Captain's Blog Clipper Stad Amsterdam: Chain Monkey 2017

Our luxury cruise season has ended. Yesterday morning our guests disembarked and we are now preparing the ship for the coming adventurous sailing trip to Cuba. The inside and the outside is cleaned and polished, everything stored sea-proof again and fuel & provisions and everything else we need, brought to the ship.

Chain Stowing

In the evening is time for a celebration though; the announcement of the winners of the "Chain stowing Competition" who will be awarded with a trophy. The cruise season for the Clipper actually is anchor season. Apart from the few days in the harbor of St. Maarten and Martinique we are at anchor daily, and sometimes even at different places on the same day. The Caribbean islands are volcanic and the bottom of the sea can suddenly be very steep and at a considerable depth. With a severe wind on top the ship needs two anchors. And every time the anchor is pulled up, the chain lifted by hand has to be laid in the chain locker in a specific way in order not to end up in a heap. If we do not do it this way, the chain may become tangled and will not come lose anymore.

The "Chain Monkeys" 
The sailors in charge are called the "Chain Monkeys" of the day. The work is very hard, sweaty and nobody returns clean from the boatswain’s locker; the area where the anchor chains are stored. To make this task a little more fun and to award the sailors who register voluntarily for this job, the boatswain created this competition. He makes notes every day who is in charge and how much chain lengths of 27.5 meters is raised that day. And the winners are... at first place Samantha Gallant by 27 lengths, 742.5 meters, 11.2 tons & Liv Larsson and Matilda Dagberg both runner up, each with 21 lengths, 577 meters 8,7 tons chain. This very important achievement asks for a big celebration for the proud winners and the rest of the crew. Everyone is looking forward to the journey that lies ahead of them!

18°00’N 063°03’W    

about the author

Moritz Kuhlenbäumer - Captain Clipper Stad Amsterdam

Between 2007 and 2012 Moritz sailed on the Stad Amsterdam already as second officer for one year and as first officer for four years. In June 2015 Moritz Kuhlenbäumer became one of the two captains on board.