Pilotage of the Bulk Carrier ‘Yeoman Bontrup’ (3).


It remains a beautiful view, the Port of Amsterdam by night. The bulk carrier is maneuvered backwards to her berth by pilot Marco Simonatti. In comparison with the previous picture you can clearly see the difference between the lights aboard. The patrol vessel ‘Port of Amsterdam 1’  keeps a watchful eye.

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Pilotage of the bulk carrier ‘Yeoman Bontrup’ (2).


In this post a video is attached of the pilot trip with the bulk carrier ‘Yeoman Bontrup’ from the North Sea to the Port of Amsterdam (Australiehaven). Because of the locks of IJmuiden, it is for me an interesting area to take pictures. There was a lot to see and plenty of ship movements. With my camera I tried to shoot in the dark. It was not easy on a moving ship. I noticed that my camera could record the images better than I could see with my own eyes.  It was a great experience!

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Pilotage of the bulk carrier ‘Yeoman Bontrup’.


Yesterday I had a photoshoot of the pilotage of the Self Discharging Bulk Carriër  ’Yeomon Bontrup’. The Bulk Carriër has a length of 250 m and the width is 38 m. It was a very interesting pilotage. I sailed with the pilots M. Simonatti and B. Beentjes from the North Sea to the port of Amsterdam (Autraliëhaven). The next few days I will publish some of the pictures on my blog.

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Figurehead of the Tall Ship ‘Sagres II’


The figurehead of a sailing ship is the emblematic figure of the ship: it is it which conveys the image of the sailing ship, and beyond that, the image of its country of origin. The majority of the sailing ships of the world have their figurehead, more or less allegorical and often characteristic of the country of origin of the ship. The three-masted ship ‘Sagres II’, is the sailing ship emblematic of the Portuguese fleet. The very art-déco figurehead of the ‘Sagres II’ represents Prince Henry (‘Henry the Navigator), an enthusiastic patron of navigational research and exploration during the 15th century, when Portugal ruled the seas.

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Figurehead of the Swedish Ship ‘Götheborg’.


Götheborg is a sailing replica of an 18th-century Swedish East Indiaman. It is the world’s largest operational wooden sailing vessel. The original sank off Gothenburg, Sweden, on 12 September 1745 while approaching its home harbour after returning from her third voyage to China. All sailors survived, but the ship was lost. Construction of the replica started in 1995. The Swedish Ship Götheborg has been built according to traditional methods and with the same raw materials that were used in the 18th century. The vessel has a length of 58 m and a width of 11 m.The lion figurehead stands at 15 feet tall and started out as 3 tons of timber. The two decked galleried stern is decorated in the French Baroque style as befitted a Swedish Ship of the Period. I have visited this beautiful vessel in 2012 in Den Helder and during Sail Den Helder 2013.


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Figurehead of the Tall Ship ‘Amerigo Vespucci’


The Amerigo Vespucci is a full rigged three masted steel hull based in Livorno, Italy. The tall ship is owned by the Italian Navy (Marina Militare) and used as a training ship. The regular crew is about 286 sailors, and is augmented by 120 trainees from the Italian Naval Academy in summer. The vessel is 82,4 m long, with an overall length of 101 m,  including the bowsprit and a maximum width of 15.5 m. The ship is named after Amerigo Vespucci (1454 – 1512) a famous Italian explorer, navigator and cartographer. The figurehead of the ship represents Amerigo Vespucci and it is realized in golden bronze. The carvins, that are situated on bow, and the arabesque, what you see on poop, are in wood and they are covered of gold leaf.


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The crew of former ‘Shabab Oman’ in training on the Tall Ship ‘Stad Amsterdam’.

In my post New Sail Training Vessel for Royal Navy of Oman I have told you about the the building of a new clipper for the Royal Oman Navy. The new clipper was designed by Dykstra Naval Architects, based in Amsterdam. Damen Shipyard, the same shipping company as the Clipper ‘Stad Amsterdam’ and the ‘Cisne Branco’ is building the clipper. Because there are many similarities between the ships captain Richard Slootweg of the clipper ‘Stad Ámsterdam’ has the honor to learn thirty-four men from the Navy of Oman how to sail on a clipper. In June I was two times on board the former ‘Shabab Oman’ during anchorage on the Marsdiep and during berthing in Den Helder. I was impressed by the warm welcome of the captain and the friendly crew. I wish the crew a lot of succes. See for more information about the training the Clipper ‘Stad Amsterdam’.


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Figurehead of the Frigate ‘Etoile du Roy’.


The  ‘Etoile du Roy’ former ‘The Grand Turk’ is a three-masted frigate. She has a length of 46 m  and a width of 10 m. The ‘Etoile du Roy’, meaning the ‘King’s Star’, is a pirate ship and is used as a charter ship for events. The figurehead is a one eyed pirate wench. The pictorial representation of the ship was a means of identification in the days when many sailors could not read. Female figureheads were popular, usually baring one or both breasts. This represented the superstitions of the seamen. Women on board ship were thought to be unlucky, but a naked woman was supposed to be able to calm a storm at sea.

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Figurehead of the Tall Ship ‘Shabab Oman’.


The origins of the ship’s figurehead lie in the early days of seafaring. They were used as religious symbols to protect the ship, and to express the sailors’ belief that the ship was a living thing. There was also the belief that a ship needed to find its own way, and could only do this if it had eyes. Figureheads are carved wooden sculptures which decorate the prow of a sailing ship, and were thought to represent the vessel’s spirit. It was believed that they offered the crew protection from the harsh seas and safeguarded their homeward journey. The figureheads were also used to identify a ship—one of a range of subjects would be chosen, reflecting the name of the ship.  The figurehead of ‘Shabab Oman’ (meaning  ’Youth of Oman’) pays tribute to the Arab sailors who ruled over the Indian Ocean a long time ago.


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Figurehead of the Mexican Tall Ship ‘Cuauhtemoc’


The tall ship ARM ‘Cuauhtemoc’ was built for the Mexican Navy in the Celaya shipyards (Bilbao, Spain) and launched in July 1982. During Sail Den Helder I sailed with the three-masted barque, 67,2 meters long and a width of 12.1 meters. It is a training ship for the Mexican Navy. The beautiful figurehead became an homage to the last Aztec emperor. His headpiece, a jade colored eagle and his body covered in golden leaf while holding a weapon in his right hand. Fire is coming from his feet. Figureheads were used to symbolise an owner’s power and wealth, but are also believed by sailors to bring good luck.

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