Now that De Tukker is still in the shed of the Talsma shipyard during the holiday period, the refit crew is working on removing rust and painting every piece of steel surface. The future crew will benefit from this in maintenance in the coming years. The smell of rust grinding and paint also reminds me of how my seafaring career once began…
This was on my uncle’s motor freighter, the Afhankelijk. During birthdays I had already heard a lot about my uncle’s adventures on the coastal trade, this strengthened my desire for sailing and the sea. So it could happen that one day, when I was 12 years old, my parents were called by my uncle with the question if I wanted to go on a trip. Well I definitely wanted to!
At that time it was the middle of winter, the Afhankelijk had just taken a cargo of steel and was ready for departure, on the Parkkade in Rotterdam, bound for Copenhagen. My father called my mentor at school to ask if it was all right if I missed a few weeks of school to sail with my uncle. The answer from Mr. Het Hart, a history and geography teacher, was striking: “Of course, at sea he probably learns more than here…”.
Normally my uncle, Peter, sailed his ship across the rivers up to the German Bight through the inland waters, but now we were forced to go by sea due to ice conditions. So Captain Peter had to get some sea charts, while I was taken with my parents by the water police, with sirens screaming, to increase the adventure a bit, to the harbour office to have a travel document made. After all, I didn’t have my own passport yet, but was registered with my mother, and at that time customs clearance still had to be done in Denmark. This travel document was an A4 with stamps from each department of the water police. How legally valid this document really was is still a mystery to me.
With the maps and travel document, the Afhankelijk was ready to sail, and my career at sea could begin. The name Afhankelijk (Dutch voor Dependent) beautifully reflected the dependence we also had on board that freighter on the world around us, on the “goodwill” of the people in society and on luck, or call it the hope of blessing on a good ending.
Once again, our shipping company EcoClipper and its first ship De Tukker are dependent on society as well, which is why; whether you are already a member of the EcoClipper Coöperatie U.A., or you are still thinking about joining, I would like to ask you to invest(link) again, or for the first time, in this sustainable company.
Thanks in advance and Fair winds!
Capt. Jorne Langelaan
Founder and CEO EcoClipper