Summer in Germany
„As a captain, you always have to be at your best.“
Rarely in Baden-Württemberg are so many ships on the water as at the summer festival “River Mood on the Neckar”. Year after year, Robert Schneider is at the helm. Goethe.de/kultur tells what the captain’s everyday life looks like and for which port he most likes to set sail.
Von Svetlana Kerestely
Three cities and a community on the lower Neckar - Bad Friedrichshall, Bad Rappenau, Bad Wimpfen and Gundelsheim - maintain an old tradition. Every year on an August weekend they celebrate together a summer party. At the “River Mood on the Neckar”, guests commute by boat from city to city, enjoy the relaxed atmosphere on board and visit various events on the banks.
Captain Robert Schneider is looking forward to being there with his shipping company Kurpfalz in 2018 as well. He likes the pleasant ambience and the regular exchange with the guests. “Many passengers take an interest in my job, but with some there are also discussions about parenting, retirement or politics”, says Schneider. “I find it very refreshing.”
The talks are only minor matter. With great attention, Schneider makes sure that the guests don’t become overconfident or reckless. He keeps track of everyone who goes on board.
“As a captain, you have to be mentally and morally at your best”, says Schneider. That means good ears, good eyes, keen attention and quick reactions. By “moral” he means dealing intelligently with people. “There must be no trouble on board. We’re all in the same boat”, he says.
“I’m happy with my life”, he says, quite convincingly. But the captain still has a dream: a trip around the world. But to the question about the most beautiful place he has ever been Schneider has a lightning-fast answer: “Home!”