Coming in under worsening conditions

NHV Helicopter underway to sea.

After a smooth helicopter hosting operation I boarded the inbound LOCH RANNOCH, a 270 m long Shuttle tanker, with destination MOT berth 1, in petroleum harbour 8. The conditions were rough at sea, with a wave height of over 3 meters and a big swell due to the NW’ly winds. Due to the expected high winds and the nature of the berth, I brought our precision navigation equipment with me, which would proof very useful during the voyage.

Two tugs, the VB PANTHER and SVITZER MALLAIG joined us inside the breakwaters, the MALLAIG securing a rope on the SB shoulder of the LOCH RANNOCH.

SVITZER MALLAIG approaching the vessel

During the approach to the berth, winds started to pick up dramatically, with gusts up to 25 m/sec. (BF9). With the resources at hand, two tugs with a total BP of 170 tonnes, two thrusters, and a very professional team of ship’s crew, tugs masters , linesmen and loading master, we were able to complete this operation in a controlled manner. Needless to say, without the precision navigation equipment we use, this would not have been possible.

As soon a the ship was alongside and in position , the winds became even worse, with peaks reaching 10 beaufort. In these conditions the Rotterdam Boatmen proved their skills in safely attaching the steel mooring wires to the designated dolphins, resulting in a safe mooring for the LOCH RANNOCH.

Alongside in harrowing conditions

A huge compliment to all parties concerned who made this exceptional team effort possible!


With technology and sensors located all around Port of Rotterdam, we can still be surprised by deteriorating weather conditions. In this case the visibility deteriorated on departure of the 400 m long ULCS CMA CGM BENJAMIN FRANKLIN. It was decided to carry on, in close communication with other pilots, VTS and an excellent bridge team.

A summer night shift

Tropical temperatures are finally here and that turns sailing into cruising in Port of Rotterdam. Shifting the feeder CALISTO at 9 pm, just before sunset provides the right summernight mood.

pic: Herman Broers
pic: Herman Broers
pic: Herman Broers


Today at sunrise, MS ROTTERDAM entered Port of Rotterdam for the last time. She has been sold to Fred Olsen and will be renamed. This ships was the sixth Holland America Lines ship to have the name ROTTERDAM.

pic: Capt Hans Hoffmann
pic: Capt Hans Hoffmann

Incoming Cobelfret Ferry to Brittaniëhaven

A good end of a night shift is an inbound Cobelfret car ferry to the Brittaniëhaven , Cobelfret Terminal. In this case the PALATINE arrived at Maascenter pilot station just before 06:00 . Just before arrival at her berth she passed the Calandbridge, which is a vital traffic link in the A15 highway to the Europoort area.

Click on the pictures below for a large format photo