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Skilltrade in China


Skilltrade was represented at the 1st International Water Environment Ecological Construction Development Conference “Harmony with Nature”. This 2 day conference -co-hosted by the Chinese Dredging Association (CHIDA)- was held in Wuhan, China on 18 and 19 October.

Course Flood control in the Netherlands


In week 18 we welcomed a group of 18 (board) members of the Association of Authorised Land Surveyors from Malaysia. We organised a 5 day course on Flood control in the Netherlands, and introduced them to the Dutch strategy for dike reinforcement and climate adaptation. We started with a brief introduction course in Hydrography, geological settlement and sea level rising studies. Furthermore we arranged visits to exchange knowledge how we handle the various aspects of water rising. We received a great support of the museums involved (The Keringhuis, Futureland, Geofort, Biesbosch museumeiland, information centre Hondsbossche sea defence and the Cruquius Museum) and the Delfland Water Authority. All visits started with an explanation of history and background information. Based on surveys the engineers were able to make design or predict possible developments of the sea, coast line and rivers. We will stay in touch in order to exchange possible education support in hydrography.

Registration open for the 22nd Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

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The next 22nd Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B Course will start 10 September 2018 in Ijmuiden, the e-learning training for this course should be started on or before 9 June 2018. We received a great international interest which needs to be confirmed in the next coming weeks.

If you have any questions about this course or wish to register, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Introduction Hydrography


16 and 17 April 2018 we held an Introduction Hydrography course at our office in Voorschoten. We welcomed 9 participants, employees of Geometius, Groningen Seaports, Boskalis, Stema, IGL and Primo Marine.

An interesting 2 day course for people who received no formal hydrografic training but who do work, or want to work in this field. This course can also be a starting point for a company specific course, allowing for specific requirements to be included. If there is sufficient interest, this course can – on request for a quotation – be given at any desired location.

30 March 2018: 21st Cat B course ceremony


The 8 students of the 21st class all received their certificate of theoretical completion on 30 March 2018. Another accomplishment was made by Axel de Meijer, student of the 16th class: He earned his FIG/IHO/ICA Certificate of Field Proficiency after logging 365 operational days. Congratulations all! After lunch we concluded the ceremony with a visit to exposition SHIP about the construction of the new sealock in IJmuiden.


Meet Skilltrade at Oceanology International 2018

From 13-15 March 2018 we will be at Oceanology International in London, ExCeL, the world leading ocean technology marine science exhibition and conference. This year we don’t have a stand, but you will surely find us at the Holland Pavilion (C400). If not, give Johan Stam a call at +31 646 021 572. We hope to see you there!

Start 21st Hydrographic Survey Category B course

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8 January the 21st Cat B course started in Ijmuiden. A group of 8 dedicated students from Latvia, Chile, Morocco, Panama, Great Britain and South Africa. We hope they will all go home with a certificate of programme completion the end of March.

The next 22nd Cat B course will start 10 September 2018 in Ijmuiden, the e-learning training for this course should be started on or before 9 June 2018.  If you have any questions about our services or wish to register, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

24 November 2017: 20th Cat B course ceremony


Again we had an enjoyable ceremony: we were grateful that we could hand out 9 certificates. We were pleased to welcome the family members and employers of the students. Armands Murans travelled all the way from Latvia by car to collect his certificate of field proficiency. Koen Schippers, Rik Veldhuizen en Sander Cuperus all completed their Field Training Project (FTP) and therefore received their FIG/IHO/ICA certificate of programme completion. The students of the 20th class all received their certificate of theoretical completion. These students now need to gain at least 4 weeks experience in a qualified survey organisation. The teachers who were present were pleased to hear that all 20th class students will start their FTP with Port of Rotterdam and Brave Haert survey department. After lunch we concluded the ceremony with a visit to exposition SHIP about the construction of the new sealock in IJmuiden.

16 November 2017 Hydro 17 presentation

From 14-16 November Skilltrade was present at the Hydro17 on board the ss Rotterdam.

During the Education sessions Skilltrade gave a short presentation titled "Knowledge leads to connections", about e-learning. In 2016 our programme received continued recognition by the FIG/IHO/ICA International Board on Standards of Competence for Hydrographic Surveyors for our updated curriculum, including the e-learning.

The presentation was well received. You can view it here. Later that morning presentations were held by Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz (CAT A), Hamburg University (HCU) and Gent University. 


Skilltrade @ Hydro17 conference in Rotterdam


You can find Skilltrade at the Hydro17 conference in Rotterdam from 14-16 November. Should you be visiting Hydro17, we hope we get the pleasure of meeting you.

Summer 2017

4 September 2017 the 20th Cat B course started in Ijmuiden. A small but enthousiastic group with delegates from The Netherlands, Canada and Ireland.

Besides the Abu Dhabi Boundary Affairs Council, we also trained delegates of the Nigerian Port Authority this summer. In one week they learned about the latest Quincy software version and theory of volume calculations.

Currently 8 students have registered for the 21st Cat B course. This course in Ijmuiden, The Netherlands will start 8 January 2018, the e-learning training for this course should be started on or before 7 October 2017. It is still possible to register. If you have any questions about our services or wish to register, please do not hesitate to contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.

14 July 2017 Final day Law of the Sea course in cooperation with Utrecht University


In February the Abu Dhabi Boundary Affairs Council requested Skilltrade to organize a two week programme in The Netherlands. The 5 Boundary Affairs council students started 3 July with a one week CARIS BASE Editor & Limits and Boundaries Course at the Teledyne CARIS EMEA Office.

Every summer Utrecht Summer School offers a broad selection of over 240 academic courses in virtually all disciplines. One of the courses was the one week course: Introduction to the International Law of the Sea. The 5 students of the Boundary Affairs council attended this interesting course.

In cooperation with the Royal Netherlands Navy Hydrographic Department we organised the final day of the Summer School course at the Royal Netherlands Navy office in The Hague.  This day was attended by more than 30 students excluding the staff of the university. In the morning all students presented a relevant subject and in the afternoon the Hydrographic Department and Skilltrade provided more background information how the data is collected, the function of a hydrographic department and the role of education.

Tjerk Bouma awarded FIG/IHO/ICA Certificate of Field Proficiency


After successful completion of the Cat B course, a student may join a Field Experience phase, in which competence assessment will take place in a controlled working environment. Tjerk Bouma changed jobs, but his new employer RWS (Rijkswaterstaat North Sea) supported him to complete this Field Proficiency Period. Tjerk recently logged the required 365 operational days in his task book. With that he completed his Field Proficiency Period.

We were pleased to hand him his FIG/IHO/ICA Certificate of Field Proficiency on board the hydrographic survey vessel “ARCA”. We wish him success in his hydrographic career.

17 February till 2 March 2017 Middle East trip


17 February till 2 March Johan Stam was in the Middle East to attend the 7th meeting of the ROPME sea area hydrographic commission in Oman. He was invited to give a presentation about latest developments in the Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B Course and e-learning platform. Furthermore he traveled to Kuwait, to visit the hydrographic department who are interested in our training courses. He visited the Saudi Aramco hydrographic department and explained latest updates on training. In Bahrain he met Phil Harrison, chief surveyor Abu Dhabi Marine Dredging Company SPC, currently working on reclamation areas north west of Bahrain.

25 November 2016: 19th Cat B course ceremony

The 19th Cat B class started in September and 25 November the representatives from the Royal Navy of Oman, van Oord, Rijkswaterstaat North Sea, Abu Dhabi Municipality, the Malaysian company THS Geoscience and two self-employed surveyors completed successfully. It was a good class with a class average of 7,967.


26 October 2016: 19th class visits Periplus and the Offshore Energy Exhibition in Amsterdam


After an interesting side scan sonar lecture at Periplus the 19th class visited the Offshore Energy Exhibition & Conference (OEEC) in Amsterdam on 26 October. OEEC is an annual event focused on the complete offshore energy industry, from oil & gas to wind and marine energy. They visited the exhibition, but also attended a workshop on Hydrographic Software organized by the Hydrographic Society Benelux. The future of hydrographic software will change considerably over the coming years. We see the coming years autonomous and distance controlled systems take a larger role. But also the reuse of already existing data will become more important. We expect that the collection of data “In the field” shall change considerably and the acquisition of “Big Data” will grow. What will be the influence on the software, the operator of these systems and the handling of this data?

19 CAT B class at ESRI Europe


This day provides the Cat B students more inside information about GIS and ECDIS standards at the ESRI Europe office in Rotterdam. The subjects are lectured by Bart Smit and George Spoelstra. Latest developments on this subjects are well explained. Each student has his own laptop and during the lessons various tasks need to be fulfilled.

Visit of the Commander of the Royal Navy of Oman


19 September 2016 we welcomed Commander Mr Juma Al Busaidi of the Royal Navy of Oman at our institute. The present Omani students are very pleased and briefed him about the progress they made so far. We showed him around to provide an inside impression of Nova College and the Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey curriculum.

Start 19th Hydrographic Survey Category B course

19th class start

The 5th of September we had the kick off of the 19th CAT B class. With representatives from the Royal Navy of Oman, van Oord, RWS North Sea, the Malaysian company THS Geoscience and two self-employed surveyors we have started the new course. Two surveyors of Abu Dhabi Municipality will complete their training, they will join the group during the 8 week essential competency training. We have a nice team to get this course started. We are pleased to serve this experienced group students of all different backgrounds.

Registration for the 19th Hydrographic Survey Course is still open

We are pleased to report that for the first time the Royal Navy of Oman registered 3 students of their Hydrographic Survey Department. Two students of Abu Dhabi Municipality will complete their training, they will join the group during the 8 week essential competency training. Furthermore some freelancers are joining us for the e learning and first 4 weeks Basic modules. They will finish their training in 2017.

The demand for surveyors who have received training and Cat B qualification continues to increase. Should you wish to join the 19th Cat B class, this is still possible. The e-learning programme of the 19th Cat B course just recently started. Should you be interested, please feel free to contact us to discuss the possibilities.

End of 18th Cat B course ceremony

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This last day of the CAT B course is always coming much faster than expected. The 18th Cat B class was an outstanding class with impressive results. We cannot say if this was the best class ever, however it was a great pleasure for all of us to have them here. This class had a perfect spirit and team work was well noted. The overall results were above average and their final report of the “Education Survey Project” was also well compiled. The price for best accomplishment went to Ramesh PILLA. This was a narrow victory, his Van Oord colleague Alam PRODHAM and Camilla STEN of the Swedish Maritime Administration were close. We were pleased to welcome representatives of their employers and family members during the ceremony and lunch afterwards.

Skilltrade at the 39th Meeting of the FIG/IHO/ICA International Board


We succesfully applied for continued recognition as a FIG/IHO/ICA Class B Hydrographic Survey Programme at the board meeting in Brest.

18th class is nearly finished

After a period of hard work, we will complete the program with a ceremony on Friday 8 April 2016.


Skilltrade at Oceanology International

For the first time during Oceanology International Skilltrade provided Training Sessions. Paul van Waalwijk, general manager of N Sea and Huibert Jan Lekkerkerk worked out some informative Hydrographic Survey Training Sessions. Every morning we had an interesting group of attendees at the N Sea stand. After the lectures Paul van Waalwijk handed the attendees a special edition of our Handbooks (with N Sea logo and a special introduction of N Sea inside)


We met more than 15 different former Cat B students who informed us about their latest projects and career development.

The new GNSS handbook was well received. We will add some advertisements and the final version will be ready for shipment beginning of May.

We did not have a dull moment in promoting our training services. The collaboration with N Sea satisfied both parties and we hope to continue our collaboration at the next Oceanology conference.


Visit Skilltrade on stand G600 at OI 2016

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At the Oceanology International conference in London Skilltrade will present the new GNSS Handbook. Furthermore each morning (start 9:00) Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk of Skilltrade in cooperation with N Sea, will give an informative Survey Training Session. Registration possible at stand G600. Looking forward to seeing you at stand G600.

Introduction Hydrography


11 and 12 February 2016 we welcomed 5 participants for an Introduction Hydrography course at our office in Voorschoten. Employees of Linders Meten en Peilen b.v., Port of Rotterdam, IRM Systems B.V., Grontmij and the Belgian Departement Mobiliteit en Openbare Werken.

18 January 2016 - start 18th Class International - Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

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The start of the 18th class for CAT B course with 9 students. We welcome two guys from van Oord from Bangladesh and India. We also welcome the first student from Saudi Arabia Port Authority, also Swedish Administration, Rijkswaterstaat Noordzee and section Ijsselmeer, Brave Heart Shipping, Gaz de France. Furthermore we welcome a Russian freelancer, a geophysicist who wants to be more multifunctional on board and therefore decided to join this course. We are pleased with such an experienced group, who shortly created a good atmosphere.

Skilltrade 5 days course Dredging Techniques and Settlement Measurements

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30 November Skilltrade will start a 5 day course at the request of the Hydrographic Survey Section of the Nigerian Port Authorities. We welcome other students to join this 5 day course.

The courses consist of two days Dredging Techniques and Contracts and Tendering, 1 day Mud in sediments, fluid mud and active nautical depth at Wiertsema & Partners BV (they will explain density profiling and fluid mud sampling on board in Groningen), one day Seabed Technology will explain Survey vessel installations and the last day  Mr Huibert Jan Lekkerkerk will explain Hydrography Techniques and Volume calculations.

The course will be lectured at the Skilltrade office in Voorschoten, The Netherlands. Skilltrade will provide transport and accommodation.

30 October 2015: e-learning support for Mathematics and Physics


We are pleased to introduce the services of Mr. Fred Veldman as teacher for the e-learning modules Mathematics and Physics. He has a Msc degree of the University of Eindhoven Technical Physics and has been a teacher at high school for those subjects in the last 35 years. He will be the first contact on the Hydrographic Survey Category B course.

23 October Visit by Mr Olumide Omotoso – IHO representative Nigeria


We were pleased to welcome Mr Olumide Omotoso, IHO representative Nigeria, at our maritime institute ij IJmuiden. He attended the GPS lecture of Huibert Jan Lekkerkerk.

15 October 2015 Data Management


For the first time we invited Ocean Wise to present a workshop “Fundamentals of Best Practise Data Management and Marine Spatial Data Infrastructure (MSDI)”. This subject was lectured by their director Mr. John Pepper. Mr. Pepper and we were pleased with the visitors who attended this workshop. We intend to keep this subject covered by Ocean Wise.

12 October 2015 lecture Acoustic Positioning


The lecture “Acoustic Positioning” was again well presented by Sonardyne International Ltd. This time Stuart Slade came over the explain this subject more in depth.

Principles and more practical information was exchanged with the students. Stuart also highlighted the new developments of their products.

6 October 2015 Visit project Coastal Protection for Cadzand


The class was welcomed by Martens and van Oord’s Survey Manager on site at Cadzand, located close to the Belgian border. The project will improve the safety at an important dewatering sluice system by placing two breakwaters. Between those breakwaters, a marina will be built providing space for up to 125 leisure boats. 

The project was explained in detail and various construction phases were explained with their tolerances during the execution.

The area was surveyed in detail due to the possibility of war objects. The strong current along the coast with a tide difference of almost 4 meters, creates many survey challenges during the various dredging operations and during the construction of the breakwaters. The survey vessels were explained and all equipment such as the “Echoscope”. An interesting dredging project and shows the variety of hydrography to all students. We all found this an eye opener.

Workshops 17th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

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Workshops today at Stema Surveys – explanation of salinity measurements, explanation or survey records and sub bottom measurements. The Silas related to delta areas or close up below seabed’s was well explained in depth and other density measurements systems. See for more information www.stema-surveys.nl.

Visit to the Joint Meteo Group “Woensdrecht” of the Dutch Royal Airforce. The class had a detailed introduction about weather forecasts and backgrounds. We had a nice tour and a visit to the operational weather centre where weather forecasts are made not only for the Netherlands, but also for all areas in the world where the Dutch troops are operational. This was the first time we visit this location in the South which is a welcome visit to have an impression about the practical metrology.

17th Category B class visits The Hague


The 17th CAT B class went to The Hague to socialize with each other. We visited the Mauritshuis, home to the very best of Dutch Golden Age painting, and the Louwman museum, an impressive collection of classic motor cars. We also visited the Escher Museum, which the students liked very much. Escher was a Dutch graphic artist. He is known for his often mathematically inspired work. Well known are his impossible constructions and his explorations of infinity. An interesting day and we had some good fun.

Start 17th Hydrographic Survey Category B course

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Today we welcomed the students for the start of the 17th Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B Course. Students from United Kingdom, Sudan, UAE, Mozambique, Nigeria and The Netherlands. A special welcome to the students from new Skilltrade Category B clients the Municipality of Abu Dhabi and Gaz de France. Also a welcome to the students from our known clients RWS, van Oord Nigeria and Bibby Offshore Ltd. We have started this Course in line with the new guidelines of the IHO – IBSC.

The 18th Skilltrade Hydrographic Survey Category B Course will start with their e-learning in October. All registered students for the 18th CAT B will be informed accordingly. Registration for the 18th is still open.

15th anniversary of Skilltrade


19 August 2015 we celebrated the 15th anniversary of Skilltrade. The Skilltrade team plus their partners sailed during SAIL, the largest public event in the Netherlands and the largest free nautical event in the world, with the “Gulden Leeuw” from IJmuiden to Amsterdam. We started early that day at the locks of Ijmuiden and sailed to Amsterdam via the North Sea Canal. After a cloudy start, the sun came and we were able to enjoin the fantastic sight between all the tall ships, sailing ships and naval vessels.

15 years Skilltrade, a great achievement with Huibert Jan Lekkerkerk, Nico Bier, Jan Appelman , Guus Verhagen en Johan Stam. Since 2000 we trained over 1.000 students, we hope to celebrate more years to come.

Introduction Hydrography


20 and 21 August 2015 we welcomed 7 participants for an Introduction Hydrography course at our office in Voorschoten. Employees of Rijkswaterstaat North Sea, Deep and Stema Systems.

17th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

We are pleased to introduce the new approach of our Hydrographic Survey Category B Course in line with the new IHO standards. Based on the requirements from the IHO-ICA-FIG International Board on the Standards of Competence the program is under continuous revision. (More details can be found on the IHO website http://www.iho.int under Standards & Publications.) The last revision of the IHO standards of competence has led to the inclusion of a distance learning module as well as the introduction of a task book. From September we will offer an intense course, a 13 week course in Ijmuiden (including 1 week Safety training) preceded by a 13 weeks e-learning programme. Huibert –Jan Lekkerkerk supervises and assist the students in Hydrographic modules, Guus Verhagen, our CATB course coordinator, is available for the Basics e-learning modules. The curriculum has also been updated, e.g. within the scheme we are pleased to report more data management related issues. All e-learning modules are tested and well received by our last students, they confirmed that this is a perfect preparation before attending the CAT B course.

For the next 17th CAT B (start September 2015) the registration is still open, we currently have places available.

Should you wish more information on our Hydrographic Survey Category B Course, please do not hesitate to contact us and we will gladly forward you detailed information.

Visit Skilltrade on stand S1 at Ocean Business

Ocean Business 2015

At Ocean Business Skilltrade will present the new Category B approach. From September we will be offering an intense course, a 13 week course in Ijmuiden (including 1 week Safety training) preceded by a 13 weeks e-learning programme. Our adjusted curriculum results in more in depth Hydrography subjects. All workshops remain in our schedule to provide more background of the industry, systems and software (Quincy, PDS2000, ESRI and Caris).

Furthermore, after many requests, we have published a small (A5 format), lightweight edition of our Handbook of Offshore Surveying, ideal for traveling.

Finally our course material coordinator Huibert-Jan Lekkerkerk will give an informative presentation on the Skilltrade e-learning programme at Ocean Careers on Wednesday 12:10. Join our Jenever tasting party on Tuesday after 16:30. Looking forward to seeing you again at stand S1.

11 March 2015 Visit of Mr Björn Haukur Pálsson of Icelandic Coast Guard

Visit Bjorn Haukur Palsson Iceland Coast Guard

We were pleased that Mr Pálsson, head of survey section, hydrographic department of the Icelandic Coast Guard, visited our 16th Hydrographic Survey Category B class and attended our class for a half day lecture. In the evening we had a pleasant diner in Ijmuiden and exchanged the experience of their student Birkir.

3 March lecture Acoustic Positioning

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This subject was well supported by Sonardyne International. Luke Rogers of Sonardyne International presented the background of Acoustic Positioning. Various aspects were well explained and supported by a detailed presentation. We were also informed about the latest developments of other Sonardyne systems. We were pleased with more interest from outside our 16th CAT B class: employees of Jan de Nul, Nautikaris and IntecSea attended this lecture. Should you be interested to attend a CAT B lecture, please feel free to contact us.

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ROPME meeting Abu Dhabi February

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During the 6th meeting of the Regional Organization for the Protection of the Marine Environment (ROPME) sea area ‎hydrographic commission in Abu Dhabi, Skilltrade was complimented for our initiatives in hydrographic training by chairman Dr Adel Al Shamsi, Hydrographic Surveying Director at Bayanat for Mapping & Surveying Services. The chairman also introduced Mustafa Iptes, Director International Hydrographic Bureau, who confirmed the demand for training and certification. We were very pleased to receive this compliment and I thanked the commission on behalf of the staff and teachers of Skilltrade. During the conference we established more interest from ROPME members. Our presentation ‘Competent survey personnel in 2015 and beyond’ was well received by the ROPME members and members of industry.

Workshops 16th Hydrographic Survey Category B Course

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We are pleased with the results of the students so far. Last week the lectures were interrupted by various workshops. We visited a reclamation dredging project. We received a warm welcome by the Boskalis Van Oord Project Management and Head of Survey. The project aims to reinforce and maintain the Dutch coast at the Hondsbossche and Pettemer seawall. The contractor has a 20 years contract so survey is essential to control the coast line for more than 11 kilometres. After a detailed explanation we visited the site, the RTK station. We also visited the survey vessel in Den Helder port; we received a detailed explanation of their systems on board and surveyed some lines. Earlier we visited Stema Surveys – velocity measurements, ESRI – GIS explanation, Royal Dutch Navy – Survey section.

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On board Geoplus survey vessel, assigned to the dredging project.

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Lecture Underwater Acoustics and single beam by Darioosh Naderi, Consultant.

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Lecture Tides by Rob van Ree, coordinator and teacher CAT A Maritiem Instituut Willem Barentsz, Terschelling

Start 16th Hydrographic Survey Category B course

We are very pleased with some new contacts and we have noticed more and more interest from the Middle East. This class will receive the 12 week training, as previous courses. However these students have prepared themselves extra for our course by taking our current e-learning modules. This is in 'transition' from the old curriculum to the new curriculum as submitted to the IHO.

The students for the upcoming 17th class will follow our new curriculum as submitted to IHO. Only after successful completion of a 13 week e-learning programme in Mathematics, Physics, Bathymetry, Geodesy and GSNS, the student can participate in the 12 week training in Ijmuiden. This means students have to start e-learning in June to be able to join our next class in Ijmuiden.

Finally, we are also pleased that Jan Appelman, former Royal Dutch Navy, has taken over the logbook support.

We wish the 16th class success in completion of the 12 weeks curriculum.