Journey to the
I already became aware of its existence a few years earlier, but only at the beginning of 2013 did I come into possession of a notebook. The story in the notebook is not just a story, it is the diary that my grandfather once kept. This notebook describes the journey of a sailor from Rotterdam who in 1937 signs on the ship the Andra. The Andra is an old and dilapidated ship that has been refurbished a bit and will make a smuggling journey from Gdynia in Poland to the north coast of Spain. The cargo will consist of weapons and ammunition for the republicans fighting in the Spanish civil war against the nationalists led by General Franco. The story in the diary describes the journey that is not without its problems. On the way to Spain, the Andra has to call a port twice for repairs. But a near-mutiny and the mysterious disappearance of the captain also play a role. Eventually they arrive in Spain, the cargo is unloaded and the ship leaves the port again. Offshore, however, the ship is met by Franco's navy and sunk. Two crew members are killed, the rest are captured. Only two months later do the crew members return to the Netherlands. Two long miserable months in prison at a time when that was no fun, especially not in a country like Spain. This book is not a war story but a historical novel, a story that tells what really happened on the scene of a civil war. But it also has to be a documentary, a piece of history. After all, it all really happened and where it is fictional it could have happened anyway. It is also suitable for children from the age of twelve and my readers tell me that it is a pleasant read. The book is for sale as a paper book, but also as an E-book. We are currently working on making it an audiobook as well. Would you like to read the novel? I am sorry it is only available in Dutch (still looking for an English publisher). If you do want to order it anyway then order it here . It costs 25. But if you order it from me, that is also possible. Send me an email. Then enter your name and address and I will send it to you without shipping costs and an invoice that states how you can pay. I will of course sign it if you want. In 2016 I visited the area in Spain where my grandfather's adventure took place. I made a travelogue of that visit. Do you want to read that? Click here (check your download folder if you don't see it here).
The Andra
After the shelling, the crew is in the sloop
The last moments of the Andra
L. Dragten Captain Rotterdam
I.P. Gazan 1st officer Middelburg
The crew of the Andra
A.A.D. Hulsman 2nd officer Den Haag
P.D. Pronker 3rd officer Harlingen
L.W. van Schaick 1st engineer Rotterdam
H.A. Deekens *1 2nd engineer Hoogezand
A.J. de Bie 3rd engineer Driesprong-Teteringen
F.V. De Smet oilman Rotterdam
F.J. Stolk *1 donkeyman *2 Rotterdam
H.A. de Munnink stoker Rotterdam
Austerkaits stoker Polen
C. van de Watering stoker Rotterdam
J.C. Louwerens *3 sailor Rotterdam
*1 died at the interception in Spain *2 donkeyman: when the ship does not sail heath and electricity are still needed. A small installation provides this and is maintained by a donkeyman. *3 grandfather of Cor Faber
B. Goeman sailor Rotterdam
J. den Heijer sailor Unknown
Batenburg sailor Scheveningen
Debsky sailor Poland
Kuraskinsky sailor Poland
W.H. van Herk wardroom Rotterdam
van Bennekom purser Onbekend
D. de Vries wireless operator Haarlem
Spanish Civil War
Reis naar de Spaanse Burgeroorlog