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Sealegs (Zeebenen)

A film by Eza Doortmont and Pippi Kragtwijk
June 2016 
Duration: 24:04 


Every year around a hundred students, mainly boys and some girls, start their education at the Maritime Institute Willem Barentsz on Terschelling. An island off the shore of the north coast of the Netherlands. On this island, the students are educated to become merchant navy officers or hydrographers. When they complete their education, they will control the biggest ships in the world or will be mapping the essential waters on the globe.


‘Sealegs’ gives a cinematic view in the life at the 140 years old maritime academy. The love the seafarers share for a life at sea, the WBS – the student union – and the strong bond between the students are the main focus in the film. The devotion which is necessary for a life at sea and the sacrifices made, play a significant role in the presence of the seafarers.


The documentary tells the story of Luuk (18), who is a first-year student. He says becoming a seafarer is his calling and he wanted this for a long time. Piet (64) is a former student and after a glorious career looks back on, according to him, the best time of his life.


Dutch television broadcasted Sealegs through 2doc Makers van Morgen (, Sealegs got awarded a Cinema World Fest Awards (award of excellence), was selected for the Largo Film Awards and Noorderlijk Film festival and was shown at DocuPodium, Terschellinger Filmdagen and de Dag van de Zeevarende. The film was well received, especially by the seafarer community and people who love Terschelling. 

For a review of the film click below: 

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