Be honest, are we really waiting for an annual Day of the Seafarer? After all, we love what we do, earn good money and travel around the word for free, as our 2nd Officer Alain Parma summarises his career at JR Shipping.

Sure. But there is nothing wrong with putting the spotlight on our life and work at sea once a year. The best way to do that is to share your own experiences. That is exactly what IMO – our International Maritime Organization – asks seafarers. “Your voyage – then and now, share your journey.” So: be inspired by the journeys of Arian, Marco, Barend and Maaike and celebrate your profession!

Curious about more journeys of JR Shipping colleagues from then and now? Check out social media #wearejrshipping

Arian Parma – 2nd Officer

Started his career at sea in 2008. Sails with JR Shipping, on container feeder vessel MV Espoir.

Personal drive? ‘Earn enough money and travel around the world for free.’Best experiences? ‘Meeting different people, cultures and learning some languages.’
First journey? ‘It was like yesterday. My first voyage was Singapore-Vietnam trade on MV Helmuth Rambow, a German Company. It’s still fresh for me, the first time we passed Saigon River for three hours. It was very exciting to see the sun rise.’
Last journey? I just signed at Rotterdam on MV Espoir, we went to Leixões, Lisbon, Zeebrugge, Hamburg and are still going strong…
Challenge? I would just like to say to my fellow seafarers: keep smiling, stay strong and humble.

Marco Schutte – 2nd Engineer

Started his career at sea in 1986. Made a considered career shift to JR Shipping. ‘Due to the wish for shorter contracts, I ended up in short sea shipping, on board of container feeders.’

Personal drive? ‘I’ve choose shipping, because of the traveling. Seeing parts of the world and the versatility in work. Meeting different people.’
Best experiences? ‘Catching fish with the Cabo Verde crew and preparing it immediately on the barbeque the Portuguese way. Sunsets at sea are never boring. The contact with different nationalities. New techniques. A voyage from Durban to Sunndalsora with a fully assembled ship unloader with nothing but nice weather. Also enjoyable were voyages to the Great Lakes. It is a beautiful scenery to pass with a vessel.
First journey? My first sea voyage is still one of the best, because it took me around the world in one 16 months contract. We had plenty of time in the ports. I had a great time as an apprentice/assistant engineer on a captain owned general cargo vessel, which was tramping and mainly trading between Europe and South America and the Caribbean.
Last journey? From Rotterdam via Leixões and Lisbon to Piraeus. Unfortunately, Greece was cancelled and the vessel was rerouted to Zeebrugge…
Challenge? Time at sea has becomes shorter. Shipping is slightly behind but catching up in becoming greener. The biggest challenge is what fuel to choose for the future. Not all new technology is better. A lot of work has changed from repairs to fault-finding in electronics. Things you learn in general are problem solving skills. Learning never stops. You also learn to stay calm when you get older and more experienced. To my fellow seafarers I would say: start working on a vessel which travels worldwide to have a chance to see places.

Barend van Winden – Chief Officer MV Espoir

Started his career at sea in 2005. Sales as an officer for JR Shipping since 2007.

Personal drive? ‘The variety in tasks, ranks, and experiences. Keeping learning, keeping discovering. I have been in 83 different ports, divided over 51 contracts onboard of JR Shipping vessels and a nearly 3000 days at sea.’
Best experiences? ‘Too many… I enjoy every new experience!’
First journey? ‘During the summer of 2005 I made my first journey as a holiday worker on the Geest Externo: Rotterdam – Tilbury- Rotterdam – Hull – Rotterdam – Teesport – Rotterdam. After this contract JR Shipping offered me a place as a cadet. I have been working for JR Shipping ever since.
Last journey? As Chief Officer on MV Espoir, to Gdansk, Klaipeda, Riga, Helsinki, Gdansk, Helsinki, Kotka, Rotterdam, Leixoes, Lisbon, Zeebrugge and Hamburg.
Challenge? Sailing safely in great teams!

Maaike Lodewijks-Kruit – 2nd Officer/chartering manager

Started her career in the summer of 2005 as an apprentice onboard of the Maersk Rauma/MV Evidence. Made a career switch to a job ashore and is currently working at Confeeder Shipping & Chartering, Barendrecht.

Personal drive? No day is the same on board of a vessel. The view from your ‘office’ is different every day and you have a unique amount of freedom in performing the tasks for which you are responsible.
Best experience? On my last trip, on a vessel called Aratu, we got a berth at a jetty in the middle of nowhere in Brazil. It was weekend; no cargo ops were planned and from the bridge we could see a beautiful white beach. Our deck officers 1,2 & 3 had figured out that was a great spot for a Saturday afternoon, the second engineer and the apprentice joined. After the ladies (1st & 2nd officer) first got loads of complaints that it took too long before we were ready, not to mention the comments on our backpacks, we were ready to go. After a long walk we arrived at a lovely beach. After a good swim we all were quite thirsty, but there was no restaurant nearby. Fortunately, the two ladies in the group had provided a backpack full of cold beers and we were forgiven for waiting. After a few relaxing hours we started the trip back to our vessel. Unfortunately, none of the deck officers had checked what time the high tide would be…Long story short, the route was no longer passable, and the only way back was through a steep banana plantation. It was a trip I will always remember.
Last trip? As I described as being my best experience. A lovely trip been between Houston and Rio Grande (Brazil), sunny weather and a great crew! We worked hard but there was also time for relaxation, swimming in the middle of the ocean, and beers & BBQ’s…
Challenge? Getting the best out of work and live… at sea or onshore…

Your voyage – then and now, share your journey

Read also: Arnoud van den Bos tell his Seafarer Journey

Back to news