This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)
Today I have overslept and missed breakfast. Yesterday I must have accidentally muted the volume of my smartphone. In any case, the alarm didn’t ring. However, I can make myself a coffee and still have Dutch gingerbread and chocolate.
In the morning I look out of the window and see the fire engine, ambulance and a police car standing next to the ship. Has something happened? Is it burning? One of the front hatches is open, and that’s where it is happening. I can’t see anything, but after a while, I notice that paramedics, firefighters and police leave the ship. Later I hear that a sailor had a spell of weakness. However, nothing serious happened.
A Chinese man comes aboard for lunch to talk to the engineer. At first, I think he’s a representative of the manufacturing company, but he’s from Deutsche Lloyd, the TÜV for ships. He discusses the broken engine with the engineer. We learn that the turbochargers are also affected and have to be repaired. By now, we are talking about Tuesday as the day of departure.
The Chinese chats about how and why shipping companies are saving money and how the big companies’ predatory prices are ruining the small shipping companies. Then there is the matter with the captains. A German ship is legally German territory. For this reason, the captain of a German vessel must be a German citizen. The problem is that there are hardly any German captains. The people who study marine science need practical experience on a ship to become captains. However, since they have a university degree, they are too expensive for shipping companies. However, the captain’s law has been watered down – now the captain on a German ship has to be an EU citizen. At the same time, the Chinese also reports that some captains were hired with very questionable patents. Thus the shipping companies save money and money is the most crucial thing in shipping.
The Bright Sky is not a German ship but registered on the Marshall Islands. It doesn’t matter where the captain hails.
Pierre and I found the fastest way to the city centre on Google Maps: on foot past Blohm and Voss and through the Elbe tunnel. Tomorrow we want to see if we can go into the city and buy some things.
During dinner, I chat with the captain. He confirms that we will leave on Tuesday at the earliest. Pierre and I can visit the city tomorrow.
During the trip, we may use the seamen’s satellite telephone network. This network is much cheaper than the systems I have used so far. I have already installed an app on my mobile phone that I can use to call via the satellite telephone network. Pierre says that two years ago, he paid €1.50 for a forty-minute call. With these prices, I can live well.
Pierre had gone to Hamburg this afternoon. He walked through the Elbtunnel and was thrilled. His report makes me curious, and tomorrow we will also go through the tunnel. It’s very slippery. Today it was foggy all day long. At temperatures around 0 degrees, it gets skiddy.
Would you like to see an overview of all articles about my journey on the cargo ship Bright Sky? Click here for a table of contents.