Monthly Archives: April 2014

The locks ‘L’ écluse François Premier 1′

In the context of my project ‘Pilots of the World’ I sailed in the port of Le Havre with pilot Xavier Salins on the Ro-ro Cargo MV  ‘Midas’ (length 106 m and 16 m wide). It was a trip from the port of Le Havre, passing the locks ‘L’ écluse François Premier 1′  to the English Channel. The locks were impressive with exceptional dimensions (length 400 m, width 67 m and depth 24 meters).

See for more pictures: Pilots of Le Havre-Fecamp

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From Rouen to Caudebec en Caux

In Rouen port I sailed with pilot David Robert on the chemical tanker ‘Forres Park’ (length 183 meters and 32 meters wide). It was a beautiful trip of 120 km across the Seine to the English Channel. The trip was done by two pilots. The change of pilots occured at Caudebec en Caux. For me it was not possible to sail all the way to the sea because of the weather (heavy wind). At Caudebec en Caux pilot David Robert was replaced by pilot Pascal Erny. David Robert left the vessel via the pilot ladder. The pilot boat sailed the pilot to the pilot station at Caudebec en Caux. The ‘Forres Park’ continued her way to sea.

See for more pictures: Pilots of Rouen (Seine)

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The boatmen of ‘De Koperen Ploeg’ are mooring ‘Yeoman Bontrup’.

During my pilot trip I saw the boatmen of ‘De Koperen Ploeg’ (the Copper Gang) at work. Especially in dark it is impressive to see how the small boats are maneuvering. Their job is to moor and unmoor the vessels in the Port of Amsterdam. The boatmen are not merely throwing line around a bollard, but it often involves careful planning which, without the proper knowledge and expertise, could be extremely dangerous. During the mooring of the bulk carrier ‘Yeoman Bontrup’ the boatmen have difficulties to find the bollard because of the stones which are scattered all over the place. The captain and pilot Marco Simonatti give instructions to find the bollard.

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