Category Archives: Pilots of Germany

Pilots of Hamburg (Elbe)

Brunsbüttel, August 17, 2011, 1.41 pm

The pilots of Hamburg are divided in several groups, the sea pilots, the Elbe pilots and the harbor pilots. The sea and Elbe pilots belong to the Lotsenbrüderschaft Elbe. The area of the Lotsenbrüderschaft Elbe is from the pilot station in the North Sea to Brunsbüttel (entrance of the Nord-Ost-See Kanal) to the harbour of Hamburg. My first journey with the two Elbe pilots was from the pilot station in Brunsbüttel into the harbour of Hamburg, with the container vessel “Cosco Beijing”, 350 m long and 42 m wide. At Teufelsbrück at the entrance of the harbour, the Elbe pilots are replaced by the harbor pilots of Hamburg.

For more pictures see: Pilots of Hamburg (Elbe)

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Russian Tall Ship Sedov leaves Rostock (2)


Rostock, Germany May 28 2012 5.14 pm

After a last salute from captain Nikolay Zorchenko, the marine pilot leaves the Sedov via the pilot ladder. The pilot is assisted by the crew. The Sedov is starting her journey around the world for one year.

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Russian Tall Ship Sedov leaves Rostock (1)

Rostock, Germany May 28 2012 4.57 pm

My favorite ship is the Russian tall ship ‘Sedov’ from Moermansk. Upon arrival in Rostock she lays there in full glory. It is the second time I am on board for pilotage. In 2009 I was on board for the pilotage during the arrival of the ships for DelfSail 2009. Along the way to Eemshaven we had very bad wheather. Now the weather is beautiful and the pilotage only takes half an hour. The Sedov starts her journey around the world.

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Entering the Brunsbüttel locks.

North Sea locks at Brunsbüttel, August 21, 2011 8.14 am
A pilot of the “Lotsenbrüderschaft Elbe” escorts the MV Borussia Dortmund into the locks. The locks are 305 metres in length and 46 metres wide. They are the entrance of Kiel Canal which connects the river Elbe at Brunsbüttel with the Baltic Sea at Kiel. Both entrances in Brunsbüttel and Kiel-Holtenau are equipped with four locks. The canal operates a two way traffic system. It is the most heavily used artificial seaway in the world.
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Through the Kiel Canal.

NOK, near Brunsbüttel, August 21, 2011 9.20 am\

During my visit to Hamburg last summer I had the opportunity to sail on the Kiel Canal. The Kiel Canal, also called the Nord- Ostsee-Kanal (NOK), links the North Sea at Brunsbüttel to the Baltic Sea at KielHoltenau. The canal was opened in 1895 by Kaiser Wilhelm. For a detailed description of the channel, visit Wikipedia. The canal is 98 km long, 102 to 162 m wide and 11 meters deep. I was sailing with the MV Borussia Dortmund (painted in the colors of the football club). The ship is 121 meters long and 18 meters wide with a depth of 8.30 meters.


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A challenge for the pilots.

Hubbrücke Rethedamm, Hohe Schaar Hamburg, August 24, 2011 13.41

The cargo ship “Bay Ranger (length 185 meters, width 30.5 meters) was escorted to her berth by two pilots of the Hamburg Hafenlotsenbrüderschaft. From the Elbe river under the Hohe Brücke and backwards into the Südlicher Reihersteig. This picture was taken when passing the narrow Hubbrücke in the Rethedamm. A true tour de force and a real challenge for the pilots.

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The pilot station “Elbe” for repair.

Bremerhaven, 26th of August 2011 at 11.09 am.   

On my visit to the pilot station of the Elbe Pilots in the North Sea, the largest pilot station in the world was in dock for repair. The SWATH “Elbe” was in the Bredowerft dock in Bremerhaven. It took some effort to get permission to photograph, but thanks to Captain Michael Nicolaysen it succeeded.
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Sailing to the port of Hamburg.

The River Elbe near Port of Hamburg, 17th August 2011 at 17.16 hours
What a great experience to sail with the two harbor pilots of the “Hafenlotsenbrüderschaft Hamburg” on the    container ship “Cosco Beijing”, 350 meters long and 42 meters wide. One of the biggest container ships of the world. Due to security, the port authorities on the “Lotsenhöft” require that container ships from 250 meters long and 33 meters wide, must be sailed by two harbor pilots. One harbor pilot maintains radio contact with the shipping traffic on the river Elbe and in the port. His colleague is focused on the navigation of the ship.
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Supervision of the pilot to the ladder.

The Elbe Rivier near Brunsbüttel, 20 august 2011 at 8.21 hours

The river pilot of the Lotsenbrüderschaft Elbe (Hamburg) is escorted to the pilot ladder and will replace the sea pilot for further guidance of the container ship Cap Graham to the Pilot Station Elbe in the North Sea.

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SWATH Pilot Station.

Pilot Station Elbe Noordzee, August 20, 2011  12.59 am

During my visit to the pilots of Hamburg I also visited the pilot station Elbe in the North Sea. The pilot station is a SWATH (Small Water Plane Area Twin Hull), consisting of a mothervessel Hanse (60 meters long and 25 meters wide) and two tenders the “Bremerhaven and the “Borkum. From the mothervessel a launch is suspended. These small boats transport the pilots to or from the vessel requiring pilotage.

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