Her name is Belinda. She is both Norwegian and Dutch, and she speaks no less than six languages. Belinda is looking forward to creating 'a home away from home' for the seafarers in the club in Brielle, a cozy town in the middle of Rotterdam's harbor.
“You can say that from the very beginning of my childhood I have had the seafaring life very close. I am named after the ship BELINDA, a beautiful, white-painted dry cargo ship owned by the Norwegian shipping company, AH Mathiesen, which my father, Lars Gustav Hoff saw once in 1965, when he worked as a second officer at M / S JARILLA.
In 1967, when my father went ashore, he opened one of the first maritime pubs in Brielle, 'North Cape', where he also met my mother, Maryca. Together they later opened a pub 'De Roef', which means ship fair in Dutch. Many seafarers came here. They passed by for a good meal, relaxation from the busy life at sea and conversations with the locals and with the Hoff family behind the bar.
I remember that as a 17-year-old, I saw the world's largest dry cargo ship 'BERGE STAHL' arrive at the port in Rotterdam. The ship's crew visited my father's pub, and it turned out that the ship's captain was from the same town in Nordland in Norway, as my father. What a little world. My family and I became good friends with the Norwegian and Indian crew members, and in the past year Captain Darbari and Sharma have welcomed us on board. Every visit to BERGE STAHL with her 342 meters in length and 63.5 meters in width remains a huge experience.
I got blood on the tooth for life at sea. That's why I started working for North Sea Ferries (now P&O ferries). First on land and a little later as Chief Purser at SEAWIND CROWN and BRILLIANCE OF THE SEA. It was great to work with so many different nationalities. We were 400 crew members from 43 different countries and 800 passengers from all over the world. It was so 'really' a ship.
I look forward to using my experiences with life at sea in Brielle. Seafarers can expect trips in the city so they can get some relaxation. The town is full of lovely shops, cozy cafés, sculptures, monumental buildings, an iconic windmill and church, a museum, galleries, supermarkets and delicious restaurants. The locals are very accommodating. They are used to the sailing people coming from all over the world. Of course, there must also be time for relaxation and just check emails, play darts or take a game card in our cozy club. ”
Belinda replaces welfare worker, Jacob Christensen, who after five years in Brielle, has moved home to Denmark with his wife, Tonje. Jacob continues in the SEA HEALTH & WELFARE house in Rødovre as a consultant focusing on seafarers' exercise and development of the welfare area.