Category Archives: Maritime Pilots

Pilots of Gdansk.

In Gdansk we were warmly welcomed by Pilot Jakub Sczcerbinski of the Gdansk Pilot Organization, officially called Przedsiebiorstwo Uslug Morskich ‘Gdansk-Pilot’. We first got a tour through the pilot station and then we followed by pilot tender at a distance the piloting of the chemical tanker ‘Copernicus’, length 74 m and breadth 12 m. The chemical tanker sailed from Gdansk to the Baltic sea. Unfortunately it was not possible to photograph the entire pilotage. Instead we were invited to visit the port of Gdansk with the pilot vessel. The port was very impressive. See for more pictures Pilots of Gdansk

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Pilots of Amsterdam.

Despite the many pilot journeys I made since 2006 it was the first time I accompanied the pilots Wiggele Warnar and Roelof Favot by the pilotage by helicopter of the bulk carrier “Cape Sunrise” (length 292 m, width 45 m, draft 16,5 m), from the North Sea heading to the IJ-palen at Tata Steel in IJmuiden. Because of the darkness, cold and heavy winds from the helicopter it was a challenge for me to take good pictures. Thanks to the experienced crew of the helicopter, the help of the pilots and my Nikon D800 I succeeded. It was a great experience.

See for more pictures: Pilots of Amsterdam

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Pilotage by helicopter

Saturday February 9, 2013 I suddenly got the opportunity to go with the pilots of Amsterdam on a special mission, namely a pilotage by helicopter. Deep draft vessels coming to the Port of IJmuiden are restricted because of the tide. These vessels have to use the so called IJ-geul. The IJ-geul is a man made channel at the North Sea, 450 metres wide and 25 miles long, accessible for vessels with a maximum draft of 17.8 meters. For safety reasons these vessels are always piloted by two specially trained pilots who use state-of-the-art navigational equipment. The pilots get to the vessel by helicopter and board near the helicopter rendez-vous area at the entrance to the IJ-geul. The bulk carrier “Cape Sunrise” (length 292 m, width 45 m, draft 16,5 m), a so called cape-sizer, heading to the IJ-palen at Tata Steel, was piloted by Wiggele Warnar and Roelof Favot, pilots of the Region Amsterdam-IJmond.


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Pilots of The North.

In my post of November 4, 2012 I mentioned the journey with the Sedov during DelfSail 2009. In the context of the project “Pilots of the World” I want to show the work of  the pilots in the north of the Netherlands. Because I didn’t actually sail with the pilots of The North, I decided to publish a pilotage of the tallship Sedov at DelfSail.

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Pilots of Rotterdam.

Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.08 am

In April 2011 I was invited by Herman Broers, Chairman of the Rotterdam Pilots, to sail from Hook of Holland to the Dutch Pilot Station at the North Sea. The Pilot Station is located at sector post Maas about 10 miles southwest of the entrance of the Port of Rotterdam. From the pilot boat to the vessels pilots are transferred by a launch. The small boats are lowered to the water by a david (cranelike device).

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Pilotcutter ‘Markab’ out of service?

Berghaven, Hoek van Holland April 22, 2011 6.25 am

Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.07 am
Rede Hoek van Holland, sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.08 am

Rede Hoek van Holland sector pilot Maas, April 22, 2011 7.26 am
The pilotcutter ‘Markab’ is after 40 years of service no longer used by the Dutch Pilots Association. Guided by Herman Broers, the President of the Rotterdam Pilots, I visited the ‘Markab’ (length 59 m and breadth 10 m) when the pilotcutter vessel was still on service.


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Pilots of Bangkok (2)

Gao Praya River, Thailand December 28 2010 6.04 am

Gao Praya River, Thailand December 28 2010 8.45 am

Chao Praya Delta Estuary, Thailand December 28 2010 9.25 am

Gulf of Thailand December 28 2010, 9.47 am

I depart from the port of Bangkok with a container ship KMTC Singapore (lenght 172 m, breadth 26 m), flying the Korean flag. It was an impressive pilot trip down the Chao Praya River, especially the vegetation, the temples, the bridges and special ships we passed. After three hours we arrive in the Gulf of Thailand and we sail with the pilot boat to Bangkok Bar Pilot Station, which is located 10 miles south of the entrance to the Chao Praya River. 

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Pilots of Rouen (4)

The Seine Maritime, Caudebec en Caux, France April 29 2012, 12.53 pm

At Caudebec en Caux the change of pilots occurs. The pilots David Robert and Pascal Erny will change information about the vessel and pilot David Robert leaves via the pilot ladder the ship. The pilot boat brings the pilot to the pilot station at Caudebec en Caux. The “Forres Park” continues her way to sea.

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Pilots of Rouen (2).

Seine, Boulevard Stalingrad, France April 29 2012

In Rouen I sailed with pilot David Robert with the chemical tanker “Forres Park” (length 183 meters and 32 meters wide). First of all the boatmen sail the pilot to the ship. It is a beautiful journey of 120 km across the Seine to the English Channel. The journey is done by two pilots. The change of pilots occurs at Caudebec en Caux. For me it was not possible to sail all the way to the sea because of the weather (heavy wind).

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Pilotage Tall Ship “Sörlandet”.


Delfzijl, August 26 2009, 6.22 am

During the Sail Out of DelfSail 2009 I sailed with pilot Erik Koenz during the pilotage of the Norwegian tall ship “Sörlandet” from Delfzijl direction Borkum. The ship “Sörlandet” is a former school ship, now used for offering  adventure sailings for young people of all ages”, based in Kristiansand. What I particularly liked that the crew consisted of many women.


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