nieuw Amsterdam.


  1. Captain Albert, thank you again for you daily postings. Wishing you and the Senior Manager (wife) a Merry Christmas.

  2. Captain,

    You seem to be listing a bit in the Team Veendam Xmas card.

    All the best to you and Leslie.

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