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July Feature :: 40 memorable voyages on OM's ships

This month we feature a number of voyages that stand out in people's memories from the past 40 years of sailing OM's ships through the oceans and seas of the world. Thank you to each one who contributed and we hope you will enjoy these stories.

1. Logos Maiden Voyage, 1970-71
We give thanks as we look back at 40 years of ship ministry. It would be great if people could read The Logos Story and The Doulos Story as it will remind them of all God has done.

I remember the team spirit and unity and friendship that built up on that long maiden voyage around Africa. Many of those friendships are still alive today and I am in contact with many who were on the ship at that time. For our whole family, including our three children, to be on that voyage was very special and they often refer back to it – a milestone in their childhood.

I especially remember the large numbers of people that came on board in Lagos and Cape Town. These were the pioneer days for the book exhibit and other events and we were learning fast. It was what I saw on that trip that started to sow the seed in my mind of getting a second and larger ship.

Bjorn Kristiansen (Norway) was Captain and John Yarr (Scotland/Australia) was the Chief Engineer. I remember the tension between the two (both now in glory) and I saw the Lord work it out to bring them into friendship in Christ. We had a great (and a bit foolish) celebration as we crossed the equator having a waterfight with the fire hoses - some were relieved to see the human side of me.

The emphasis on prayer during the whole voyage was also something I will never forget and of course arriving in Cochin was one of the greatest highlights of all. I had been out of India for four years and so seeing the OM leaders come to the ship in a small boat brought a flood of emotion including many tears of joy.To be director of the ship Logos and at the same time director of OM took me to a new level of stress and I learned more about taking some time off, even a few hours, for a break. Very few know how historic ‘70 and ‘71 were in the entire history of OM and especially the answers to prayer in the area of finance. We trust HIM for even greater things in the years to come.
George Verwer

2. Bombay, India to Bari, Italy, 1975
In November 1975 I sailed with Logos from Bombay to Bari – a voyage lasting 17 days from the tropical heat of India to the cold of winter in Italy. During the voyage we made two stops where we had to remain at anchor; the first off Saudi Arabia for fuel, and then off Suez waiting to transit the Canal. The highlight of the voyage was the passage in beautiful weather through the Suez Canal, which had re-opened just six months earlier after being closed for eight years.
Martin Keiller

3. Portsmouth, England to Vigo, Spain, 1976

A rough voyage on Logos brings water over the bow.
In 1976 we left England with Logos to sail to Bilbao, Spain. As we left the port dark clouds could already be seen on the horizon. The weather got worse and worse and when we were in the Bay of Biscay the waves grew to a size I had never seen before. I remember going to the bridge on all fours to see Captain Paget. He laughed at my expressed concern. We altered course to the west to avoid the ship moving too much from one side to the other. The galley could not be used any more and only crackers and water was served. Many tried to sleep in the dining room as this was in the middle of the ship. The winds grew to force 11. After a few days we sailed into Vigo as the port of Bilbao was closed. The bookshelves in the holds were smashed and books were all over the place. Many thought there must be a better way to share the Gospel than with a ship!
Manfred Schaller

4. Genoa, Italy to Bremen, Germany, 1978
It was so special to be a part of the first crew of Doulos, sailing on her maiden voyage from Genoa to Bremen. After initial trouble getting the main engine to work, it was a relatively uneventful voyage on a ship that proved so reliable and trustworthy for the next 32 years of ministry! I remember as a junior engineer having great confidence in God, our experienced captain who had sailed many large passenger ships for many years, and also our experienced chief engineer. God had called me to serve on board through the fact that Doulos had the same design of main engine as the passenger ships on which I had trained and been serving.
Mark Dimond

5. Ponta Delgada, Azores to Portsmouth, USA, 1978
In November 1978 Doulos made her first transatlantic crossing, from the Azores to the USA. On the first night of this voyage, as the ship headed into a North Atlantic storm, the ship's original steam-powered steering gear mechanism failed. The only way to control the rudder and steer the ship was now to use the emergency wheel located directly above the rudder on the deck that later became the ship children's play area. Deck men were summoned and took turns, up to six at a time, holding the massive double-sided wheel to keep the 6,800 ton ship on course through the night. After a few hours the steering gear was repaired and kept working for the rest of the voyage. About a year later this original 1914 steering gear was replaced by a more up-to-date version.
Martin Keiller

6. Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago to Bridgetown, Barbados, 1979
A memorable passage was the one following the Doulos dry dock in Trinidad in April 1979. As the ship was floated out of the dock, she took a strong starboard list, due to incorrect ballasting of water tanks. There was a lot of work to correct this, but eventually we were ready to sail for Barbados to pick up the rest of the crew. We were all very tired having worked all day and most of the evening. I took the 4-8 morning watch for the 1st engineer, as he was more tired than most! After coming off watch at 8am, I took a quick look over the side to see if we were near land, and got dust particles in my eyes. ‘Those carpenters,’ I thought, ‘clearing sawdust out their carpenters’ shop and throwing it over the side...’ I went to bed. When we got to Barbados, I learned that a volcano on the island of St. Vincent had erupted covering Barbados as well as much of the sea downwind of the volcano with a sprinkling of volcanic ash. So it wasn't sawdust in my eyes – and it was not the carpenters’ fault! Lesson learned? Beware of assuming things!
Mark Dimond

7. Bridgetown, Barbados to Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1979
The next voyage was a two-week long passage down to Buenos Aires, Argentina. As we left Barbados, there were no permissions in hand, and it really was a voyage of faith! Here’s an excerpt from the Buenos Aires 1979 port report:

“It is a miracle that the ship is here.” These were the welcoming words of a local Christian who had seen how impossible this visit of the Doulos seemed. When we look back over this four week visit to the eight million [people] city of Buenos Aires our hearts are filled with praise to God for answering many prayers.

Before we left for our two week trip from Barbados to Argentina, there was no permission yet for a berth, selling of books, etc., and “impossible” was the word our faithful line-up team, headed by Bob Clement, heard many times. Local Christians were hesitant to commit themselves in the beginning as many of them did not believe that the ship’s visit would become a reality. At the last minute, we obtained the best possible berth in the port from the navy within walking distance from downtown Buenos Aires, and verbal permission from the head of customs for the book selling. It took one week then to get all the paperwork done before we could start with the bookselling but yet this was no hindrance to the start of the programme.

8. Buenos Aires, Argentina to Rosario, Argentina, 1979
Then the ship sailed up the Parana River to Rosario – a long, snaky, passage which demanded reliable machinery and constant watches. The ship still had the old steam-powered steering gear, and it was especially carefully looked after on that trip, and then again as the ship sailed back down a month later.
Mark Dimond

9. Wewak, PNG to Madang, PNG, 1979
Although my first visit onboard Logos was in London in 1971, my first voyage onboard her was in a special country, Papua New Guinea. We were sailing to Madang from Wewak overnight. The voyage was in the beautiful waters around a tropical island coast with pleasant temperatures as we were only about six degrees from the Equator. The starry night was a fitting backdrop for viewing the glowing volcano on Manum Island en route. On arrival in Madang, we discovered that the port director was not very happy with the ship. Once securely tied up alongside, the onboard leaders thought perhaps I should meet the port director as he was English and I knew him already. So I visited his office and after quite a session of concern, he became friendly and assisted us for the rest of the port visit, which went well.
David Short

10. Hong Kong, China to Songklah, Thailand, 1980

Some of the refugees that were picked up on Doulos in 1980.
My first voyage in 1980 was on Logos from Hong Kong to Songklah, Thailand. While on watch we spotted what appeared to be a floating palm tree. As we got closer the palm tree turned into a boatload of Vietnamese refugees! There were 51 if I remember correctly, out at sea for 11 days with no food, water or fuel. The following day while I was on watch we spotted another boat, this time with 42 refugees. When Captain Collins arrived on the bridge he turned to me and asked, “Is this going to happen every time you are on watch?” Needless to say we took them on board and were then able to take them to accepting countries.
Captain Tom Dyer

11. Santa Domingo, Dominican Republic, 1986
Packing down and stowaway searches are a normal part of going to sea. Logos was in Santa Domingo and I had gone down into Hold 1 to check that everything was secure. The books were boxed in bins, similar to what is done on Logos Hope. As I wandered in the hold it was a very eerie feeling, but I could find nothing out of place. Everything was squared away and no signs of stowaways so that was good. Up on the book fair deck about 30 minutes later up comes Mark Knight escorting five or six stowaways. Where were they? Hold 1! These ingenious fellows had taken the boxes of books and stacked them around the book bin leaving a hollow space in the middle. How did Mark find them when I had failed? He smelled smoke and followed his nose to find them smoking!
Captain Tom Dyer

12. Walvis Bay, Namibia to Cape Town, 1986
When Doulos was sailing from Walvis Bay to Cape Town in 1986, several on board had some sort of stomach upset and the ship was rolling heavily. My wife Esther and I were on hands and knees feeling miserable, dragging a bucket along in the cabin and trying to get our two young children, who were also seasick, into bed before we could do the same.
Mark Dimond

13. Ushuaia, Argentina towards Puerto Madryn, Argentina, 1988
I remember the voyage from Ushuaia, ending on 4 Jan 1988, quite well. We had just returned to Logos in Puerto Montt, Chile, from Valparaiso, with our three week old son Joshua and his big brother Tommy who was 18 months old.

We had settled back into our cabin next to the engineer's mess, I got all the baby’s clothes washed and put away and felt that after having had a rough pregnancy and having to lay in my bed for four months, I was ready to welcome 1988 in with gusto! Little did I know, 1988 would not be welcomed in with the gusto I had in mind. Joshua was just getting over a severe case of bronchitis so I wasn't really looking forward to the voyage with a sick newborn.

I used to say to Tom that if something ever happened at sea, with one child I could just jump in if I had to but with two now, I would need help. With his responsibilities as Chief Officer he would need to be on deck, so he needed to help me find someone. He arranged for family helpers and asked Mark Knight to be mine. How thankful we were to both him and Kathy for saying yes to that request. We didn't actually think we would need it but 'safety first'.

Tom had the 12-4 watch at sea. As the time got closer for Tom to go up to the bridge, I just did not want him to leave but knew he needed to. As he was getting ready, there was a big jolt. I said ‘Oh no – we've hit something!’ Tom said, ‘Honey, don't be ridiculous,’, but then I thought ‘Great, we've lost an engine and are going to sit at anchor for a replacement and that could take days or weeks.’ Tom was on the bridge in seconds. I continued to get the boys ready and tried to stay calm and have faith. Apparently the general muster bell rang but I didn't even hear it. Next I knew Mark Knight was at my door grabbing Tommy and calmly but quickly helping me get to the dining room where we knew to congregate in an emergency.

The first Logos stuck on the rock after the accident in 1988.
It was quite a scary night for me. Tommy was nicely occupied with others in the room so I just needed to take care of Joshua while we waited for our next orders from Captain Stewart. I placed him on his baby blanket on the floor; it slid back and forth as the Officers were ballasting the ship in hopes to get off the rock we had run aground on. I just kept trying to pray that God would give the captain wisdom to get us off this ship before we sank. I saw my husband once in those five hours. He came into give me and the boys a hug and kiss and I knew he had to be at his post.

Daylight arrived and the call was made to go to our lifeboat stations to abandon ship. I was not going to let anyone else take my newborn but as the angle of list got bigger, I couldn't hold Joshua and get up the steps. So Mark took him and asked Ricardo Morales to carry Tommy. Next thing I knew we were sitting in the lifeboat and being lowered to the water while I observed Tom and the captain climbing down the ladder to join us. Tommy went into shock at the sound of the engine while we were being lowered and all six lifeboats were taken to a rescue boat which we boarded safely.

I couldn't even discuss a thing with Tom as he helped me leave the lifeboat and as we arrived at the Red Cross station, I wondered why Tom wasn't coming to help me get the boys off the boat. I was told he stayed back with Dave Thomas and Elon Alva to guard the ship. How? Why? When would I see him? Was he safe? This just couldn't be possible. This is not the end of the story, but it was the end of voyage, and the end of Logos. Click here to see the location - requires Google Earth.
Maggie Dyer

14. Kaohsiung, Taiwan to Taichung, Taiwan, 1989
Maggie and I had joined Doulos after the Logos accident to take over as captain. The weather was not slated to be good, so I walked through the ship to see that everything was secured for sea. In the galley I was quite surprised that nothing was prepared. When I suggested that they secure, the cooks just shrugged and said nothing ever moved. Perhaps I should have put my foot down, but having just arrived I accepted the remarks. As we pulled away from the pier and headed out beyond the breakwater the first swells hit us. Bang! All the refrigerated cabinets in the dining room swung open and all the chocolate puddings prepared for the evening meal ended on the deck. Thus ended two years of calms seas and voyages. Most on board had never experienced bad weather on a voyage.

15. Taichung, Taiwan to Hong Kong, 1989
I honestly can not control the weather. I have been unfairly tagged with a nickname I shall not grace this page with. However it is true for the next several voyages we seemed to hit a number of typhoons and tropical storms. Taipei to Hong Kong; Hong Kong to Manila; Manila Harbor; Manila to Cebu. They just happened. What could I do? Thankfully Doulos was a well constructed ship, made in the USA :-)

Sitting at anchor in Manila Bay with engines turning and bow into the waves I was thankful for God’s sovereign hand and later, during dry dock, Johannes Thomsen showed me that the anchor connecting shackle was cracked and ready to part; God is merciful. Maggie remembers most of the staff hanging out in the main lounge while I and other crew were on the bridge taking care of business out there in the Typhoon Safety Zone away from the pier of the Manila Harbour. She clearly remembers Rhonda Adams explaining how Manila's Typhoon Safety Zone was the safest place to ride out the storm and how that compares to being in the centre of God's will: our safety zone.

However Maggie was not so happy after surviving the Logos ship wreck to again be sitting in a cabin with water running down inside the bulkheads. She and the boys slept that first voyage with their life jackets on once the water came in. While we had been pleased to see on our arrival that Doulos had purchased a crib for our second son, then about 10 months old. Unfortunately the carpenters forgot to remove the casters from the bottom of the crib! Maggie had left the cabin with Joshua asleep in the crib. One roll too many and the crib rolled right up against the door and jammed the handle, preventing any opening of the door! Mom outside, baby inside! Fortunately there was a second door into the cabin and the carpenters were able to take down the door to get in. However it was not a good place to be in if it is the HUSBAND’s fault for sticking the family back on the ship in the middle of a typhoon!
Captain Tom Dyer

16. Gibraltar to Amsterdam, Netherlands, 1988
Maggie had two little boys and our third child was on the way. I had been asked to take over from Captain George Booth on Logos II when the newly-purchased ship broke down on the way from Greece to Amsterdam and was towed to Gibraltar. George had to leave as did several of the crew and it would take a few days to bring the ship around. In the meantime her engines had to be overhauled and a generator had blown a piston – not a good start. Getting the ship up and running again took a bit longer than planned and a few days turned into a few weeks in the port of Gibraltar. Finally the ship sailed in December.

There was a lot of concern about sailing through the Bay of Biscay in December and after pulling into Vigo, Spain to fix a fuel oil leak, we were away again with the sea like glass and a full moon shining down. What a great crossing. Coming around Ushant and up the English Channel heading toward Amsterdam, the weather started to deteriorate behind us. It was the afternoon of December 24 when we reached the pilot station with strong winds blowing and seas moving. Ed Verbeek (a former Logos captain) joined us as pilot. It was not so easy to get him on board and we had to jury rig an embarkation ladder. Ed took a leap of faith and was on board! Amsterdam closed the port because of the weather right after we had passed the breakwater.

Going through the locks, there was my wife Maggie with the two boys along with Mark Dimond and the team that had come up from Germany. My expecting wife climbed up the ladder with help from the boys. Ed brought us into Oranjewharf to a safe berth – he always makes it look so easy! The shipyard welcomed us with Christmas parcels and we celebrated Christmas Day together on Logos II.
Captain Tom Dyer

17. South East Asia, 1989
I was abruptly woken at 5am by the captain’s voice. My heart was pounding; next I heard him singing over the PA system. It was a beautiful sunrise and Captain Dallas thought we should all be up to see it! We were at sea on Doulos in 1989 somewhere in South East Asia, having arrived shortly after experiencing the ship wreck of Logos. My last recollection of a captain’s voice was ordering us to muster stations just after midnight on Jan 4th, 1988. We had run onto submerged rocks in the Beagle Channel at the tip of South America. I was certainly in no mood to watch a sunrise after an abrupt wakening like that!
Mark Knight

18. Helsinki, Finland to Leningrad, Russia, 1990

Lifeboat drills are a regular part of sailing.
Leaving Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) we had some time in hand before we were due to arrive at our next port. We had had no opportunity to do any lifeboat drills so I slowed the ship and swung out of the channel. Down went all the lifeboats. Not long after a Russian patrol boat was rapidly approaching. Oops. So much for deviating from the course! The officer came on board and reported we were in an area we were not permitted to be! Fortunately he had visited the ship in Leningrad and we were allowed to depart. Later I came to learn some of the crewmembers were in a near panic as several had obtained military uniforms and hats and they seemed to be wearing them while in the lifeboats!
Captain Tom Dyer

19. Montevideo, Uruguay to Puerto Madryn, Argentina, 1991
An earlier storm had left a very heavy swell running, and although the weather was pleasant, the ship rolled heavily up to 35 degrees each way for several hours on that passage. It took a while to clear up the book hold after that one!
Captain Tom Dyer

20. Rosario, Argentina to Santa Fe, Argentina, 1993
In 1993, Logos II visited Santa Fe, Argentina. For weeks before arrival the water level in the river approach to the port was too low for the ship. Christians in the community prayed and shortly before our arrival (and during) there was much rain, flooding the river until after our visit was safely completed. It was a real testimony of God's power to the entire community.
Peter Nicoll

21. Colombo, Sri Lanka to Port Victoria, Mahe, Seychelles, 1993

The temporary trail left through the ocean as a ship sails.
Not long after I joined Doulos we crossed the Indian Ocean, sailing from Sri Lanka to the Seychelles. It was my first ocean crossing, my first time crossing the equator by ship and a wonderful experience. There was only a light swell for most of the way, and at night, with no light around to interfere with the view, I was overwhelmed by the number of stars visible in the sky. I had never seen so many stars before and it brought new depth of meaning to Psalm 8. Looking out from the stern, I could see green lights in the water behind the ship. On asking what caused this strange, but very beautiful effect I was told it was the propeller churning up phosphorous in the water - amazing!
Ken Miller

22. Mombasa, Kenya to East London, South Africa, 1993

A rough voyage on Doulos.
This was the first voyage where I experienced really rough seas and I was very happy that I wasn't bothered by seasickness. Doulos was pitching wildly, but not rolling, and the bow was coming right out of the water before crashing back down, sending huge plumes of water up on both sides and up through the pipes for the anchor chains. Many of us in the deck department were standing at the bow enjoying the roller-coaster ride until the captain called us back. Sleeping at nights was also a challenge, since I was in a Section 1 cabin - about as far forward as it gets. There was so much movement it felt like you were being lifted off the bunk as the bow reached the top of a wave and started to go back down again.
Ken Miller

23. Santos, Brazil to Vitoria, Brazil, 1994
Sailing to Vitoria in Brazil the immigration authorities were on strike. We weren't sure what to do so a prayer meeting was called (it really helps!) and the officials decided to break their strike – we sailed into the port past all the other ships waiting to come alongside, they cleared us, allowed an officer to leave to join another ship, then went back on strike! When it was time to leave, they were still on strike but broke it again to clear the ship and we sailed out past the ships that were still waiting to come into port.
Fiona Boyce

24. Aqaba, Jordan to Suez Canal, Egpyt, 1994
One evening, the Doulos radio officer heard a distress call from another ship in the Red Sea with a fire in the engine room. Doulos was 50 miles away and was one of many vessels that responded. The vessel turned out to be a passenger ferry carrying 588 pilgrims from Jeddah to Suez, and there were many people injured. The radio officer contacted a US Navy ship that was co-ordinating the rescue to offer medical assistance which was gratefully accepted. Doulos had just loaded medical supplies and equipment on board in the previous port and these were exactly what was needed, including a specific drug for treating a heart condition and intravenous drips donated by a hospital. There were also three doctors and 12 nurses on board, many more than normal.

The ship turned around and on arrival at the scene about six hours later, the stricken ship could still be seen engulfed in smoke on the horizon, but about two hours later capsized and sank. Medical personnel, supplies and Arabic-speakers were transferred from Doulos to another US warship where over 250 survivors had been brought. They treated many people with fractures, hypothermia, burns and also a boy with a serious head injury who was taken by helicopter with a Doulos nurse to a hospital onshore. A US Navy officer said: “Your ship and medical team have been an absolute Godsend!” The medical team’s professionalism and “unsurpassed dedication” was also recognised in a letter of thanks from US Navy Deputy Rear Admiral P. W. Parcells.
Based on a report by Doulos Journalist, Jane Barlow

25. Scarborough, Tobago to Gibraltar, 1994
This voyage was going great when a hurricane was reported to be in our way. A prayer meeting was called in Logos II’s main meeting room. The hurricane changed direction and we continued to have a smooth voyage!
Fiona Boyce

26. Sailing out of Toulon, France, 1994

Logos II and Doulos sail out of Toulon, France together in 1994.
To celebrate the 25th year of OM’s Ship Ministry, it was decided that Doulos and Logos II should come together in the same port. These ‘On Course’ celebrations took place in Toulon in the South of France. It was an exciting time, with prayer partners, friends and former crewmembers coming to visit the two ships together from many countries. At the end of the time, both ships were to sail out of the port together, one behind the other, and then sail side by side for photographs to be taken. My wife (now – then colleague!) and I were lining up the visit, and there was quite some discussion beforehand about the logistics of it all. Then the morning of departure turned out to be very foggy. Nevertheless, we boarded the pilot boat together with photographer Susie Burton and a video crew and got under way. As we sailed out of the port, the fog cleared and conditions were perfect. Seeing the two ships sailing together before parting to head for their next ports of call was very special.
Ken Miller

27. Vigo, Spain to Belfast, Northern Ireland, 1995
This voyage across the Bay of Biscay was memorable because I lost several kilos in just a couple of days. The waves were so bad that to try and weather the storm better the captain headed Logos II towards the South-West and every hour tried to turn the ship back towards Belfast. I was looking after some goldfish on that voyage but gave them food and then left them to it, hoping they wouldn't get thrown out of their tank before we arrived! I believe this was also the voyage that Chief Engineer Elon Alva’s desk came away from the wall but he saved the computer that was on it. The glass door to the main meeting room smashed as someone walked through it, but they were ok. As a result of this voyage it was decided that we wouldn't go to the Faroe Islands and that was disappointing. I’m glad to say that we hung around long enough on board and made it there on two later visits!
Fiona Boyce

28. Balboa, Panama to Los Angeles, USA, 1997

Dolphins off the box are always a spectacular sight at sea.
On February 13th, 1997, Logos II was sailing between Balboa, Panama and Los Angeles, USA when John and I decided to have lunch up on deck. It was a special day for us but only the two of us knew it at that point. As we sat down on the starboard bridge wing the ship was suddenly surrounded by dolphins who seemed to perform a show just for us – we guessed about 200 of them! They arched out of the water in groups of ten – stunningly beautiful. Just as the officer on watch made an announcement to tell others about this amazing sight we were already leaving their territory and as others arrived on deck the show was over – a special gift to us it seemed. That evening we announced that we had got engaged that day!
Iris Satterly

From my first stint on board Logos II, one voyage that comes to mind was the voyage from Panama to Los Angeles in 1997 which began the tour of the west coast of the US and Canada. This voyage was remarkable for the glassy smooth ocean that we enjoyed over the ten-day voyage. Being able to lean over the bow and watch dolphins playing and racing ahead of the ship was wonderful. I remember we ate well on the voyage as we had to use up all the fresh fruit and vegetables as well as the meat on board due to the US Customs regulations.
Jon Crowe

29. Port of Spain, Trinidad to Mar del Plata, Argentina, 1999
Probably one of the longest Logos II voyages was sailing from Trinidad down to Argentina. 21 days at sea. It was great – we had no e-mail while sailing at the time. Lots of sea life including whales feeding with tails up, porpoises and hammerhead sharks following along the ship with an equator crossing thrown in. What a great life!
Captain Tom Dyer

30. Auckland, New Zealand to Sydney, Australia, 1999
We had had a few smooth days of sailing and then half way through it got rough. I was in the volunteer’s lounge along with a number of others who were not feeling well due to seasickness, including two girls who were lying on the floor. Against the port side of the volunteer lounge there were high piles of chairs. The ship was rolling more and more and I was thinking that the chairs would tumble down. Thirty seconds later the chairs crashed on the floor, but the girls had moved just in time so no one got hurt. A big wave had hit the port side of the ship and alarms had started going off. The wave had gone over the promenade deck, water had broken the doors and about three tonnes of water had come in. Because we had rolled many of the cabins on the starboard side were affected, though not on the port side. Some people’s cabins were flooded and others thought the ship was sinking and ran to get their life jackets. When we arrived into Sydney we had a huge welcome on the side with the official opening happening just hours after arrival. We had to send a message ahead to the advance preparation team to call for a carpet cleaning company to fix up the ship before people came on board.
Loraine Pinder-Browne

Doulos sails into picturesque Sydney Harbor.
I come from a very rural and small farming community in North East Kansas. We were very poor – we ate what we caught and grew on our little farm! I remember at around the age of seven or eight years old watching a kid’s programme on TV about Australia and other places in the world, and marvelling at the fact that there are people and places ‘on the other side of the world’. I remember feeling sad as I watched the programme thinking, “I will never travel the world to see these amazing peoples and places God has made.” As we were sailing into Sydney Harbour on Doulos, I worshipped God as I recalled that childhood memory.
Laura Luce Rogers

31. Nanjing, China to Bintulu, Malaysia, 2000
As we sailed with Doulos from China to Malaysia, we knew that a typhoon would cross our path. As the ship moved closer to the typhoon we tied down the cabin sufficiently, or at least so we thought, and put our two children, aged under four years old, in front of the television and VCR player to watch their favourite cartoon 'Noah’s Ark'. Suddenly the ship was hit by a big wave. The contents of our three bottom kitchen cupboards and the small fridge were all emptied on the floor in an instant. The cupboard in our children's room fell over. Our kids started screaming. We worried that this storm would cause them emotional stress. But they didn't scream because of the total disaster area our cabin had so quickly turned into; they screamed because Noah and his family had suddenly disappeared behind our bed, as the TV and VCR slid towards the wall. Yes, it truly was a traumatic experience for them, to see their favourite family disappear. And what about the storm? What storm?
Gerard Renger

32. Birkenhead, England to Cardiff, Wales, 2001
Logos II was sailing around the coast of the UK. George Verwer joined us for the trip – always a special occasion. Of course, going to sea the ship is required to run a fire and boat drill, so we did them in the afternoon after sailing. Alarms sound, everybody musters. Where is George? Nobody can find him. Search the ship. Finally George is discovered up on the ‘monkey island’ above the bridge talking to supporters by phone as he was able to get great reception up there. I’m still not sure how he didn’t hear the ship’s horn sounding for the drill over his head! Thank the Lord for George his vision and passion. It is always special to receive a call from George – you never know where he is!
Captain Tom Dyer

33. Copenhagen, Denmark to Trogir, Croatia, 2005

Water comes over the bow on Logos Hope's first voyage.
Ten months after purchase, with a crew brought together from around the world, the ship was fueled, stocked with water and provisions and ready for her maiden voyage to the shipyard. The engines all started, the bow thruster worked, the crew was at mooring stations and a strong wind was blowing the ship back onto the berth so Captain Jensen called for a tug to help pull her into the outer harbour. From there we had all four engines running, smoke billowing out of funnel and the ship speeding along between 14 and 18 knots (no other OM ship has gone this fast before!). Engineers were checking and rechecking for oil leaks, tears in eyes with the joy and praise to the Lord that after 10 months of hard work Logos Hope was finally at sea!

Great weather for the first day around Denmark but on the second day out into the North Sea with a force 6 wind, NW swell, ship starting to roll up to 22 degrees either way! After some struggles to get the stabilisers working the roll is reduced to 5 degrees! Wind dies down for Southern North Sea / English Channel and Bay of Biscay and all the way to Gibraltar.

The lights of Gibraltar, and coast of Morocco great us as we enter the Med. Engine fuel consumption trials every day and lube oil being used up quickly. Off the coast of Algeria heading towards Tunisia a storm blows up, high winds and big swell gives Logos Hope a pounding and she shakes it all off. Weather dies down just before we come close to Malta. About 30 miles of Malta and close to Sicily a phone call to ship tells us to divert to Valletta, Malta, as the contract with a shipyard has fallen through!  If the Lord hadn't sent that bad weather to slow us down, we would have arrived already. He is Sovereign, He is Lord, His timing is perfect.
Gareth Kirk

34. Rotterdam, Netherlands to Hamilton, Bermuda, 2008
Crossing the Atlantic on Logos II from Rotterdam, Netherlands to Hamilton, Bermuda, took 12 days in rough winter seas. Many were seasick and hid in their cabins. The force of the waves coming over the bow of the ship was so strong that it broke the rear window of one van on the foredeck and flooded the whole van. On another vehicle, the force broke one of the side windows and dented in the doors. The fridge in the serving area was latched with rope so it wouldn’t topple. To open the fridge you had to undo the rope and be sure and latch the rope again however on one occasion the rope wasn’t put back. While rolling the fridge fell over, narrowly missing one of the engineers and smashed on the floor.
Loraine Pinder-Browne

35. Freeport, Bahamas to Nassau, Bahamas, 2008
It had been a lovely smooth voyage and because the official opening was shortly after arrival everything had already been set up in the book fair. We were all outside enjoying the sunshine and the pending arrival and we could already see the quayside. On approach through the breakwater (at the entry to the harbour) there was a big wave. We went over it at an angle and the ship rolled from one side to the other. Logos II rolled just once, but that was enough to upset everything in the book fair. Many of the wooden cabinets fell over and the free-standing tables with other literature came tumbling down. The CD racks also didn’t make it. It was a big mess so we all rushed to help straighten the book fair in time for the official opening.
Loraine Pinder-Browne

36. Port of Spain, Trinidad to the Mediterranean, 2008
I have made several cross Atlantic voyages. In any case the most memorable one was the last one of Logos II when we set sail from Port of Spain to a yet to be determined final destination. It was memorable because I had come on board more by default then by choice taking over from a dear friend who by the Lords grace entered the gates of heaven a few months earlier. The ship was completely empty and very quiet, with only 11 or 12 people on board. For fun I slept in a few different cabins just to try them out, feel the movements and listen to the vibrations.

As we left the lights of Port of Spain behind us we started off first slowly because growth on the hull tempered her speed but steadily she gained and after a week we were up to full speed. The weather was good and 10 days later we passed the cliffs of Madeira and all on board ran upstairs to get a wireless signal and get their phone or computer to work, several succeeded making the necessary calls to inform the home front of our progress.

Shortly after we closely crossed the co-ordinates where one of my ancestors was let to his sea grave some 65+ years earlier and a few moments of silence commemorated that event. A few days later the three week voyage was interrupted by a three-hour scheduled stop in Gibraltar to exchange some crew, take final bunkers and some last supplies. Some even ran to the top of the mountain and back just in time before departure. Only minutes after leaving with full speed out of the harbour a phone call from HQ requested us to stay because our final destination was still not known. Never mind we were gone, pumping away and ‘ploughing’ the increasingly warmer Mediterranean waters towards the east.

Passing the Greek Islands was sheer pleasure with their quaint small towns, white painted houses and orthodox churches clearly visible. Passing the island of Patmos not too far off to starboard reminded me of God’s faithfulness throughout generations, how once Paul and others had cross the same waters to proclaim the Gospel. Here we were on our way to dispose one of the most beautiful tools the Lord had ever provided to further his Kingdom but we were promised that better was to come. Finally we arrived. We left the ship with one generator running to keep fridges going. No celebrations, no party, no cheering crowds awaited us. Only a last memorable ‘international night’ together before flying home.
Harald Smit

37. Koege, Denmark to Gothenburg, Sweden, 2009
Following eight months of outfitting in Koege, Denmark, the ship was granted the Passenger Ship Safety Certificate after nearly five years of work, the help of over 1,500 project workers and the partnership of people all over the world. Two weeks later, Logos Hope sailed into ministry! After a massive final effort to get all of the certificates and documentation in place, news came through on Wednesday 18 February that the Danish Maritime Authority had issued the Bunker Convention Certificate, following earlier indications that this could be a lengthy process. Final arrangements for sailing were quickly put in place, and the ship sailed out of Koege, Denmark on Thursday afternoon, 19 February 2009 to begin her ministry with a visit to Gothenburg, Sweden, just a short voyage away.
OM Ships Communications

38. Cork, Ireland to Kingstown, St. Vincent, 2010
The first Atlantic crossing of Logos Hope was a pleasant, two-week voyage across which included some whale sightings early on and then the construction of the ‘salt water holding tank’ on deck 9 to provide some relief from the heat as we transitioned into the tropical climate of the Caribbean. We also enjoyed Captain Dirk’s daily lunchtime updates full of humor and imagination. But we were ready to be on land again when we arrived in Kingstown. There was a steel band on the quayside as we were pulling and adding to the memory was a short downpour of tropical rain with drops that seemed like they were the size of a golf ball. It was a memorable moment and we knew were no longer in Northern Europe.
Jon Crowe

39. Hamilton, Bermuda to St. Johns, Antigua, 2010
On Monday April 26 we set sail from Bermuda for a four-day voyage south to Antigua. Shortly after letting off the pilot and heading out to sea, Logos Hope received a message from the Bermudan Harbour authorities asking us to alter course to look for a missing yacht – a solo sailor was overdue in Bermuda and had not been heard from for several days. A radar contact had been picked up and we were asked to investigate. We arrived at the position of the radar contact and discovered that it was the yacht, badly battered from a storm. The sailor had lost all his sails, his engine room was flooded, and he only had a very short range radio. He had just been floating for 24 hours hoping a ship would pass within range. Logos Hope provided communication between the yacht and the shore. We stayed on station for a couple of hours, lighting up the yacht with our searchlight until a rescue boat arrived.
Steve Packwood

40. Many more memorable voyages have happened and if you've sailed with one of OM's ships we invite you to share your sailing story through the comments function below! Please note all comments are moderated before they are published so it may not appear immediately.