“As soon as I reach the gangway, I go immediately from 0 to 100”

As a teenager, Michael Goedicke could not decide whether he wanted to study chemistry or become a seafarer. At the end he made the right decision. For almost 40 years now, the sea has been his element.

Today he is Chief Engineer aboard one of Hapag-Lloyd’s largest ships, the “Hong Kong Express”, with an eleven-cylinder main engine developing some 71,200 HP. Goedicke was part of the team that at the beginning of this year carried out building supervision on the ship in Ulsan, South Korea. It took a while to get used to the forward location of the bridge in the new class. Several times a day he covers the 200-metre stretch from the engine room to the accommodation block and back to talk to the rest of the crew. “That helps to keep me fit,” says Goedicke, 56. He is the epitome of calm as he speaks, adding that this is the way he leads his eleven-man team onboard.

Chief Engineer Michael Goedicke leads his team on board the "Hong Kong Express" with ease and calmness.

Michael Goedicke grew up in Karl-Marx-Stadt, today Chemnitz. At 16 he joined Deutfracht/ Seereederei Rostock (DSR) shipping line, and then studied in Wustrow and Warnemünde. He was awarded his patent in 1989 and sailed on break-bulk carriers. After the wall came down Goedicke began working for a family shipping line in Rendsburg. In 2002 he joined Hapag-Lloyd. His first ship was the “Paris Express”: He still talks lovingly about her engine room today. “Everything was meaningfully organized, with lots of room for storage,” he recalls.

Diesel, aggregates, pumps – that is his world, even when sometimes he feels the lack of daylight in the belly of the ship. Whenever possible, when the weather is good he spends his lunch break on a sun lounger on his “balcony” on G deck, just under the bridge wing of the “Hong Kong Express”

Master of 71,000 HP: Michael Goedicke in "his" engine room on board the "Hong Kong Express".

The family is at home in the Erzgebirge in Saxony and has got used to the life of a seafarer. He lives with his wife in the small town of Brünlos. His daughter is studying. “Other families see each other only at weekends, we have eleven weeks in one block together,” says Goedicke. During this time he looks after the house and garden, goes swimming and cycling, or takes a holiday – preferably on the island of Rügen or in the Bavarian Forest. His greatest passion though, is his Harley Davidson, a Road King Classic, a vintage model in the 1960s style. He loves to ride in his leathers with his wife along the country roads. It is sometimes not easy after a holiday to go back to the ship. “But as soon as I reach the gangway, I go immediately from 0 to 100.”

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