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Ocean Liner History and Stories from the Sea, Past and Present. With an In Depth focus on Holland America Line

28 April 2012; At Sea.

The wind and current we had with us coming up the coast, were now against us. Wind force 6 to 7 blowing from the East and the ship going against it with a wind force 6,creating a combined wind force 13 on deck at times. Thus I kept the doors to the forward observations decks under the bridge carefully closed. Wind force 13, is too strong to stand up to and I do not need it to have senior citizens being blown all over the place. Still it did not bother anybody as the only thing that really has an influence on shipboard life is ships movement. Apart from the fact that most guests are not used to it, it is also annoying in the long run as your body gets tired from adjusting to it all the time. Nothing of that luckily, the ship remained as steady as a rock as the Grand Bahama Bank acted as a natural buffer to prevent the wind from whipping up the waves into swell. That will be different late tonight when we will have a few hours of exposure to the North Atlantic when we leave the shelter of the Bank behind. That will not last that long as we will turn into the Windward Passage and then we will be under the lee of Haiti.

In the mean time, I have been cloistered behind my desk, trying to clear up my email in box from yesterday. Due to USCG and all other excitements I left the emails, the emails, and nowadays if you run behind it is hard to catch up. Luckily it is weekend, so the output from our Head Office is very low and that makes cleaning up a challenge that can be faced. Most of the emails are generated from inside the ship and are just an FYI and can then be deleted. Still I have to read them and what is more important check who else has been copied in. Quite often my main task is to forward an email to a party of interest who has not been copied in and does need the information. So with one mouse click I can prevent a lot of delay and hassle. Where I can be very useful is when requests for repairs are stalling. Most of the time due to the fact that several different groups, or departments on board and in the office are involved. Then the danger exists that the email system becomes a sort of merry- go-around, with everybody saying something and nobody doing anything. The email is being kept forwarded, forwarded, bounced back, resent, you name it. Whatever option you have in email to get not involved is than exercised. When I see that merry-go-around taking too long, I can cut in, break the chain and dump it directly on the desk of a Director or Vice President of whom I think is the best to deal with it. Whether they like it or not. Captains emails always get answered and the follow up is then often very swift. It gives me the feeling that I have done something usefull for the day.

Then an update on yesterdays blog. Fleet week in Fort Lauderdale. I am quite ignorant in regards to the latest Navy ships boats and gadgets out there, as keeping abreast of what is going on in the cruise industry is already more than a full days work. Let alone discovering new things in Holland America history. Still there is always help when I get in a muddle and this time the emails flooded in from various sides. Thank you very much and here is the correct listing of the Navy ships in port:

fleetweek ftl 2

Photo: 25 April: the USS Jacinto entering port. You can just see the bow of LHD1 Wasp and the Gettysburg behind the bridge of the Jacinto. In the background the ms Westerdam and ms Noordam, docked at Piers 26 & 27. (Photo courtesy: website Cruise friends)

LHD 1 WASP, with onboard Commander Expeditionary Strike Group Two. , USS Wasp is a U.S. Navy multipurpose amphibious assault ship.,

CG 64 GETTYSBURG is a Ticonderoga-class guided-missile cruiser named after the Battle of Gettysburg during the American Civil War.

ANNAPOLIS (SSN 760), a Los Angeles-class submarine.

USS Jacinto: CG 56 is a sistership of the Gettysburg. Name after the battle in Texas in 1836.

USS De Wert. (FFG-45), an Oliver Hazard Perry-class guided missile frigate, and named for Hospitalman Richard De Wert (1931–1951).

Today we will sail all day in the Old Bahama Channel and then tomorrow we will cross the Caribbean Sea. The Trade winds are blowing very strongly at the moment, 25 to 30 knots and that will make it another windy day.


  1. I thought that the sub in port was the SSN 700, USS Dallas (a Los Angeles class fast attack sub).

  2. Good Morning Captain…..I havent actually cruised with you but feel like I have , since I read every post that you write on here. You make everything interesting and like a book, I cant wait to read what happens next…. 🙂 We ususally cruise once or twice a year but mostly on the Zuiderdam or Westerdam, no special reason, it just works out that way. I just wanted to tell you tho that I really appreciate the time you take to write and have learned more than I ever thought I would about cruising …. Thanks for all you do and I hope someday to schedule a cruise with you……

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