The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc.

Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award

2018 Recipiet Captain R.J. Klein



Captain R.J. Klein


The 2018, LaLonde “Spirit of The Seas” Award was presented to Captain RJ Klein by the Council of American Master Mariners  at the Closing Dinner of their Annual General Meeting.  Captain Manny Aschemeyer introduced Captain Klein, noting that his nomination centered not only on his accomplishments during his professional years, but more importantly upon what he continues to do for the maritime industry in his retirement.


Captain Klein graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy (1969) and sailed continuously for the next 38 years, 28 years as Master. During his seagoing career, Captain Klein rescued three people, a dog and a cat from a sinking sail boat in the Caribbean, stopped his ship in near French Frigate Shoals to re-provision Peter Bird, an adventurer attempting to solo-row the Pacific Ocean, dealt with multiple stowaways from the Dominican Republic, and successfully avoided several major hurricanes and typhoons.


In his introduction, Captain Aschemeyer noted that Captain Klein has served four years as CAMM’s National President.  He has helped the organization to become better known throughout the industry while insuring that CAMM’s voice is heard in Washington, D.C.

In 2015, Captain Klein became the Editor of Sidelights Magazine which continues to be the public face of CAMM.  He recently took the lead in the redevelopment and makeover of the CAMM website. Together with Captain Dave Boatner, the CAMM website has raised CAMM’s profile  with a variety of  modern attributes.  This will be of benefit to our current members and  encourage new members to join (


Closer to home, Captain Klein has been the President of the Seattle Pacific Northwest Chapter for  10 years, leading the Chapter’s involvement in local maritime issues. In 2007 he spearheaded the first  annual golf tournament for the benefit of the Youth Maritime Training Association(YMTA – ). In 2010, it was re-named the Bob Magee Memorial Golf Tournament and to date has raised over $78,000. Through YMTA, a $5,000 CAMM Scholarship is now awarded annually to a student interested in a pursuing a maritime career.


Captain Klein continues offering his counsel, advice and recommendations to the Council. For the past five years he has represented CAMM at the Sail-In to Congress and lobbied Congress on behalf of CAMM.  He continues as Sidelights Editor, Webmaster, and the Seattle PNW Chapter President.







Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award - History

The Father Maurice Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award is the highest honor that the Council of American Master Mariners can give its members. It is named for one of our members, Captain/Father Maurice Lalonde. Father Lalonde, in his early career, graduated from the New York State Maritime Academy and served as a Naval Officer in WW II. He then went back to sea as a civilian mariner, sailing in all deck officer billets, including Master Mariner. He then came ashore and studied for the Catholic priesthood. After his ordination, he went back to sea for awhile and donated his salary to his priestly order. He again returned ashore and spent most of his remaining career as a foreign missionary. He obviously is a man of a tremendously giving nature. The recipients of this award represent this kind of overall selfless spirit.


Past recipients are:

2017 Father Sinclair Oubre

2016 Captain John A. Cartner

2015 Captain Pat Moloney

2014 Captain Don Moore, Jr.

2012 Captain Tim Brown

2011 Captain Tom Bradley

2010 Commodore Kenneth Orcutt

2009 Captain Charles “Chick” Gedney

2007 Captain James Morgan

2006 Edward Frank Oliver

2005 Captain Dominick Calicchio

2004 Captain Warren Leback

1999 Father Maurice Lalonde

Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award - Nominations

Nominations for the Lalonde “Spirit of the Seas” award open in September and is awarded at the National Annual General Meeting the following spring.


The Lalonde “Spirit of the Seas” Award is the Council’s most distinguished honor. The award is made annually or as deemed appropriate by an Awards Committee comprised of the National’s five Regional Vice Presidents and Ex-Officio National President.


Nominations are open to any member, living or deceased, for all of the following: humanitarianism, professionalism, seamanship, life-time achievement and noteworthy accomplishments, along with contributions to the maritime industry and the 'Spirit of the Seas' in their everyday lives. An eligible nominee may be a member in any category of the CAMM National organization in good standing (who is/was current in their dues to CAMM National and to their chapter, if they were also chapter members). Individuals must be nominated by a CAMM National member who also is in good standing.


Download: Nomination Form


For additional applications, information or guidelines and rules, contact your Regional Vice President or your Chapter President.


All nominations must be postmarked by January 15.

Lalonde Spirit of the Seas Award - Winner Notification and Acceptance

The winner will be notified in advance by the Lalonde Review Committee. If nominee is the winner, he/she must make every effort to attend the annual meeting Closing Dinner. Because of the prestigious nature of this award, the winner’s Chapter should be an enabler to encourage and assist winner to be present to receive the award in person. If because of poor health, the winner can’t attend please list their designee (show name & ID number) who will accept the award in their behalf.

The Council of American Master Mariners, Inc.