My name is Hans van der Aar, born in
1947 at IJmuiden,a fishing town in North-Holland, the
IJmuiden is the gate to the port off Amsterdam, coming from the Northsea, the ships lock trough the three locks in IJmuiden and pass the Northsea-canal into the ports off Amsterdam. There are the fishingports with the busy quaysides, where many drifters and deep-sea trawlers were mored and after the dunes the wide sandy beach. IJmuiden is also the homeport of the Salvage and Towing Company N.V. Bureau Wijsmuller.
In 1962 I went to sea and sailed on the
oceangoing tugs of N.V. Bureau Wijsmuller and I finished my seafaring life in 1986.
In 1973 I lived in Finland in the little seaport town Hamina, on the southcoast 100 miles
east of Helsinki, till 1983 Then I moved to England and lived in Chatham in the county of
Kent, near the river Medway, a beautifull area to live in.
In the and of 1985 I went back to Holland and settled down in Wijk aan Zee a little sea-side place 3 miles north of IJmuiden.
Shortly after in 1986 I swallowed the anchor, after 24 years life at sea I became a landlubber.
After a few differend jobs I got a job at the Noordzee-College a big comprehensive school, with also a nautical-institute, where I'm still got my job as boatswain up to now.
I met my wife Henriette in 1986 and we married in 1990, we have three children, Nancy, Danny and Bonny and our Jack Russell ''Purdy'' and we live now in the beautifull city Haarlem.
I like surfing on the internet, I am a football fan, and more than 40 years a supporter of F.C. Ajax, and naturally is my love for the sea and shipping, especially the ocean towage service, still there. That´s why I made this website, which tells the story about my seamans-career on the tugs of N.V. Bureau Wijsmuller and L.Smit & Co´s International Towing Service, with memories of an unforgettable ,adventurous time, the life on board of the tugs, voyaging around the world, offered a freedom and excitement on the high seas and the exploring of exotic places, with a solidarity of the crew, wich I never find back on such a level ashore, with havy tows, often under raw circumstances, which put a great strain on men, who are for days in harness, on a small, but strong ship. A crewmember of a tugboat, must be a man with salt in his blood , a man who can´t resist the call off the sea. The element of the surprise by the ocean towing service indeed, was more present as by any form of tramp shipping. Months at sea without a touch at any port, one never knows the destination of the voyage, or when the homeward voyage would start.
Because of my love for the ocean towing service I am volunteer on the 52 years old salvage tug "Holland''. This tug belongs to the ''Foundation Zeesleepboot Holland'' this ex salvage tug of ship-owner Doeksen from West Terschelling has now her berth in the old Navy dock '' Willemsoord'' at Den Helder, and is still active, to make charter trips at the Northsea, and mostly present by shipping events in many ports.
as a memory for the veterans of the oceangoing tugs, and for the shiplovers of this branche with a source of information and lots of photo´s, enjoy your voyage on the dutch tugs !