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Captain Graus: ‘’Sailing gives me a sense of freedom’’

ClearWater-2123.jpg10 Aug 2020

Captain Bas Graus has been employed by Clearwater Ship Management for over sixteen years. He sailed on all the ships in the fleet. He is currently the long-term captain/general manager of the Capewater, with which he and his crew navigate the seas around Northern France, the United Kingdom, Northern Germany and Scandinavia. Bas: ‘’Sailing gives me a sense of freedom. You are not locked in an office and not a single voyage is the same. I see a different beautiful sunrise or sunset every single day.’’

Seven weeks on, seven weeks off

Bas is in charge of thirteen men: Three navigational officers, the first and second engineer, the cook and the sailors. They sail for seven weeks and then stay on the land for seven weeks, according to a fixed schedule. ‘’I have also been an engineer and navigational officer myself. This helps with my leadership. I know what they’re talking about when they come to me with questions.’’

The Capewater is an oil/chemical tanker. With this vessel Bas transports plastic raw materials, solvents, turpentine and bio fuels from A to B. ‘’The rules and legislation surrounding the transport of oil and chemicals are increasingly tightening. This constantly derives new procedures. In collaboration with the office in Papendrecht, we ensure that these procedures remain practicable on the ship. This is particularly when it comes to special cargo. But it gives us a good feeling that we always manage. This is partly due to the open communication and the familiar business atmosphere.’’

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"I like that Clearwater is a small company. Everyone knows each other."

‘’I like that Clearwater is a small company. Everyone knows each other. Someone from the office regularly comes by to check on the ship. Are all necessary parts present? Is the crew still happy? If there is something, we always solve it together.’’ Bas is proud of the fact that Clearwater has been around for so long. ‘’Even during economically difficult times, the company keeps going. This is due to the short lines of communication and the fast adaptability.’’

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Challenging manoeuvres

The crew of the Capewater often makes him proud. ‘’Even though I have been sailing for so long, some manoeuvres still remain challenging. The Capewater is almost 100 meters long and 16 meters wide. There are locks that she only just fits in to. If we also have unfavourable winds and currents, it is quite an achievement when we enter the ship neatly and safely into the lock.’’

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