Rewritten January 2011 during the redecoration of my bathroom
M/T Stena Barbados
I took this picture on Grenada 9th of April 1999
Stena Barbados was built 1991 in Singapore. She's on 6330 ton DW, 101,52 m long and 17,52 m wide.
Stena Barbados was operating in the Caribbean for TEXACO.
She was owned by Stena and Ferm International Shipmanagement had the management.
Ferm later became Broström Shipmanagement
Thursday 3rd of December 1998 and I signed on as 2nd Officer in Pointe-A-Pierre on Trinidad late in the evening. Flying West from Sweden is no joke. I have to go up very early because the flights leaves Sweden in the early morning in order to be on the other side of the Atlantic in the afternoon.
I took a taxi to Landvetter Airport and I arrived in time to check in for the flight to London from Göteborg. I had to change to a British Airways flight to Barbados in London. I don't remember how many hours it took to Barbados but I remember the immigration, a pain in the arse.
I had to change flight and if I remember it right I had to fly with BWIA from Barbados to Trinidad & Tobago. Hmm, an old DC 10. It must have been 30 years old. Well, when rewriting this page 2011 I checked for the name of Trinidad's airline. That's how I came up with the name BWIA and they never had any DC-10 in their fleet, But they had Lockheed TriStar and they were looking pretty much as a DC-10.
The tray was made of wood and the headphones were the old air driven ones, you don't need to plug them in. You can hear the sound from the arm-rest. When I see this equipment, then I know it's a very old aircraft and I'm not all that comfortable. Are they still making spare parts for this aircraft? That's just one of the question I ask myself when I have boarded one of those old timers.
It was a short flight between Barbados and Port of Spain. There was a rugby (or was it cricket) tournament or something in Port of Spain so there was a few gays from Scotland on the plane. They were all shit faced and one of them played on a bagpipe.
Even though I like music it was very nice arriving to Port of Spain so I could leave the bagpipe behind. When I disembarked the aircraft I passed through the galley and there they had a passenger list on the wall. Most of the names had a note “rejected”. I wonder why, maybe these rugby fans had a little too much to drink on the airport or maybe all of them were playing bagpipe while checking in. Well, I was lucky, I don't know if I could have stand to listening to that crap. Which reminds me of when I was flying "toilet class" to Singapore, but that it's another story.
I was glad to have been on British Airways flight and not on the BWIA flight from London to Barbados. I passed through the Immigration and when I had picked up my luggage I went to see the Agent in the arrival hall. I meet our Agent and he drove me from Port of Spain to Pointe-A-Pierre. We made a stop for a diet drink, but that's was the only stop we made.
When I came to the Pointe-A-Pierre I had to wait for the launch to take me to Stena Barbados. She was loading and the only access to the jetty was buy boat. While waiting for the launch I talked witht he security guard. Turned out that he had been working on a Swedish ship with my father back in the days.
Finally onboard after a long day so I was looking forward to some sleep. But first I went to see Captain and when I saw him in his office I got a shock, I had worked with him onboard M/T Bituma.
Pointe-A-Pierre was more or less our home port. We loaded Gas oil, gasoline and avgas at the refinery and we took the cargo to the different islands in the Caribbean. St Vincent, St Lucia, Martinique, Grenada, St Martin (both the Dutch and French part). We dropped anchor and we moored to a buoy outside the beaches and we used a 4” floating hose on almost all the places.
When we had dropped the anchor and we were moored to the buoy we took the hose ashore with a working boat and before we could start discharging we had to pressure test the hose. While we had pressure on the hose we checked the hose for leaks from the working boat. Yes, would have been a dream come true if we started to discharge through a leaking hose.
On St. Marteen the terminal provided us with a boat to handle the floating hose. Mr. Eddie drove the boat and he used to take us ashore when we wanted. Nice guy.
So the pressure test was very important, imagine us filling up the beach with oil. If the pressure test was OK we started the discharging.
When we had been discharging at the different islands and the ship was empty we returned to Trinidad. Loading at Pointe-A-Pierre and we did the island hopping all over again.
On the French part of St Martin we had to take the ship almost all the way up on the beach. We had two small boats on deck, we used one boat for the floating hose and the other boat was used for us when we wanted to go ashore.
During my 4 and a half month I only went ashore on 6 islands (except Trinidad and Curacao) Aruba, St. Marteen, St Lucia, St Thomas, St Croix and Grenada.
And I had only been onboard for a few days when I went ashore on the French part of St Marteen. No cargo operation during the night and I decided to go ashore and stay at a hotel. Yes, it was time for party.
Our Mess girl and her boyfriend, one of the ABs were going ashore with the boat for dinner and I joined them in to the marina. I took off looking for a hotel and as soon as I had checked in I went for a beer. Yes, it was nice to come ashore to relax a bit.
I spent time both on the Dutch and French part of St Martin. But one night was enough to learn to know all the bars on the island.
The island was full of Columbian prostitutes and I was sitting in one bar enjoying my beer. I had 250 kg of Columbian prostitute approaching me. She asked if I wanted to go with her and she asked for 100 or 200 US.
- Are you on drugs? Not even if I just had spent 20 years on Alcatraz!
I woke up in my hotel room and I went to the restaurant across the street for breakfast. Then I had to get to the beach in order to try to catch Eddie with the work boat so I could get back onboard.
I don't remember, but according to my pictures we loaded on St Croix when we were ready with the discharging on St Marteen. Loading at HESS refinery on St Croix and we discharged on St Thomas. And obviously we bunkered on St Thomas, at least according to my pictures.
There are two towns on St Croix, Christiansted and Frederiksted and I don't remember which one of them I went to. But I went ashore with our Captain and the only thing I remember is that I had lunch at a restaurant before going back to the ship. Walking around town took 5 minutes', 10 minutes tops.
After St Thomas we went back to Trinidad and St. Marteen was the last place we discharged at in 1998. We were going to Curacao for ship yard and we were going to spend New Year on Curacao. Yoo!! I was planning for having a good time and party all night long. Curacao, here we come!!
PARTY! Well, anyone of you being to Curacao? What a disappointment! One or two bars in Willemstad, the only town on the island and it was not big. And there was a disco on the beach just outside town and that was pretty much it. Of course, there were plenty souvenir shops, but that wasn't what I had in mind thinking about a good time.
Well, I had another thing coming. I went ashore on New Year's Eve and everything was closed. Well, there was a restaurant open, I found out later that there is nothing to do on Curacao. 1 restaurant and 1 pub.
I had a few drinks on this restaurant and then I went around the corner to the only pub I could find. This wasn't much, but I was told about a disco on the beach. Can't say that I was very enthusiastic about the disco, but no chance for it to be worse than the pub so I took a taxi to the beach.
The disco turned out to be a nice place, smack on the beach and everything was out doors. The music was blasting high and I had quite a few beers. Returning to the shipyard during the wee hours turned out to be harder than I thought. No taxi and as this was in the middle of nowhere I had to wait quite a while before I could get a taxi. New Year's Eve on Curacao and I will hopefully never have to spend another New Year's Eve here.
I don't remember how many days we stayed on the ship yard but I never went ashore again. OK, we went ashore 1 more time, I had to show the local night life to the boys. We got a new Chief Officer onboard and he wanted to see the local night life. This time we ended up at a big wedding at a hotel and I didn't come back onboard until the wee hours again.
By now I had enough of Curacao and I had no wish to return to the darn place. When we were finished at the shipyard we loaded at the Isla Refinery just around the corner. During my time onboard we loaded at 4 different places. Trinidad for the island hopping. Curacao for South America. We loaded at St Croix for St Thomas and we were loading Banana oil on Puerto Rico. Banana oil was used for the banana plantations, as pesticide or fertiliser.
We loaded at Isla Refinery and when I was rewriting this in January 2011.
I was on my way to the dentist and while waiting to leave for the dentist I checked the refinery on Curacao on the internet. I found a page about Curacao Refinery that pretty much confirmed the stories I heard on Curacao back then.
Well, one thing is for sure, and as I have mentioned many times before: When an oil company tells you that they are green and environmentally friendly they just try to fill you with bullshit.
We loaded 2 or 3 parcels on Curacao and we left for
Georgetown in Guyana. We discharge at the TEXACO depot in the Demerara River just after the Demerara Harbour bridge. Georgetown was quite a nice place, 20 to 30 minutes to walk up to the city and there were plenty vans taking passengers passing on the road outside the gate. I think they charged 50 cent or a dollar to get you in to the city. So it was pretty convenient.
estimated population 239,227 (2002 Guyana census), is the capital and largest city of Guyana, located in the Demerara-Mahaica region. It is situated on the Atlantic Ocean coast at the mouth of the Demerara River and it was nicknamed 'Garden City of the Caribbean.
Coming back to the ship, always by taxi, no problem to find a taxi in the city.
Georgetown was a nice place and sometimes we had to wait for the high water before we could leave and we could spend the night ashore. I was ashore for some fun at 2 different occasions. And we started at the square in the middle of the city. The vans stopped there and there was a market and a roof top bar/ restaurant.
I remember one morning, I left a disco on the middle of the capital, Georgetown 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning. Luckily enough I found a taxi because if I had walked I would have been in a shit load of trouble. We came around the corner and there was a crocodile blocking the road. It was a huge crocodile and I was glad that I was in a taxi.
Walking in to this croc and he would have eating me. 4 or 5 meters long and they are running as quick as a horse and the only way to escape is to climb a tree. The taxi driver charged against the croc blocking the whole road and the crocodile run away.
We had a very good Cook onboard and he had made fläskpannkaka for her Majesty the Queen Silvia of Sweden when he worked for the Swedish Consul in New York and Chicago.
We had nice bread and he knew how to make spinach and raggmunk. And obviously fläskpannkaka, pretty much all my favourites.
The food was so good and we realised that we had to do something before the situation was getting out of hand. We decided to try the "Rikshospitalet" diet. I did it for 2 X 2 weeks. Our Cook was with me the first 2 weeks and I loosed so much weight so people were concerned about my health. But our Cook got bigger and bigger a he was a little pissed off because he did not lost any weight.
Same story when I meet him on Bro Nelly 2001. When I came onboard:
- I have been fasting for several weeks and I lost hundreds of kilo.
He's success inspired me and I went ashore buying a fasting package. I lost weight like there was no tomorrow and he got green of envy. He threw away all my juice bottles.
- You're not doing it the proper way, he said when I asked for my juice.
I suspect that he ate while no one could see him.
Såja Kocken, e d glad nu när du e omnämd på internet?
Nu behöver du inte skicka e-post och påpeka att jag inte tagit med dig på hemsidan.
Yes, we got to see many of the Caribbean islands but it was pretty much on all the islands, same souvenirs and T-shirts but with different names.
The cruise ships arrived to the islands in the morning and the passengers went down to the shopping center on the jetty and to buy T-shirts and souvenirs. So after 1 weeks cruise you come back home with a T-shirt from every place. All looking the same, but with different names.
The cruise ships arrive in the morning and they are leaving in the afternoon/ evening for the next place. Well, my cruise should arrive in the afternoon so I could go to the bars and discos. Leaving in the morning so I could sleep during the tedious journey to the next exciting island. Time to wake up and have a shower before going ashore to explore the local night life.
That would be my kind of cruise.
31st of January 1999 and we arrived to Barbados in the morning. We dropped anchor just outside the beach, almost smack on the beach. We were assisted by a tug and when the anchor was down we got some crew onboard for the hose handling. We had to lift up the hose from the seabed with our crane. We were soon discharging and we could go ashore for a few hours.
I walked around town looking at the sights and when I passed a record shop I stopped to look for some good music.
I found one or two CDs with music I had been looking for for several years. We returned back onboard with our boat and I think we left Barbados in the evening.
We were most likely leaving towards North to continue discharging at the different islands. St Marteen was the last island before going to load again.
We were loading on Curacao for Paramaribo and Georgtown and we left steaming Eastwards from Curacao towards Trinidad where we would change to South towards Georgetown.
We ran in to a fishing net during the first night and the net got in to the propeller shaft and we had to turn around and go to Curacao again. On the way back I followed the fishing net.
During the day I could see it but when it was dark it was impossible to see the nets and they are several kilometres long just floating around in the sea. And as they are only marked with tiny floaters it's almost impossible to see them.
We dropped anchor on Curacao and the company sent divers from Sweden. If I remember it right there were 2 divers coming fully equipped with under water welding equipment.
I think it took 2 days before the divers arrived from Sweden so we were just waiting. The ABs were doing maintenance work on deck and I spent my watches in the CCR writing some tips and hints for astronomical (celestial) navigation. Yes, my friend was in navigation school in Sweden and when he had failed the examination in astronomical navigation I decided to write this for him.
I made an extract from navigation books and from the tables. Our navigation books in school were written for militaries and they were, well, at least to say hard to get a grip on.
I skiped 90% of the text and I made copies of the tables in Microsoft ® Word, easier to understand but it's for Swedish readers only. I spent many hours writing this. So no time to go ashore and I even took our 2nd Officer's watch so he could go ashore and I could stay onboard writing.
I don't know if it helped my friend in school, but our Chief Officer, Henke the He-man did his own observation both from the sun and the moon 2 days after reading my notes.
He asked a few questions and he was operating the sextant like Captain Onedin. He didn't need any guidance taking the sights and I spent most of the time explaining the importance of putting back things where he had taken them i.e. books from the shelf should be returned to the shelf.
I told him that when he is working on a Panamagreek ship it's never mind, but now its Swedish flag. I also gave this "tips and hints" for astronomical navigation to a Captain in Tärntank when I was working in Tärntank, but I don't know if he got any practical use for it.
May 2004 in Cape Town, South Africa and we had a 2nd Officer signing on the anchorage. He came to the bridge and I discovered that he had my "tips and hints" for astronomical navigation.
- What is that?
- I found it on internet and I will start practicing taking sights.
It took them a few days to remove the fishing net from the propeller and if I remember it right they were welding knives at the propeller shaft to avoid future mishaps with fishing nets.
I went ashore one time during our stay and I bought a pair of sandals. 2 of our ABs took us ashore with our boat, they dropped us at the cruise jetty. We had a few hours to walk around town before the ABs would be back with the boat to pick us up again.
As mentioned, the only thing I remember is that I bought a pair of sandals, I still have them and I have never used them.
I have carried the darn sandals from Curacao to Europe and then to Bangkok, half way around the world and I have never used them.
Our divers were ready removing the net and welding knifes and it was time to leave Curacao.
I don't know where we went but I guess that we continued our trip to Georgetown and Paramaribo in South America. We were loaded when we ran in to the fishing net and it looks like we're loaded on the pictures. But I remember that it was nice to leave Curacao and I had no wishes to come back.
Well, we left Curacao on the 13th of March 1999 and this time we didn't hit any fishing nets. Georgetown, I don't remember if it was at this very time, but at one of our visits we ran aground on the approach to Georgetown
Main engine seized during the approach and we ran up on a sand bank. Luckily enough we could get of the sandbank at high water, by the help of a tug.
There were no damages to the ship so we could go alongside and discharge our cargo. And we didn't have to go to a shipyard, I had enough of Curacao by now. Well, imagine if this had happened with a bottom covered with rocks and not sand.
We discharge on Aruba, I think it was jet fuel. Arriving in the morning and we expected to be ready in the evening so we had time to go in to Oranjestad for a few hours. We asked our Agent to order a taxi for us and we took off. I remember that I saw a Pan Am airplane ready to take off when we passed the airport on our way to Oranjestad.
Pan Am, didn't they go bankrupt several years ago? I remember flying from West Berlin to Hamburg with Pan Am back when it was only British, French and US airlines allowed to fly to West Berlin. And I remember it like they went bust not long after that. Well, never mind what ever happened to Pan Am. Well, anyway, we loaded Banana oil in Puerto Rico and we discharged on St Lucia.
There were so much swell in the port on St Lucia so it was impossible to measure the tanks, but we managed to discharge the right quantity.
I did my last trip and we arrived to Grenada in the morning of the 9th of April 1999.
I went ashore with our Cook to check out the island. A few hours were more than enough to spend on this island.
Our AB dropped us ashore and he would come to pick us up when we were ready. Our Cook bought spieces and I bought nothing and I was happy to be back onboard. There was exactly nothing to do or see on Grenada. At least nothing I was interested in. We left for St Martin in the evening, my last island before returning to Trinidad where I will sign off.
Tuesday 13th of April 1999 I signed off in Pointe-A-Pierre on Trinidad. We were booked at a hotel close to Pointe-A-Pierre but I told Captain that it would be smarter to live in Port of Spain. Captain called our Agent and he changed the reservation to Holiday Inn in Port of Spain and Captain and the AB don't have to get up early to catch their flight back to Europe.
I'm booked to Sweden from Curacao because I will do some island hopping in the Caribbean before going back to Sweden. Yes, a few days of party.
30th of June 2000
30th of June 2000 Stena sold the 6,331 Dwt product tanker STENA BARBADOS. The buyer is a newly founded shipping company in Sweden, Wisby Tankers AB. It is four young senior officers, two masters and two chief engineers that jointly owns the company. Stena will charter the vessel back for two years, with another optional two years, and continue to service Texaco in the Caribbean trade.
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