Prostitutes, Reeperbahn and a bride in every port – the romanticised image of the sailors‘ life in the German port of Hamburg still persists. But with ever more efficient harbors and shorter stays, sailors of today change the daily routine of the sea for the hectic drama of the Homeport.

During a 28 hour stay in Hamburg the Kuala Lumpur Express, a 336 meter container giant, unloaded some 2127 containers and uploaded another 1206 containers. Meanwhile in the bowels of the giant, second engineer Thorben Meppelink took care of problems with the hydraulic pump, the controller for the engine rooms ventilation and replacing the piston rings of one of the ships twelve cylinders – twenty tasks in all. Far from romantic.

Produced for Geo

Film & photography: Uwe H. Martin

Additional film and photography: Frauke Huber

Editing: Uwe H. Martin & Frauke Huber