Ferry van Eeuwen
The ms Bovenkerk was owned and operated by the Dutch shipping company 'Verenigde Nederlandse Scheepvaartmaatschappij' (United Dutch Shipping company), short VNS. The ship's trials were held on October 25 and 26 back in 1960. The intended name was 'Losserkerk' but as a more powerful engine was installed it did not fit the VNS's L-class specifications and the name was therefore changed into Bovenkerk. This beautifully designed, pre-containerisation type of freighter also had accommodation for a limited number of passengers. Overall length: 149 meters. Gross tonnage: 8820. Service speed: 16 knots. It also had cooled storage holds with a capacity of 12.368 cubic feet.
I was on this ship for a short while only, from the end of January to February 21 1962. Just the relief force during the coastal trips after the ship's long journey. Most of the time these ships had radio officers who were more or less married to the ship. They used to take their leave after the trip during the coastal voyages and then joined the ship again for the long haul. Most of them left all their stuff on board, so that it was sometimes hard to find an empty drawer for the few things I used to carry with me on those small trips. I really did not fancy these short rides, but I had asked for summer leave which was agreed on. The consequence was to fill up the time to that moment with short, mostly relief trips on a number of ships. The Bovenkerk was in fact the first one in this series. A coastal trip usually meant that the ship would touch German ports like Bremen and Hamburg, also sometimes Antwerp in Belgium. More time was spent in harbour than at sea. The advantage was they I had more time to explore those cities. For the rest everything was very routine and I don't remember anything worth mentioning. The next ship in the series was the passenger ship ms Rijndam.
Due to the merger of four big Dutch shipping companies and the new company's name being Nedlloyd, the ship was renamed to 'Nedlloyd Bovenkerk' in 1977. In 1979 the ship was sold to a Singaporean shipping company and the name changed tot 'Kota Yaja'. It was demolished in 1984 at Yantai in China.
The ship' name stems from the small village of Bovenkerk which is in fact very near from where I live. It is a very picturesque Dutch village with characteristic farmer's housings. You should take a look at some of the pictures because any 'Dutcher' it can not get:
I also served a little while on another VNS-ship, see the ms "Serooskerk