1) Shipping Lab : When did you decide to work in the shipping industry ?
Eddy : I started to work at sea in 1988 on a ship that was owned by my uncle MV Linda. This was a coaster which sailed Northwest Europe mainly with forest products.
I did not have a father who was in the shipping business but my father always spoke about his wish to go to sea when he was young but unfortunate for him his father passed on young age and my father had to take care of his family.
Now because he was interested in shipping and we had at home a huge collection with books etc about the shipping industry my interest in the industry was awoken.
2) Shipping Lab : What’s your education background and your first work experience in the shipping industry ?
Eddy : At first I worked as a welder as my dad was but I could not really get used to this labour. I wanted to see something from this world. So in the summer of 1988 I went on my first sea voyage. I joined in the UK and travelled for the next two months until the Nautical College (Maritiem Instituut IJmond) started with the new education of Maritime Officer which meant in 4 years I could get a double licensed education to be as well an engineer and nautical officer.
In these four years in school I sailed almost all my holidays and at last I did my last year in practice. I succeeded and was Maritime Officer and joined a vessel of Wijnne and Barends almost instantly as 2nd officer.
In my four years at the Nautical institute I met my recent partner in business Marko Habiecht. He was my class mate for all these years and we remained friends for all this time.
After sailing half a year as 2nd officer I was promoted to become Chief officer on a coaster, MV Linda Marijke. Here in this function I could also use my engineers license and worked as deck officer/engineer. After two years I became partner in the vessel and I sailed with the vessel until 2001. We worked mainly Northwest Europe and every once in a while we got a voyage into the Med. In 1997 I started to work as master on the vessel.
Now in 2001 I stopped working on the MV Linda Marijke and started to free lance as master for several captain owners under the flag of Wagenborg. Here I found joy again in my work at sea and my world expanded fast. I started working in 2003 for the company which is now ForestWave Navigation. I spent until last December working for this company. In my time off I worked already as supercargo/port captain from 2010 and I enjoyed this as well.
With ForestWave Navigation I travelled the world and they gave me the chance to bring new vessels into the business. I did new building projects in Holland but also in China. This was again a new experience for me which I really enjoyed.
I have been sailing in lots of seas in this world and visited a lot of countries. Of course Europe, Africa, North and South America and South East Asia. The only continents that I did not yet visit are Australia and Antarctica. But things can still change 😉
3) Shipping Lab : How do you like your job ? What are the pros and cons ?
Eddy : I have always worked with pleasure at sea but the last ten years I saw a change coming into the shipping business. The last years I was the only Dutch crewmember and I sailed with Ukrainian or Russian officers and Philippine deck crew. This is not of any problem when the crew is ok but socially you become more and more isolated. I started to look around again.
The last tour of duty I did was with the vessel FWN Solide and we traded from Europe to South America. When this voyage was completed we received a time charter for 6 weeks in the Gulf of California in Mexico. This was really one of the most beautiful area’s I have ever sailed in.
Regarding the pro’s and cons in my line of employment. Of course being a sailor gives you the possibility to see something of the world. And I have seen my share. Beautiful countries as Norway with the wonderful fjords, Indonesia with the beautiful islands, the Caribs with beautiful islands and weather. The cons were mostly the continuous increase of paperwork on board of the vessel which made you feel more like a book keeper than a captain. As pro was certainly also the cargoes and equipment that you work with. My wife always referred me as a boy with big toys 😉
In September last year my friend Marko came to ask me if I was interested to start our own company. And after a few days of thinking I made the decision for my self and my family to become self employed again. Marko is already for the last ten years in this business as port captain/ surveyor and wants to start a business but not alone. So we made the decision to start our own business Maritime Consultancy Amsterdam.
Since 1st of January 2016 we are working under this company name and we are trying to get customers to work with us. United Heavy Lift hired us to take care of the port captaincy of the Henricus J. in Sweden and in Rouen. United Heavy Lift is one of our customers and we sincerely hope they are satisfied with our performance. Now in the coming week I will go to Benin to attend a vessel of my old company FWN as port captain.
4) Shipping Lab : How do you see the role of Shipping Lab in the industry ?
Eddy : Yes I think it is important that you try to promote shipping. Otherwise we will really be the last of the Mohicans. It is a wonderful line of employment to work at sea. But nowadays with all the ISPS etc the ships are hidden behind fences and walls and the common man does not see the ships and crews anymore. Only when something goes wrong he reads it in the news.
In Holland I have spoken about my work twice in front of the class in the grammar school of my kids. The children love it when you tell your stories. In the end they want to become captain as well.