- Captain Albert's Website and Blog -

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

28 September 2012; At Sea.

Today we spent the first of two days at sea, sailing down the Mexican coast, heading for Puerto Vallarta. Hurricane Miriam has been downgraded to a tropical storm and is expected to completely collapse today. We only noticed a long swell coming for that direction with a height of about 10 feet. Nothing to worry about. The 2nd Tropical Storm, Norman, is moving nicely inland and should provide some rain on the Mexican Mainland by the time we pass Cabo San Lucas, so also nothing to worry about. The only negative thing about Miriam is that she really upset the surface current and pushed the California current away from the area. Normally we get about 0.5 knots of free speed out of it, but by 10 am it had all disappeared; making my Chief Engineer a very unhappy man, as it raises the fuel consumption.

web schooWith nothing nautical to worry about, I could focus on the coming Corinto activities. We received some more boxes with school materials in San Diego, courtesy of at least three of my blog readers (There were no personal names on the boxes, but we received shipments via Dollar Days LLC in Scottdale, Fullfillment Centre in Des Plaines and Elvia in Carson. Also guests brought items on board) and now we are consolidating what we have and what we still need. In Puerto Vallarta there is a big Home Depot, Wallmart and Sam’s club so we have the option to buy what is missing. For that I am also waiting now for the Ships Agent and Chief Tour operator in Corinto as they have to smooth the way with the authorities and source the hardware stores for what the ship cannot bring. (We need a concrete drill for hanging the curtain rails as an example and that we do not have on board)

I have listed below what we have received thus far:
2100 pens
1200 pencils
48 notebooks
144 pencil sharpeners
200 pencil with eraser
20 rulers
20 kid’s scissors
72 colored pencils
30 School glue sticks
100 crayons
200 new shirts
2 basketball boards
50 yards Curtain rails

3 boxes with clothing
2 boxes with curtains.
1 box with toys
1 box with souvenirs (to sell in the school bazaar/raffle)
(Donated by guests and crew)

New school sign made on board by the carpenters and bosun.

From the crew foreign coin donation box:
May 2012: $ 139,–
Sept: $114 US and $95 CAD.

Monetary Gifts from Guests and blog readers (Thus far received, as I know there is more in the mail)

$ 1600—

(Known sponsors: Ruud den Hartog, Pamela Baade, Steve and Patti Plunkett, William Shakelon, 23 sep. cabin 551, cabin 343 Barbara Buenett.)

$ 2000—from Holland America Line Corporate:

Part of that money has been spent on paint and paint materials.

10 1 Gallon Containers of the YOLO Colorhouse Petal .05 Flat Interior Paint
10 Speedwall 5-Gal. Semigloss Interior Paint
50 3” All Purpose Paint Brush
100 6 1/2” x 3/8” Roller and Handle
5 gallon of paint cleaner

For the paint the plan is that we start the project with about 25 crew, and then later in the day the parents of the children take over.

We have on standby 50 sheets of glass for the windows, but we have to measure and cut to size and will then probably install in spring 2013.

The rest will go on roofing materials, which I hope to buy locally and dry eraser boards and dry erasers. Then closer to Corinto we will take the broom once again through the ship and see what else we can add.

When we are there (weather willing of course) we have to see what is needed for our next call in spring 2013. Most likely we will need exterior paint then, as there is less chance of rain around that time.

In the mean time I would like to thank all of you with helping with getting this project off the ground and hopefully together we can make a difference to the lives of these children.


  1. WOW! This is fantastic! I hope my box made it to you guys…I’m encouraged to see that ‘one box contained toys’ as I included 2 toys in my box of school supplies. (I know it was rec’d at the Seattle address so I hope it was forwarded to San Diego)

    This was a huge project and I’m amazed that you’ve received as much as you have given the vast diversity in shipping locations.

    I know this may sound a bit self-serving but, if you ever hold a fund raiser for bloggers who can’t quite afford a magical journey with you thru the Panama Canal, please put my name on the ‘receipents’ list!! 🙂 Great Job!!

  2. For those of us aboard the Statendam at this time…how may we get to see the school? Hopefully some information will be forthcoming…Thanks.

    • Good morning,

      I will make an announcement the day before Corinto about what we are going to do, and how it all is supposed to work out. Currently waiting for the authorities to give their “benevolent approval”

      Thank you for your interest and support.

      Capt. Albert

  3. Captain Albert:
    Thank you for the sorely needed and very complete update on the Corinto project. Kudos to your Hotel Managers Bert Van Mackelenbergh and also Bart Groeneveld who have been doing a lot of the Corinto arrangements behind the scenes. I can’t wait to hear the progress report for 5 October. I think it is humorous that you are in need of “a concrete drill”, but from the perspective of being on a ship, that of course makes perfect sense. If that really becomes a problem, please let me know and I can “overnight” one to the HAL port agent in Corinto. (I think I have his information). Need drill size information.

    Plz share with us at some point what will happen on Oct 5. I understand from earlier blogs that the children will come aboard the Statendam. Will the school’s electrical system be repaired while the new metal roofing is not yet replaced (per last year blogs).

    Also, after you depart Corinto on 5 October, please do not hesitate to let your blog readers know what is still needed. We’ll be happy to make those things happen in 2013, to make that school whole again.

    Thank you very much. Your faithful blog reader Ruud (not Den) Hartog.

  4. Captain Albert,
    Thank you for the reply. I hold a Canadian Master Unlimited certificate. I have applied many places so far, but the general response so far seems to be that since I don’t have passenger ship experience that I am under qualified for even a 3rd Officer’s job. But I will continue to fill out applications!

    Douglas Roe

  5. On our Zuiderdam PC repositioning cruise last April, our roll call collected supplies for the school in Corinto,and then spent a day onboard putting packages together – there was tons of stuff. Several of us went out there on a fire truck with all the supplies. However getting it through the Corinto officials was not an easy task, and took several hours. Well done for all your efforts, Captain.

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