Thursday 1st of February 2007 and we started discharging at 0135 ST after we finished the paper work. My luck, we had to do a line displacement of 1908m³ and then stop. I'm not going to be able to get in bed before 5 o'clock
We didn't completed the line displacement at 0410 and we were resuming again at 0425, topping off all tanks until 95% alarm was deactivated and we discharged with maximum allowed rate at 0530 and it was almost 6 o'clock when I got to bed.
I woke up just in time for lunch. After my lunch I filled up the pump log in the computer and then I was off for a shower. The mess room is full of people, we are discharging off the coast of Rosarito to a buoy through a floating hose. So we have 2 Pilots, Loading Master and the Surveyor onboard until we are leaving.
Almost all of our tank radars are showing the wrong tank measurement and all the Engineers and our Electrician are involved. Tomorrow we have to attend to the problem. But I will be busy doing tank cleaning.
I'm going to need to bring my Hip Hop Generator® to the CCR, I also need my tea mug and an ashtray. Our Electrician is always playing Solitaire on the computer in the CCR and the other day when I was in the CCR he saw me smoking and he asked me:
- Are we allowed to smoke here?
- Who's the Boss? I asked.
- You are, he said and fired up a fag.
Well, I kept my self busy pestering our Officers while they were discharging our gasoline, drinking tea and Diet Drinks asking stupid questions.
Well, we finished bulk discharging at 2310 and we intern stripped 4CT to 7CT and we discharged it ashore. We completed just before midnight and they need about 1 hour to disconnect the hose and we are out of here.
Friday 2nd of February 2007 and we left the buoy at 0130. It took us 6 minutes from start unmooring until we were clear of the buoy.
I was in bed by 2 and when I woke up it was ass kickin' from the first minute, well, first a quick cuppa. We need a little something to get started.
175mg PROTECTIVE ANTIOXIDANTS
----------------NATURALLY PER SERVING---------------
Our Bosun had started to prepare the deck for the tank cleaning, for me it was only to sit in the CCR screaming directions in the radio while drinking my tea. As I told the crew at the lunch:
- We have a good life on this ship.
Here every one is doing the stuff for you, the tank radar is fixed by our Electrician. Our Engineers gives me steam on the heaters for the tank cleaning water. They fix ballast pumps and our electrician takes care of all the hydraulic valves etc etc. I remember Astoria with Captain “Fylle Pelle”.
Well, Captain was busy writing to the company that the Chief Officer was paid too much. I saw the reply from the company.
- We agree with you! Chief Officer is paid too much.
Chief Officer were 12 hours on the bridge, then you were on deck repairing the tank radar, putting on the steam for hot water on deck, down in the ballast tanks to check ejectors and running around like a track horse. And on top of this we had to lift the motherfåcking Captain ashore dead drunk. I guess there was nothing to do after the correspondence with the ship owner on how much he was doing and how much the Chief Officer was paid. So way not have a little drink.
It was not worth all money in the world lifting this guy ashore. I mean, we talking a major embarrassment here. Waking up on the floor in Rome, any day of the week. Toilet class to Singapore, any time, just bring it on. (It was the most comfortable flight I ever had, except flying biz)
When they pointed at the crane and asked us if it was the Captain I was so ashamed that the skin was burning.
- No, it's not our Captain! It's a stowaway we found.
Well, when everything was ready we started the cleaning, 10 minutes in every tank with cold sea water and then 1 hour of hot sea water. Those tanks we will load Caustic in ( if we get that voyage) we did 2 hours of hot sea water. Just to be ready for the chemical pot. Then it was 15 minutes of cold fresh water and we were done.
- Well, almost done. We had to stripp all the tanks and then we had to start the ventilating.
The ABs were stand-by on deck, ready to flush our heaters, drop lines and to change tank cleaning machines while I was in the CCR drinking Diet Drinks and listening to music.
Well, the Hip Hop was blasting high in the CCR and my watch man was in to listen. On our first watch on the bridge when I brought my iPod (to connect to the stereo on the bridge) after Panama he asked:
- Do you have any Hip Hop?
Well, the evening went by and at 2300 we stopped the tank cleaning machines. Now it was the stripping for the crew and when they were ready they started the ventilation so we can get gas free. Some welding to be done on deck.
- But you just left dry dock!!!!
- Well, a Scooby shipyard in Poland.
Saturday 3rd of February 2007 and I started my day by checking the gas in the tanks. Well, there was a little gas and not enough oxygen so we continued to ventilate.
Then it was time to discharge the SLOP water (tank cleaning water in to the sea!! The rules are, J are you ready with pen and paper?
We are allowed to discharge water with 15ppm of oil. We are allowed to discharge 1667 litres of oil in to the sea over a certain distance, I think its 30 litres per nautical mile. 1667 litres is 1/30000 part of our previous cargo, 50000+ something m³. Divide this with 30000 and you get 1667 litres to discharge. I discharged about 700m³ of water and 2 litres of gasoline.
Gasoline is very good, it has a low density and is segregated easily. we discharge from the bottom and the gasoline is on top. I stop when we have 5 m left in the tank and the top 14cm was the gasoline. Well, if you ask me it would be forbidden to discharge it in to the sea. But no one wants to pay for it to be delivered ashore. AND YOU WANT TO DRIVE YOUR CAR!
Now imagine a PanamaGreek ship were they put a fresh water hose to the sensor, it will show 0 ppm all the way and they discharge the oil straight in to the sea.
Well, at 1515 it was time for fire drill and safety meeting. It was not long a go it was Christmas and we had not got any Christmas gifts.
This is what I like about changing ships all the times, you ending up with plenty Christmas gifts.
We were also informed about the “ Secret prize ” for the 2 most safety minded crew members.
- Yeah, what's that? A cookie and a smile, I asked.
When we were ready with our Safety meeting I asked the crew to go on starboards bridge wing for a group picture. A tradition by now, appreciated by the crew, only 5€ per copy. They were all lined up for a copy before I even had time to turn of the camera. But then, 5€ is an offer you don't want to miss.
TEAM Kick ass
After the drill I measured CT 1+ 3 for gas, but there were 5% LEL in 3CT so we continued and when I had discharged the SLOPS overboard 3+1 CT were gas free and the changed the blowers to 5+6 CT.
I was back in my cabin listening to Hip Hop with my new headphones. We got a pair of nice headphones for Christmas gift. It was the kind, well, I don't know, but there are batteries and buttons to push. I think it's for airplanes but I connected them to my iPod and the bas was stompin'.
I wish I could send some of my music to J. But in his company there is a list of Don'ts regarding the e-mail that's longer then my list of failed diets over the years.
- Jaja, Masken, skratta inte du! Listan med Dont's e inte kortare hos Såsse Line eller va d nu hetter där du jobbar.
Well, var var vi? Jaja, I can't wait to get my new headphones on and to get out on my walking track again. I haven't been walking much lately, not to talk about my language course.
- Where did I put my books again?
But I have been busy with discharging and tank cleaning. I was planning to bring my books to the CCR during the tank cleaning, but I forgot them in my cabin.
My plan was to, this must be plan #10000000000 that goes down the drain. But it's not too late yet. I brought my books so I can strike my language teachers with amazement. When I arrive to school I can imagine them thinking:
- Oh, here we have the wanker again. He never gives up.
After three months on the ship with my school books it will be a totally different tune.
I'm out of here! It will be a day tomorrow as well and my wrist watch just started to bip and I must try to get a stop to it. The DARN thing bips every half hour and I managed to get a stop to it. But after my latest “ Adjusting the time ” adventure it has started to bip again.
Sunday 4th of February 2007 and I woke up at 10 o'clock and I had a shower before going to my office. On the door is says: “ Administration center ” and this is the place to be if you're looking for action and good music.
I started my day with a Diet Drink and a fag and according to my dietician this is the best start if you are serious with your diet.
After my fag(s) I went on deck to measure the gas in our tanks, we have planned to inspect the tanks during the day and they need to be gas free. After the measurement we went on a tour checking what we need to weld on deck, it was much. But we have a few days, ETA Panama 9th and we expect to transit the Canal the 11th or 12th.
I discharged the last from our SLOP tank before lunch, I left 50m³ in the tank. At lunch we decided to go down in the cargo tanks at 1330 and we should meet at CT1.
I brought the gas detecting instrument and I was stand-by at 1330. Our Chief Engineer and 1st Engineer should inspect our pumps. Our Engine Cadet wanted to come along, he had never seen any cargo tanks before. Exciting!
We found two leaking pumps, no 5 & 6. We had been suspected that there were something wrong with them after purging 15 to 20 litres from the cofferdams.
Well, we were finished just before 5 o'clock and I had a shower and a cold Diet Drink before the dinner. I expected the guys to come around my cabin for a cold Diet Surprise. When we were inspecting the tanks they said:
- I hope we're ready before 5 so we can have a cold beer before dinner.
- Beer! I can offer you a cold Diet Drink in my cabin at 5, I said
- OK, we'll be there, 1st Engineer said.
Well, I was sitting there like a fool waiting while writing on my web page.
On the way to the mess room I stopped at the CCR and our Electrician and I changed the paper in the ODME and when I showed up in my new TANKER Maritime T-shirt in the mess room everyone were surprised. When I took the T-shirt they were looking at me like I was crazy.
- That will never fit!
Well, I'm off to bed. We are advancing ships time by one hour tonight and that means one hour less sleep.
Monday 5th of February 2007 and I woke up by a knock on the door. Well, I went to bed early, there is no better sleeping pill than hard work, so it was not to bad getting up.
Even though J is missing my “ Minute by minute ” reports from my showers I will not go in to any details.
After my watch I measured the gas in our tanks so they could start the welding on deck. I was, well, not singing while measuring the tanks. But I was in an up beat mode after getting started with my language course during the morning watch. I'm back
After lunch I measured 5CT for our 1st Engineer and Eng Cadet so they could go down and repair our cargo pump. When they were finished I invited them to the ADMINISTRATION CENTER for a Diet Drink and some good music.
When we saw the bottoms of our cans I returned to my paper work. Oil Record Books, permits and blah-blah-bla, there is no end to it.
I finished just before 5 o'clock and it was nice to take a shower, I had been up and running since 0400.
After dinner (salad and pineapple) I went on deck with a big hammer, everything on deck should stand being hammered on. Otherwise it had to be fixed and this is a good opportunity when we are gas free and we have welders on deck.
Well, before going back to my cabin I stopped by at the Administration Center to check my e-mail.
Well, there was an e-mail and I quote:
“ You know what? Last time we were talking about you. And I can tell that you're a good guy ”
This is the kind of e-mail I like to receive.
I can't help thinking about our Turkish volunteer on Rainbow Warrior, I have received exactly 0 e-mails from her.
This is what I tried to explain, but no one ever listen. Time to leave the ship:
- I need your e-mail and phone number, I will call you every day and send millions of mails.
- Don't bother, after 3 days home you have forgot all about us, unless you have a life at home.
After checking my e-mail I went to Captains office, I need to order a new iPod in Panama or Houston. Captain told me that he thought it might be cheaper to order it in Houston.
- Never mind the price. I need one quickly, I said.
My old one has served me good but now it's time to say good bye.
Tuesday 6th of February 2007 and I was in my best mode when they knocked on my door at 0340, my favourite time of the day. After my watch we got right on to the gas measuring business so the boys could start working on deck.
Bosun, 2nd Engineer and I were busy tightening all the bolts on the bottom of the cargo pumps, well, I was on deck watching giving pointers on the radio.
Our 1st Engineer and 2 Engine Cadets and an AB were busy inspecting the pump stacks. The were lowered down from the top of the tanks and they tighten bolts and listened for leaks on the way to the bottom.
Engine Cadet on the way down in the tank
They started with 1CT and our Engine Cadet was soon disappearing down the tank. There is a hatch on top of the pump stack and it's 17,5m down to the bottom. So you should not have a tendency for suffering from vertigo when doing the job. Especially when sitting on a piece of board at the end of a rope 17,5m over ground.
When they were ready with 1CT it was almost time for lunch and after lunch they were continuing with 8CT. Our 1st Engineer wished to take the board tour down the hole. Well, he just put down his foot through the hole when the board started to creak. So our Engine Cadet had to do the tour again. Not only that, they had forgot to check one of the connections in 1CT so they had to do it again.
1st Engineer had to give up
Mean while our Engine Department did the check of the pump stacks our Bosun and 2nd Engineer did the bottom part of the pump. But of course not in the same tank as the Engine Department were working in.
2nd Engineer and Bosun enters one of our cargo tanks
If they should drop a sledge hammer or something else from 17,5m, yeah, you can imagine your self how fun it would be working at the bottom when a sledge hammer hits you in 200
The rest of the crew kept themselves busy chipping and welding the tank hatches. She will soon look Swedish again.
Swedish or not, we also need a little rest and I told our 1st Engineer to drop by my cabin at 1715 for an ice cold Diet Drink. But when I came to my cabin it was already 1710.
- What the....!!??
It was 4 o'clock just a minute ago and now it's 10 past 5. I checked my clock and the time really was 1710. I had just stopped at the Administration Center for a little paperwork, ok, I also stopped by the galley to check out the menu
SALAD, good, I will be able to continue my healthy life style.
Our kitchen department were busy, but not so busy that our Cook didn't had time to treat me on a coffin pin in the crew mess room.
- Chief! Are you married? He asked.
- WHY NOT!!??
- Oh, I have a cousin, she is very beautiful, he said.
- I will talk with her next time I call home. Oh, this will be very good, he said.
After dinner I was tired, but as I said to Captain:
- If I go to bed now I will wake up 2 o'clock in the morning.
So I asked for new movies and my master plan was to watch a movie and then go to bed. Well, Captain went to get the key to the slop chest and he gave me two cartons of cigarettes. Well, I could as well taka a chocolate bar for the movie when he had gone through all the trouble to open the door.
Well, it took me an hour before the movie was up and running. I don't know what they had done with the DVD player, but it took me an hour to get the sound. There were all the sounds but not a word when they spoke. So I had to change all the cables and of course the remote didn't work.
I was in bed at 9 but I didn't manage to fall a sleep until late. The ship started to roll heavily and I was in a bad mood.
Wednesday 7th of February 2007 and I was in my best mode when they knocked on my door at 0340, my favourite time of the day.
When I came to the day room after my watch Captain asked if I needed more Diet Drinks.
- I can order in Panama, he said.
- OK, order 10 cases of Diet Drinks, I said.
- Hmm, or maybe not. I should give up the Diet Drinks, I said.
- But it might come in handy when representing in the ADMINISTRATION CENTER, I said.
After gas measuring they continued the welding on deck and I had paper work to do. I needed to order some stuff for Panama and planning the jobs for the guys on deck. There is plenty to do and we will try to get it organised. But of course there is always some “EMERGENCY” works coming up fåcking up the whole plan, but I'm used to plans going down the drains. Like my 1 hour nap in the afternoon, it turned out to be a 3 hours power nap and I woke up just in time for dinner. And at 7 I had planned to watch a movie with the 1st Engineer, the second movie since I came onboard.
Thursday 8th of February 2007 and I was in my best mode when they knocked on my door at 0340, my favourite time of the day.
Actually it was 0240, we had advanced ships time by 1 hour during the night. Maybe it's my imagination, but I feel a little bit better when they call me at 0240.
At 0340 I'm in deep sleep and it's very hard to get up, but at 0240 I had just managed to fall asleep.
Well, gas measuring after my watch and then paper work. After lunch I went down in SLOP tank starboard with our 1st Engineer to inspecting the pump and heating coils.
Well, too much work and not enough sit down relax. I told our 1st Engineer that it was time for a Diet Drink in the ECR.
- I will be down in 2 minutes with a few cold Diet Drinks, I said.
I went to get a few drinks in the refrigerator and I went down to the engine room.
Was I lucky or what? I arrived just in time for the action, our 2nd Engineer pushed a button when I stepped in to the ECR and luckily enough my camera was stand-by.
Our 1st Engineer brought me an ash try and we could sit down enjoying our drinks. 2nd Engineer and 1st Engineer were looking at my pictures that I copied to the 1st Engineers hard drive a few days ago.
Well, when our Engine Cadet came and started to making faces I could see no end to the enjoyment.
We were talking about the good old times while drinking the drinks and when we were ready it was time for coffee break. I well needed coffee break, representing is a no nonsense business.
Well, we managed to beat the boredom, busy with interesting job. But when we turned on a DVD in the evening the boredom strokes us hard. It was the movie OMEN 666 and with out exaggeration we could have cut this almost 2 hour long move to something 2-3 minutes long. But I was not in charge over the remote and all of us were sleeping except our Electrician. He was very enthusiastic about this movie.
When were talking about boredom I can as well mention that I got e-mail from J the other day. He had sent an SMS to a girl he meet at my place a year ago. I can imagine J sitting in his cabin bored to death pondering on what to do.
- Ah, I send an SMS to this girl.
- Hmm, maybe he's just love sick.
Friday 9th of February 2007 and I woke up at 0430. I had told the 2nd Officer not to wake me up for my watch. I took a shower and I went to the bridge to relieve him.
At 8 o'clock it was time to measure gas again, the fun is killing me. We have had some problem with our grit blaster, but now our engine department have opened the air supply to full out on deck and they are kickin' behinds with the grit blaster. I was in a good mood thinking.
- Soon we can take down the Liberia flag and hoist the Swedish flag.
Our Mess man wants to become a Deck Trainee and he takes every opportunity to be on deck. During our tank cleaning he was spending the night stripping tanks and stuff with the crew. This is the spirit we are looking for!
I managed to get 1 hour on top of my bed between 1045 and 1145. A quick shower and lunch. Our electrician had been busy yesterday repairing our remote valves to the cargo and ballast tanks. We tested all of them yester day, but 4 were still malfunctioning. He fixed them yesterday and I tested them after
lunch. They were all working now and I was happy. Now we don't need to hand pump them from deck any more.
We have ETA 1 o'clock tomorrow morning to the anchorage. Maximum permitted trim in the Panama Canal is 6 feet. So I had to transfer some ballast from DB 4P/S to FP and then I pumped out ballast from Db 4P/S until we were on even keel. We will get 730 tons of bunkers at the anchorage and this will trim us 90cm by stern.
On my daily afternoon visit to the ECR it was frolic and lark as usually. I, you know me, always tries to give a serious impression, but it's impossible in the ECR.
Between all the larks and frolic we managed to decide to throw a Plötsligt i Vinslöv (Suddenly in Vinslöv) evening.
- OK, let's meet at 2000, I said.
- I need a shower, let's say 2015, our Electrician said very excited.
Our electrician is from Russia, but lives in Estonia. But I doubt that he will appreciate the Swedish documentary about Vinslöv. But on the DVD there are English subtitles.
Well, we kept our selves busy running around looking busy. I was purging our SLOP tanks with nitrogen and I was in my cabin at 7. Time for a few words on my web page and a shower before going to the Day room at 2015. I stepped in to the day room a few minutes after 8 o'clock and it didn't take long until the rest arrived.
Well, while watching the film I really appreciated my situation, it could have been much worse. Well, as my look out on Rainbow Warrior said:
- You have a job, nice home and you have done a lot of fun things in you life.
Bingolotto - Saturday night excitements in Vinslöv
For sure the crew going home was happy, they will leave us 11th in the morning. But it was not without drama, Captain told me that their relievers would not come. Their flight had been cancelled and they would miss us in Panama.
- Can you ask the guys if they want to stay? If they want they can go home, we have enough of people onboard, Captain said.
As no surprise they all wanted to go home.
Saturday 10th of February 2007 and I woke up at 8 o'clock. I looked out of my window and I saw Panama City. We also had a bunker barge alongside delivering bunker to us.
In the afternoon they delivered provisions to us. I got 10 cases of Diet Drinks and two new boiler suits. We also got 10 drums of tank cleaning chemicals and I asked our Bosun to paint the top of the drums in different colours so now we have a colour scheme so we know what's in the drums. When I came onboard we didn't know exactly what the different drums contained.
During the evening we watched a movie, X-men. It was quiet in the day room. Must have been a boring movie, otherwise its lark and row during the movie. I think two were sleeping, I still haven't got this confirmed. One thing is for sure, I was almost a sleep.
Sunday 11th of February 2007 and this day will go to the history as a totally pointless day. I woke up at 0745 and we were approaching the first lock when I looked out of my window.
Nothing happened during the day, we passed the Canal with two men less on deck. The OS on my watch and the Deck trainee had left early morning. Most of the crew remaining were stand-by forward and aft.
Well, no ass to kick on deck and I had to entertain my self. I went to the ECR to borrow a tool for my gas detector.
Our Electrician have a work shop next to the ECR and it didn't take long to find the tool required to dismantle the gas detector.
There is nothing to do about the gas detector and I will send it ashore in next port. After lunch I was busy at the Administration Center throwing old binders and paper. There are some shit accumulating during the years and it was nice to get rid of some of it.
Everything went to the incinerator and now I have some space for new papers and binders. Just to start all over again
I had lunch with the cousin to the President of Panama. One of our Pilots came for lunch and he was the cousin to the President. He told me that they used to talk before, but he had not spoken to him since he became the President two years ago.
- Well, he must be busy running this Scooby country, I suggested.
We left the last lock at 1645 and I'm really not in a hurry back to the Panama Canal or Panama. At dinner the Cook was all over me:
- Our Fitter wants to borrow a case of Diet Drinks from you.
When I was in the crew mess the 2nd Engineer asked if he could borrow a case as well. Hmm, it's the same every time I get my Diet Drinks onboard. Suddenly the ordinary drinks are not good anymore. Well, I will give them the 2 cases and they can order new Diet Drinks for me in the US of A.
I had finished my dinner together with the Electrician and 2nd Officer just after 6 o'clock and I was in the day room when the other arrived for dinner around 1900.
noun (pl. -ies) a dwarf bramble
with white flowers and edible
orange fruit, which grows on the
mountains and moor lands of
northern Eurasia and northern
- Hey! Aladdin! Did you get any deep fried camembert cheese with cloudberry preserves. Cloudberry, well, now I know that at least J had to open his dictionary.
They more or less forced me to have a second sitting at the dinner table, but first I filled my mug with tea. I was ready for sponge cake and deep fried camembert, cloudberry preserves? Just bring it on!
Monday 12th of February 2007 and I was in my best mode when they knocked on my door at 0340, my favourite time of the day.
Monday again, and what to say. I'm trying to begin my new life every Monday and you fåck up every Monday and you have to wait until next Monday. During the week you feel good even though you are munching on cloudberry preserves and Raggmunkar by thinking that you will begin your new life on Monday.
I had a new plan, I would start a new life yesterday, on a Sunday. But it failed and today I will be serious and try real hard, or I will jump overboard.
I discovered that someone had been eating all my oatmeal's on the bridge, Well, I had to drink Diet Drinks instead of the oatmeal. It was rolling so I could only enjoy one cup of tea. The ship started to roll during the night and I woke up two times.
After lunch we received e-mail to go to NORCO for order. Load one big parcel of gasoline and then go to Houston to load two small parcels of gasoline on top. Well, I hope we get the computer wiz onboard in Houston so we can get our internet connection up and running.
Tuesday 13th of February 2007 and it was nice weather when I came on the bridge at 0800. We could see lightning in the horizon, but whenever got any rain. Typical, when you want rain you never get it. It would be nice with some fresh water on the ship, she is full of salt that had been blowing up on deck yesterday.
When I came down from my watch I made my self a cup of tea and I went to the Administration Center. I checked my e-mail, lo and behold, there was an e-mail from our Lebanese Doctor. She seemed a little unsure about the e-mail address because she wrote:
“Is this my teddy bear Aladdin?”
I replied and in the afternoon I received yet another e-mail saying:
“I hope you stay in touch this time and don't disapear”
What can I say? She's the one disappearing to Angola with Doctors without borders and now she says that I disappeared. Well, I will never understand how they think.
Well, our 1st engineer was on the bridge drinking coffee on my watch and I told him that I will change our ballast today.
- Can I start a power pack at 0810? I asked.
- No worries!
- I also need the IG to purge our tanks, I said.
- No worries!
I need to inert our tanks before arrival, it should be less than 8% oxygen in the tanks and thus an explosion is prevented. But it's no good for the environment. Well, all the ice is soon gone anyway.
I started to discharge our ballast at 0840 and then they took over on the bridge. We change all our ballast to prevent spreading animals and organisms with the ballast water.
At STATOIL's refinery in Denmark there are some very big fishes that don't belong to the waters of Europe. They have arrived with ballast and they are able to survive just because there is a power plant with hot water outlet.
We tested our emergency cargo pump after the coffee break and it was working well.
At 5 o'clock I measured the oxygen content in our cargo tanks, around 13%. I will measure tomorrow again and then we will see how it looks.
After the measuring I was busy doing cargo planning. We will load 5 parcels and mix it onboard for discharging in Mexico. First load port is New Orleans and the last 4 parcels will be loaded in Houston.
We will load the cargoes evenly in all tanks and then recirculation it on the way to Mexico so they get their special gasoline. They said that they use this special mix in Mexico City because of the altitude.
Today I found out that our Bosun has a 3rd Officers license. I suggested to Captain that we should promote him instead of having the other Officer coming onboard
I don't understand the company, here we have an “ASS KICKER” onboard that knows the ship and they want to send someone else. Our Bosun knows everything on deck and this is the kind of people we want to have onboard when the shit hits the fan.
I watched a movie with our 1st Engineer and Engine Cadet before returning to my language course in my cabin at 2200. Well, it was like 2100 because we will retard ships time with one hour during the night.
Wednesday 14th of February 2007 and it's Valentine's day. but no Happy Valentine
e-mail when I checked my e-mail after my watch. Well, there was e-mail from J. Pissin' and moaning as usually.
And, there was actually a Happy Valentine e-mail from Miss “ You know what? Last time we were talking about you. And I can tell that you're a good guy ”.
Well, when I was ready reading all the e-mails I went on deck to measure the oxygen contents in our cargo tanks. It was between 6 and 7,9%. I will let it go for a few hours more and I will test again.
Then I was busy in front of my computer doing cargo calculations and filling up our ballast log. I managed to keep my self busy until lunch with the paper work and checking our vapour return lines. Our lines need welding before arrival and I was in a bad mood. Everything you touch here turns to shit.
The grit blaster had not been out for several day, and the deck really need some serious grit blasting. But we need to repair broken stuff first.
After lunch the oxygen was between 5,2 and 6,9% in the tanks and I turned of the IG, just in time for our fire drill at 1515.
US Coastguard will carry out an inspection of the ship before we are allowed to go alongside, well, according to US Coastguard we have an excellent record and they allowed us to go alongside to start the cargo operation. But Shell doesn't allow us to have the inspection along side. But we received e-mail and there is a ship before us and we will drop the anchor for about 24 hours on Mississippi, and then the Coastguard will take the opportunity to check us out.
After the fire drill we held a MOB drill with Williamson's turn and after that we had an emergency steering drill. Well, that pretty much covers my day. I was of to my cabin for Diet Drink and a shower.
Thursday 15th of February 2007 and I woke up at 7 o'clock while steaming up the River Mississippi.
- What the BIP! No one called me at 0340.
I had been sleeping for quite a few hours so it was nice. But I was concerned about our Captain, before going to bed yesterday I told him that I would come to the bridge to spend some “ QUALITY TIME ” with him. Well, I guess we have to do it some other time.
- Hmm, I just hope it wasn't because what I said about coffee.
Someone said that it will be nice steaming up the River Mississippi watching the views and drinking coffee.
- COFFEE??!! No we will drink tea. It's only old gossipmongers drinking Coffee.
Well, I had to start my day with a cancer stick and a Diet Drink in my cabin while writing
Dietician (also dietitian)
noun an expert on diet and
a little something on my web page. According to my dietician this is the best start on a new day.
When I finished my Diet Drink I went to the bridge to get some times and then I went down to the Administration Center for some paper work and a mug tea. I have a pack of Sunflower seed bread on my desk so I don't have to stop at the mess room for food. A slice of this black bread with my tea and I'm ready to kick behinds all day long.
I was in my office reading e-mail when our 1st Engineer passed.
- Have you had your breakfast? He asked.
- No, I have my tea and black bread on my office.
I gave it a second thought:
- But if you need company I can join you, I said.
I took my tea mug and I went to the mess room. I found our 1st Engineer busy in the galley doing a omelette. I ordered some plain bacon from the Mess man and I returned for 2 minutes of paper work before returning to the mess room. We had our breakfast while looking at the harsh landscape along Mississippi.
At 10 o'clock Captain called me on the radio:
- We will not drop the anchor, we will go alongside and start loading at arrival.
I went on deck to go a tour with Bosun to prepare the ship for arrival. I almost soiled myself when I stepped out on deck.
Motherfånker! It was ice cold and I turned right back before taking my second step on deck.
- I hope I brought my fur hat, I thought for my self when going to my cabin to check my suitcase (The wheeled unit)
Well, I was lucky, it was the first thing I saw when I stepped in to my cabin. I took it on and I was ready for the harsh weather.
When I was ready on deck I was quick to return to my office and a mug of hot tea. Our 1st Engineer stopped by for a chat, but the Electrician is never far away from the 1st Engineer.
- Problem this and that!
I was soon alone again and I could do my last paper work before going on deck to check everything. We need to line up everything and as responsible Officer you should check so everything is open that should be open.
I opened all our nitrogen valves to the tanks, they are connected to our Vapour return line and they will use one when we load. All the gas is going back ashore when we load instead of just going out in the air.
We passed New Orleans while I was busy on deck.
We arrived to NORCO at 1635 and we had all fast at 1745. At 1845 we were called to see the immigration at Captains Office and we received our shore pass. Well, Chief Officer never has time to go ashore.
At 1915 our Loading Master and Surveyor came and we started right off with the paper work. I asked about the weather, I will remember running around in shorts last time here.
- This is very cold, the spring should be in full swing by now, the Loading Master said.
On TV they were talking about freezing temperatures and they warned people.
- Protect you piping, pets and plants.
Well, we could start loading at 20:45 and we expect about 23 hours for the loading.
Well, I could return to my cabin at 22:30 and I checked my e-mail with my
phone. There was a message from young Mr Electrician on Rainbow Warrior, better known as the fiddler. He was always practicing with his violin and I sneaked up on him with my camera, I don't know if he appreciated the attention.
Well, when he is world famous you should remember where you saw the video first.
I'm proud to say that I did my language study before going to bed, my Teachers won't believe their ears when I'm back in town.
- Unbelievable! He has been study so hard for all these months and he still talks so no one understands.
Friday 16th of February 2007 and they knocked on my door at 7 o'clock.
- OK, I'm awake! I screamed from my bed.
I stumbled out in my day room grabbing a fag on my desk. Then I was at my refrigerator in two steps and I had a cold Diet drink in my hand before very soon. Then I turned on the music and I was sitting at my desk philosophize on my healthy life style:
- This time I really made it!
Well, I had a shower and I was off to the CCR to check out the progress with the cargo operation. When I opened the door to my cabin I almost felt over two pillows. Our 1st Engineer managed to get me two pillows, very good.
Everything looked good in the CCR and I went to the galley to get some tea. I filled my plastic mug that I bought in Panama with tea. I was at the refrigerator topping up the darn thing with milk when I could hear the 1st Engineer bellow behind me:
- What the h**l is wrong with the mug I bought to you yesterday?
He was standing in the door with the biggest mug I had ever seen. I mean, it was colossal. Fåck, the Captain on Rainbow warrior would have been green of envy if he had seen it. He liked big mugs so I gave him one of those I bought in Singapore. But this mug was like an thimble in comparison.
I must have missed my new mug when I took my old mug. Well, it must have looked like a stoup when I came in to the galley. I almost washed my hands in the darn thing.
I was in a very good mod when I went to the Administration Center. Ok, who the he** came up with the idea to call it the Administration Center? What's wrong with the Office?
I could not believe my eyes when I saw yet another one of those grotesque tea buckets on my desk.
- They must have built the frigging bucket on a ship yard, I thought.
For Christ's sake, after filling the first bucket we were running out of hot water onboard. Well, as I said to 1st Engineer:
- I don't know if I will bring them back home. Usually I leave my mugs onboard, but I doubt that I will find something like this again.
A few minutes past 8 o'clock the US Coastguard stepped over the gangway and not long after I had a guy checking out the CCR.
OK, I'm getting a little tired so I'm off to try out my new pillows.
- I had only been up for a little while so please don't tell anyone that I went to bed.
I told everyone that I would attend an important meeting. So this will be our secret.
I had been in my bed for 10 minutes when 2nd Officer called on the radio.
- 1st Engineer wants to talk to you.
- OK, what is it?
- I need to talk with you about the Marclean
- OK, I'm coming down! I bring a few cold Diet drinks, I said.
- No, I'm coming to your cabin.
He arrived with two ordinary drinks and I had to refuse his offer about a soft drink. I took a diet Drink from my refrigerator and we had a chat while enjoying the drinks. When he left I was back in my bed. The new pillows had turned my cabin from a shanty to a 5 star hotel and I slept like a baby.
OK, where were we? OK, the US Coast guard in the CCR. We did an inspection on deck and they asked questions. we finished the inspection with a fire drill and a life boat muster. The only thing they found in my department was the alarm for power failure on the high level alarms. Our Electrician was working on the problem while they were waiting.
- I FIX! NO PROBLEMS!
Our electrician is maybe a wee bit on the loud side when he is excited. Our 1st Engineer use to have ear protections when our electrician is too excited.
- This is beautiful! NO worries! I fix. You just wait.
I could see that our US Coastguard visitors wanted to leave, but our Electrician would not let them.
- 3 SECONDS! IT'S BEAUTIFUL!!!!
The US Coastguard had to escape down the stairway with the Electrician after them.
- IN 3 SECONDS IT WILL WORK BEAUTIFUL!!!!
US Coastguard were running off the ship and we were alone again. I went to my cabin for a Diet Drink and when I was back there was an Inspector from SHELL in the CCR. We talked about the good old times and he told me what a nice ship we had.
Our SHELL Inspector was beaming of joy when he left the ship. I promised him that he would appear on www.aladdin.st. He got my web address and I told him that he could find everything about my ships there. He had been working on SHELL tankers for 11 years so he would POP by ASAP to check it out.
After lunch I went to my cabin for a power nap with my new pillows. But first a few words on my web page while sucking on a Diet Drink. I'm pushing 12 cans a day and I really have to give it up.
Well, our 2nd and 3rd Officer had done a great job during the cargo operation, as I said to the 3rd Officer:
- When its time to kick arse you have to call the arse kickers.
We completed loading at 2205 and surveyor came onboard 1 hour later.
- Oh, this is my favourite band, he said when he heard my music.
Saturday 17th of February 2007 and the Surveyor left at 1 o'clock. Now we only wait for the papers, expected to arrive around 5 or 6 o'clock in the morning. We also need the final API so we can get the correct cargo figures.
- Load MIN/MAX 170000 net Bbls, but we don't have any API to give you!
- OK, easy peacy pancake!
At least I and the Surveyor got a good laugh out of it.
-MIN/MAX is a stupid nomination, it's impossible, our Surveyor said.
- Yeah, it usually means MAX but as close as possible. But why don't they give up the MIN/MAX designation?
Well, MIN/MAX means a little different in different companies. Sometimes is just that you should wear a colourful hat while loading.
Our 2nd Officer came in to the Administration Center when I was babbling on and on with our Surveyor. We were busy slapping each others backs going on about us being God's gift to the tanker industry.
- Where did you get you cap? He asked.
It was a red Alpha Ship cap and I told him that I got it when I was working on Pegasus.
- I was in Alpha Ship for 5 years as an Electrician, he said.
We had the same experience from this company. No food and treating the Ukrainian crew like shit. He confirmed the story I heard on Pegasus. when people were sick they just sent them home with the first flight, without any stop at the Doctor.
Well, it works like this, and this is fully legal??!!!!!
When the crew is back in Odessa the company don't have any responsibility anymore, even if they drop dead at the Immigration on the airport. One Bosun died on the ship and the family ended up with zip. Falling down from a container, crippled for life.
- Well, bad luck. Ask someone to place you at a street corner and you can beg for money.
And people running the company can sleep well during the nights. No remorse or regrets, for them the crew are just like garbage they can treat how ever they want.
- Let them fåcking monkeys be hungry!
I had to steal food for the crew and you don't win a million if you can figure out how popular I was at the company HQ.
- There is no food for the crew, I told captain.
- They only eat the food, was the reply.
Well, they complained to the Superintendent and he only said:
-It's your problem, there are plenty people starving in poor countries that wants to come here.
Must be nice to have a company when all your employees are looking for a new job. They can only keep the crew that can't find any other job. But they all send out colourful pamphlets with a happy crew.
THE CREW IS OUR MOST IMPORTANT ASSET
At 5 o'clock they knocked on my door and I went down to my office (I had grown tired of writing Administration Center by now) and there were a few Scooby document to sign. Then I had to wait until 7 o'clock when the Agent came onboard. No representative from the Terminal so our Agent had to sign the cargo documents.
Pilot was ordered for 0745 and he was on the bridge when I came up. Captain and one AB at the wheel were also present. It was a sunny and beautiful morning, but it was a wee bit cold.
I asked the Pilot about the crocodiles in the river and he confirmed that they had crocodiles in the river, but not many. And they were not eating humans.
We started to single up at 8 o'clock and at 0813 we were off the jetty, departed for Corpus Christi. I can't say that I was in a hurry back to NORCO, Mississippi. The cargo operation went smooth, but 12 hours on the river is a little bit too much for me.
Well, I had a fag (quite a few of them) and a Diet Drink and I was in bed by 0930 and I woke up at 1330 for a new fag and Diet Drink. It might be my imagination, but I think I'm shrinking. I have to ask the crew at the dinner.
Sunday 18th of February 2007 and I woke up at 8 o'clock. I went straight to my office after my morning fag and Diet Drink.
I started right of with the CDI paper I started to fill up yesterday. we will have a CDI inspection in Corpus Christi and I prepare my self by answering all the questions in advance. So when the Inspector starts asking his question I just check my pre answered questions. I make small notes after each question with references to different documents.
There was one question about the marking of our chemicals so I put our AB on the job to mark our drums with caustic with, yeah, you guessed it. CAUSTIC.
BREAKER BREAKER! Yesterday I got a pile of DVDs and CDs of our 1st Engineer. when I came back from my office and my CDI questions I burnt a CD with some of my music. I WILL NEVER HAVE TO LISTEN TO AC/DC ON MY STEREO AGAIN. I only had a CD with AC/DC that the previous Chief Officer forgot in the stereo. Now the Acid Jazz is blasting high in my cabin.
Well, it was a great relief after 4 weeks of only AC/DC, hmm, there was also a CD “ 25 years with Boppers ” but I never tried it.
OK, where were we? Oh yeah, they were marking our caustic drums and I continued to read books and stuff to look for all the answers. I hope I'm prepared now. I had planned a oil spill drill with Bosun for 1230. But it seems like there was someone thinking of this as a bright idea and suddenly we were facing a long list of drills at 1300.
We meet at the bridge 1300 and I started to ask the crew if they knew what our yellow drums were used for.
- It's for oil spill!
- Right, as I told you Bosun. It's the previous crew that had used them as trash bins.
Then I talked a little about personal protection and when we were almost a sleep we divided us in to 5 groups. We should start: emergency generator, lifeboat engine, MOB engine, emergency fire pump and we should check out our FOAM system. Just as a refreshment id the CDI Inspector will ask anyone from the crew if they know how to do it. Now it will be fresh in mind.
I started at the emergency generator together with one of our Mess men and on of the ABs. Our Electrician was waiting for us, ready to show us how the darn thing is working. First we started with the electric start motor, just to push a button. The we used a lever to pump up 100 bar in the start motor and we managed to start the engine without any electricity as well. All working good.
When we were ready with the emergency generator I took the mess man and AB and we went to the lifeboat were the Engine Cadet was waiting. He showed us how to start the engine, pretty exciting if you ask me.
Starting the lifeboat engine
It was like we could not get enough of excitement today. We finished the lifeboat and we dashed of to our MOB boat. Our nimble 3rd Engineer was waiting for us. Before soon the engine were roaring and the Mess man tried to start the engine, one pull and it was running.
I remember Pegasus, every time they should launch the MOB they had to give up. It never started, well, a hungry crew have other things on their minds than a shitty MOB boat.
OK, I don't know if I have time to tell you this, well, what time is it? we arrive 0400 and I'm expected to kick ass all day long tomorrow. Ok, its 2055 and this will go quick I hope, Trip Hop is blasting high and I'm in a good mood. A Diet Drink next to me and a fresh lit cancer stick.
In Saudi Arabia we had a port state control.
- Your draft is hardly readable. If you come back like this it will be a hefty fine.
Captain got the runs and when we dropped anchor outside Gibraltar he thought it would be a good idea to launch the MOB to paint our draft mark and load lines. But first he needed to ask for permission, I was on the bridge so I can affirm all the events. OK, we needed permission from the port authorities to launch our MOB boat. we had 2 or 3 VHF radios on the bridge. First call was made to the agent and Captains knowledge of the English language were slim, at least to say.
- Saudi ArabialoadlineMOB put in the sea EMERGENCY PAINTING
- Fine next timePORTSTATESAUDIARABIAwhen we coming backEMERGENCY PAINTING!!!!!!!!!!!
The Captain disappeared out on starboards bridge wing and he came back from the port bridge wing. Grabbing on of the radios.
- EMERGENCYPAINTINGare we allowed too paintwithMOBboat? SAUDIARABIA
- What's the emergency? The port authorities asked.
-SAUDI ARABIA!!!PORT STATE!!
Captain disappeared out on starboards bridge wing again. By now I was screaming of laughter behind the chart table I was almost wetting my self.
Captain came running in on the bridge from port bridge wing. By now I was crying of laughter.
- ThisCAPTAIN speakingEMERGENCYPAINTING permission.
There was an alarmed voice on the radio.
- What's the emergency?
By now I was hopping that there was nothing even remotely resembling of the Swedish flag visible on the ship. They sounded more and more alarming ashore.
- What the hell is going on out there? Are we under attack!? Is Admiral Horatio Nelson back?! We better launch the Spanish armada again.
All this for nothing, when the MOB was launched they could not start the motor. I can just imagine if there is a fire onboard and you have that Captain running around on the bridge. You must knock him unconscious and lock him up in the toilet.
They had a fire drill: FIRE IN A CONTAINER ON DECK. Fire squad were quickly on the scene with fire hoses spraying the container. OK, now they got the picture.
They reported to the bridge that the fire was extinguished. Now they should have stood down, the drill was a success. Fire squad was quickly on the scene.
- Keep cooling the container!
They were sitting there for 45 minutes spraying water on a container just because someone was irresolute and perplexed on the bridge. But it sound good when you speak with the company.
- Today we had a real fire drill. I drilled the crew for 45 minutes. I did this and I did that, blah-blah-bla.
Well, when our Mess man had started the MOB engine we went to the FOAM room, I had time for a quick cig. We meet our 1st Engineer in the FOAM room and when we were ready I asked who had won the CHOCOLATE COOKIE
- Chocolate cookie???
- Which group were best? I asked.
- All groups were good, he said.
- No one sticking out as a little extra good? I asked.
- DARN! No chocolate cookie!
When we were ready we went to the steering gear room and our 2nd Engineer were waiting, he was laughing when we came. he is always happy. We had soon the emergency fire pump up and running and we returned to the CCR.
We had been in the CCR for a few seconds when the fire alarm went off. It was from the emergency generator. smoke from the funnel and the alarm went off. Good now everyone were in the CCR and as I said to the bridge.
- Everyone present in the CCR. False alarm and I will start the Oil Spill drill Extravaganza.
Well, when we finished our drill I returned to my office, when I have time I will figure out how much time I'm saving just by using the word office instead of ADMINISTRATION CENTER.
I continued the CDI questions and I did the cargo planning for Corpus Christi and Houston.
Well, time to finish. I will do some language studies before going to bed while listening to my new CD. The music is blasting high on the Richter scale and I will burn more of my music to CDs tomorrow. 30GB of music makes about 43 CDs.
STAY TUNED and Cykeln på köpet och blah-blah-bla
Monday 19th of February 2007 and they knocked on my door at 0325.
- 10 minutes to go!
When I came to the bridge they told me it was a little early. 30 minutes to go and I returned to my cabin for a hot shower.
I was back up on the bridge at 4 o'clock and we just reached the Viola turning basin at the end of the Viola channel. Our jetty, Oil Dock 8 were just in the turning basin and we had our first line ashore at 0413 and all fast at 0445.
Our Agent came onboard just before 6 o'clock and I offered him some coffee.
- No tank's, but if you have a soft drink I would appreciate it.
- I have warm Diet Drinks, I tried.
- Well, no thanks.
- What about some juice?
- OK, that would be nice.
I asked him if he could buy a hair trimmer for me and bring it back when he returned after completion.
- Of course!
I checked with the Captain on the radio if he had Scooby dollars onboard.
- We have plenty!
So I ordered a hair trimmer of the Agent.
Just after 8 o'clock we got 3 Surveyors onboard from Saybolt and about the same time our Electrician started to work with the high level alarms. Problem as usually and soon our 1st Engineer were in the CCR to give some pointers.
After the paper work and the pretransfer meeting we were ready to receive cargo. 0840 and we had to wait until 1145, just in time for lunch before they started. Well, nothing came onboard and they stopped at 12 o'clock. In 15 minutes we had receiving nothing and at 1230 they gave it a second try. Now they tried for 10 minutes and again they had to stop, what the BIP is going on?
At 1345 we started again and now I went to the day room for a power nap on the sofa, I woke up at 1500 feeling much better. I returned to the CCR and they had just stopped cargo operation again. At 1740 we completed loading Alkylate and at 1800 we started the Raffinate.
I was in the day room waiting for the 8 o'clock rate so I could estimate a time for completion. On my way to the CCR I ran in to the 1st Engineer and we decided to watch a DVD.
Tuesday 20th of February 2007 and they knocked on my door. 1 hour to go and I had a shower before going down to the CCR We completed loading at 0615 and the paper work was ready at 0740. I had to write protests for slow loading and waiting time and we took plenty copies of everything, signatures and blah-blah-bla.
Our Pilot was ordered for 0830 and I had time to see our newest crew members, we got a new deck Trainee and OS yesterday evening.
Pilot came onboard at 0820 and I was on the bridge at 0830. It was a sunny morning, but a chilling wind made the morning a little cold.
When we had left the jetty I waited for the 3rd Officer to relieve me and I went down to my office for the cargo planning for Houston. Now they changed the plans so we will load the small parcel first.
We left the channel just after 10 o'clock and I can't say that I was sad to see Corpus Christi disappear in the horizon.
Leaving Corpus Christi behind
Wednesday 21st of February 2007 and they knocked on my door at 0550.
- We're soon arriving!
A quick shower and a couple of fags and I finished half a can of Diet Drink before I dashed of to the bridge with my half full can.
- How long to the jetty? I asked when I came to the bridge.
- It's just dead ahead, the Pilot said.
- How many minutes, I asked.
- 1NM, Captain said.
- Yeah, it's very close, our Pilot said.
- BUT WHAT TIME? I asked.
- This is the jetty, our 2nd Officer said pointing to the chart.
- So no one knows how long time it will take us to get there, I said.
After much asking and snooping I found out that it was yet another 30 minutes to our jetty. Same in Corpus Christi:
- 10 minutes to the jetty!
I was on the bridge in two steps skipping my shower just to find out that it was yet another 30 minutes to go.
- But you said 10 minutes, I said.
- Yeah, to the jetty were we usually stays.
- What the??!! No one knows where we are going?
Well, I returned to my cabin for a fag and a Diet Drink. We had first line ashore at 0640 and all fast at 0720. Our gangway down at 0730 and our Agent and CDI Inspector were soon onboard. We got 2 Surveyors onboard, one for PMI and one SGS. Paper work and we could start loading at 1140.
Around 1 o'clock the Coast Guard came onboard. Some one told me that a oil spill from our ship had been reported and that the Coast Guard were on the way. When they came onboard they told me that they had seen something shining on the water on a camera. I was relieved thinking:
- It's the sun reflecting in the water.
No oil was found and they were soon off.
At 1330 I went around deck with our CDI Inspector and it took us about 2 hours and then it was almost 2 hours of paper work. At 1730 I could go to my cabin for a shower.
Just after 1800 3rd Officer called me on the radio;
- The Terminal says its 800 to go.
I had expected something like this, our nomination was 24000 but they said they only had 22000. Well, I was in the CCR and we completed loading at 1830 and they were blowing the line for about 1 hour before we could close our manifold.
They wanted to push the line with a product, but as the Surveyor said:
- This is a mix you don't want in your tanks. So I told them to blow the line with air.
Pilot was ordered for 2130, but he never showed up. Good, we had time to transfer cargo from 4CT to 1 and 8CT so we could get them to 98% full. We are loading 5 different parcels and after the fourth the stability leaves a little to wish for. Slack in all cargo tanks and she didn't want to stay upright. But when 1 & 8 CT was filled to 98% she was OK.
We got a new Captain today and he told me that our next jetty was occupied and that we would leave for the anchorage. Maybe on Friday, but I hope for many days with nice weather so the boys can use the grit blaster on deck.
Thursday 22nd of February 2007 and while waiting for the mooring men the fog came up on us and 5 minutes after the boatmen came our departure was cancelled and I was in bed just after 1 o'clock.
At 9 o'clock they knocked on my door, time to leave. We left Ship Dock 2 at 0935 and 5 minutes later the Agent called:
- You have to turn around. You will load the last parcel at the same terminal.
Shit, I had been looking forward to a few days anchored while waiting for Vopak to be ready for us.
At 10 o'clock the tug boats were connected again and we had to turn a round when we reached the first turning basin. We had all fast at Oil Dock 3 at 1130 and our Surveyors came onboard 15 minutes before 3 o'clock. We had enough time to transfer the cargo back to 4CT from 1 & 8CT.
There were 4 Surveyors coming onboard and I were soon loosing track of them. We had different Surveyors coming and going all the time and I have never seen so many Surveyors on a ship before.
They had been onboard for 10 minutes when we started to take the ullage and this took us about 30 minutes. Then it was all laughs for me. I had plenty time to be in the smoke room drinking Diet Drinks and speak with the Surveyors. There was always at least one Surveyor in the smoke room.
We got a new Captain yesterday and he brought Swedish newspaper. So I had time to skim through the papers. It's semle times and the papers were full of recipes and tests. “ Semla of the year ” elected. I also saw something I never had seen before. A recipe for a DIET Semla!
One thing is for sure Bantarsemlan (Diet Semla) will not be the Semla of the year. A Semla should be a Semla and nothing else. when they start Scooby Doo around with the Semla its gone way too far.
Well, I have been pestering our 1st Engineer about Semlor and I hope we can make Semlor one of those days when we have plenty time and nothing to do.
But I'm a little doubtful, the other day he told me about his apple-pie.
- You make it of Kavring, whipped cream and apples.
- Well, promise me that you don't make an apple pie for me, I said.
Our Electrician and Engine Cadet are bust putting cables all over the ship for our wireless internet. The plan was for the Computer wiz to come back on Friday with the last parts for the thing to work. But now we started to load instead of waiting at the anchorage, so I guess we have to wait until next time in Houston.
But our Electrician and Engine Cadet are working hard with the cables. Actually, they work so hard our Engine Cadet had to come see our 2nd Officer (Ships Doctor) to get his wounds dressed.
Well, I'm getting used to this waiting and Surveyors running around, totally different from what I'm used to. Arrival, paper work and start loading. If we're not loading with in 1 hour after arrival it's because something exceptional had happened. Well, here we have plenty time for paper work.
During the afternoon our provision arrived with a barge. I don't know why, but we got hair net onboard and before soon our 1st Engineer were in the CCR
I had ordered bulletin boards for the CCR and for my cargo plans and Material Safety Data Sheets. We need to display the cargo plan and MSDS so every one knows what we are loading and in which tanks. Now it looks like a Greek ship with 2 MSDS in each pocket and papers hanging on the bulkheads with magnets.
We received something marked with “ Better than bulletin boards ”. A system with a rail on the wall where you should put you papers. I went to the Chief Engineer and told him to send it back.
- We don't want to have the old cork boards with pushpins, he said.
- Well, that's what I ordered. You can keep this rail shit, I don't want it.
Good, I don't have to worry about order something again. If it have been like this for 10 years it can be like that for 2 months more until I'm going home.
Finally at 1830 we started to load. We expect to be ready in 12 hours and the weather forecast says fog for tomorrow morning so I don't know if we can leave. well, waiting for better weather and I might have a chance to go ashore. 1st Engineer was talking about a nice restaurant.
But our Cook will be disappointed. He is always making good food and he is taking good care of me. I helped him and the Mess man with the computer so now they think the sun is shining from my behind.
I was soon in my cabin with the 1st Engineer, we were drinking, Well, I was drinking Diet Drink and he had a STRONG soda. I tried a COKE black today for the first time. One of the Surveyors gave me a can and I enjoyed it in the smoke room.
Friday 23rd of February 2007 and they gave me the 1 hour notice at 5 o'clock. A hot shower, I mean a real hot shower, almost boiling water and I slowly woke up. A quick fag and a Diet Drink and I were off to the CCR. At 0600 we completed loading and our Surveyors came onboard not long after. 3 of them, 1 from the Inspectorate and 2 from SGS. Ullageing and calculation mixed with smoking and drinking Diet Drinks.
Pilot was ordered for 0800, but at 0730 we got a call that Pilot was cancelled due to fog. No info about the time for the Pilot and I could not go ashore. 10 minutes before 4 o'clock 2nd Officer called me and told me that Pilot would be onboard at 1800.
- Maybe you have time to go ashore?!
I don't want to run around in the shopping mall. Me running around shopping malls is about as sexy as picking up doggy poo.
Well, we had time for dinner before departure. At 1745 I was on the bridge and at 1752 we started to unmoor. 1803 departure, nice to leave Houston behind.
New Captain onboard and we had a nice dinner. Well, it started at lunch when Captain said:
- Oh, this was good! Very tasty!
- This was the first nice thing I heard around this table, I said.
- Otherwise it has been complaining all the time. Very boring to sit and listen to this passim' and moanin' all the time.
When they suggested that they should put a sign in the mess room saying:
WARNING FOR THE FOOD!
I came with a counter suggestion:
WARNING! THIS IS NOT MAMA'S FOOD!
IF WE WANT MAMA'S FOOD WE'RE BETTER OF HOME!
and under this sign I thought it might be a good idea to put:
THERE IS ALWAYS JOB IN GOTLANDSBOLAGET!
SAUSAGE AND MASHED POTATO EVERY DAY!
They started at the dinner:
- I don't understand how the Cook can burn the chicken on the outside and its all red inside.
- Mine was very fine, Captain said.
- Mine (2, I'm on a salad and meat diet) was also very good. If it wasn't for my diet I would have taken one more, I said.
It was so nice to see, all the complaining is gone. Just a “ Mine was fine ” and it stopped. No more non stop complaining at the table.
I was doing some planning with our Bosun for tomorrow's action on deck. One of the Motormen came in to Bosun's store blowing air with his mouth. Bosun was laughing.
- They all try to do your Skåne whistle.
Well, I'm used to it by now, and every time something's wrong on deck our Bosun says:
- It's something Scooby with it!
Well, it all started on Stolt Excellence. We had a 2nd Officer from Venezuela and he called (before the €, the real Scooby dollar) the Dutch currency for Scooby dollar and from there it just went on. So we can say it originates in Venezuela and now it's an expression known world wide.
Saturday 24th of February 2007 and we had a headwind force 7 during my watch when we steamed South in the fairway from Galveston. Well, not possible to do any grit blasting on deck today so the crew have to clean and grease on deck.
We have a leaking Nitrogen valve on deck and our Bosun and one AB had to start removing it first thing in the morning. I spent the day planning for our new voyage. I got the details yesterday, 3 parcels on total 293 000 Bbls so we will have plenty slack. So don't be surprised if this nomination will change
Well, it's Saturday and I and our 1st Engineer had planned to
“ Hålla Lördag ” and bake Semlor but we neither had any almonds nor any almond paste onboard. Well, I have plenty to do in my office so I dashed off to my cargo plans.
Our 1st Engineer made Skånsk liver pate and I was soon back with my camera.
I have missed a few good pictures when I haven't had my camera close by, so now I keep it stand-by on my office.
Well, we are recirculating our cargo to mix all the parcels and at 5 o'clock it was time to change tanks. But first I stopped by at the swimming pool the get a picture of our Engine Cadet and 1st Engineer.
After dinner I filled up my bucket with tea and we moved in to the day room spending time blah-blah-bla for a while. I disappeared with Captain to get a jar of Quality Street and we were ready for a movie. This is the only Saturday night excitement we get onboard. Well, good, I was in bed before 11 o'clock a little tired after all the adventures during the day.
Sunday 25th of February 2007 and I stopped the cargo recirculation after my watch. Then I printed stowage plans for arrival and departure, 3 copies with wet stamp and signature for the authorities in TUXPAN. 3 stability calculations, also with wet stamp and signature. Well, this is how you recognize a Scooby country, stamps and copies of everything totally meaningless.
After all the stamping I went to bed for 90 minutes and then I was off to my office for more paper work. It was uncertain until the last minute if we were going to start discharging at arrival or if we were going to drop the anchor.
They have two SPM here and both are free, but they said the swell was too rough and at 1346 we dropped our anchor. I took the opportunity to get a few pictures of the action forward, but when they start drop the anchor I left. Too much noise, but I'm very confident that they are capable to drop the anchor with out me out there annoying them.
Our 2nd Officer was in a good mode, his reliever could not come next time in the US. So he is facing a 2 weeks extension of his contract.
- Well, never mind, next port we will get an extra Officer and it will be all laughs and relax again.
On my way back to the accommodation I passed our Electrician busy with #2 tank radar. Well, seeing him working with the radar reminded me of the tedious job and I was really happy that we have an Electrician onboard when I returned to the music and paper work at my office.
Our Electrician bought a bucket of pistachio nuts for me in Houston so I was really looking forward to the paper work in the office.
- Hmm, I don't know if I will have a Diet Drink to the nuts. Well, it's Sunday and I think I will.
After dinner I asked our Electrician to choose a DVD.
- I'm just off to see the Bosun and I will be back in 2, I said.
When I came back he had chosen Superman's Return and I wondered how many more Superman movies we have to suffer, no end to it. This one was really hit rock-bottom and it was pure affliction. I had to ask our Electrician to hit the FFW button more than a few times.
When I'm going to the cinema I always ask for a seat in the aisle. Sitting in the middle and you get bored, hmm, I can imagine the other filmgoers reaction when 82kg Chief Officer decide to go in the middle of the film.
- Sorry sorry, I just remembered an important meeting.
I remember one time when I went to a movie with a girl. We were students and, well, you know. We were young and wanted to save the world and we had all those strange ideas. So going to a movie watching a action movie was nothing you bragged about while drinking your tea.
This was a Indian drama about a widow waiting for the body of her husband to be burned on a beach in India. I mean, believe me, the Chinese drama about the flat tyre was nothing. The Chinese movie about the teacher and her chalks they watched on Rainbow Warrior was pure action in comparison.
- Can I use a quarter of a chalk today? Hmm, then maybe I don't have enough for tomorrow??!!!
I mean, this was captivating. OK, I really don't know, I gave up after 83 seconds, but I can imagine. But after 45 minutes watching this Indian move I was about to crack and I just had to leave. I went to a pub next door and I managed to get drunk and to make an appointment with my friend at a pub when the movie was over. I was back at the cinema 2 minutes before the movie came to a end.
Well, there was an end to Superman's Return and when the darn thing was over I went to my cabin and my language course.
- Hmm, one of my teachers gave me her address and maybe I should send her a post card just to impress her.
Monday 26th of February 2007 and I woke up at 7, no one called me for 4 o'clock, nice. I'm thoroughly rested and ready to kick behinds on deck. I started with our MASP, it's our maintenance program. I did a few test conditions on the computer before checking our P/V valves.
I was told that our Pilot would be onboard at 11 o'clock. Agent and the Authorities came onboard around 0930 and we had free pratique just after 10 o'clock. Captain called me on the radio and he told me that we would start heaving the anchor at 1030.
When I came to the bridge Captain was waiting with our Helms man. Captain asked were the new guy was.
- He wanted to practice hand steering and here is a excellent opportunity. We're going to a SPM and it's easy to steer.
Pemex have 2 SPMs in TUXPAN and we are going to #2 and there was another ship mooring at SPM #1 so we had to wait a little for the tug.
At 1135 the service boat with the mooring crew arrives. We got our Pilot, Loading Masters and countless of Surveyors onboard together with the people that were in charge for the mooring operation.
- You can go down to the office, Captain told me.
- There will be millions of people looking for you downstairs, he continued.
It took us 4 minutes to make fast in the SPM, 1214 - 1218 and at 1445 all paper work were done. Now we only waited for the analyse of the cargo samples before we could start discharging. Maximum 15000 Bbls/h and it will take between 22 and 24 hours to discharge.
While waiting the crew was busy painting on deck. We received new paint for our exhaust pipes in Houston so they painted the pipes in silver, she will soon look Swedish. At least I hope so, one day of painting and then its a few days with rain and/or water spray on deck.
I went to Captain's office to get the B/L for our Surveyors. I looked at them and I said:
- This was the strangest B/L I ever seen.
There were no figures on them and Captain checked his e-mail and they had sent them to us, and they had the figures on them so we could print copies with figures on.
Well, as I said to my guys, yet another 12 hour working day. 15 minutes of cargo calculation and waiting for the rest of the time drinking tea. Our 2nd Officer is very impressed by my tea bucket and he stopped me on my way to my office.
- I just want a picture of your tea bucket.
- Go ahead, I said while picking up my camera from my pocket.
It was a beautiful day and the guys were painting on deck while we waited for shore to be ready to receive our gasoline. I even brought our Electrician out on deck so I could take a picture of him with the SPM in the back.
We are moored to a SPM (Single Point Mooring) buoy with a chain. From the buoy there is a cargo hose that we connect to the ship and from the SPM there is a pipe line ashore. From SPM #2 it's 9,5 km to the tank.
I like staying at a SPM, 4 minutes of mooring operation. The back side is all the people running around the ship 24-7.
Tuesday 27th of February 2007 and I woke up 5 minutes before 8 o'clock. I was in my office just in time to discuss the planned work for today.
We completed loading at 1635 and we left the SPM just before 5 o'clock and we had time for a movie during the night.
But first we did a tank cleaning and I was ready at 8 o'clock when I shifted to a seat in the day room where our Electrician, Deck cadet and 1st Engineer were waiting when I came in with my bucket filled with hot chocolate and whipped cream. OK, the whipped cream was sticking up by 20cm, but it didn't look that much in my 50cm mug.
- What the BIP is that!!!??? They screamed when they saw my bucket.
- A hot chocolate!
- Now we don't have any milk onboard any more! That must be at least a barrel! They screamed.
- Where did you found all the whipping cream? The whipping cream must have been delivered with a tanker, they continued.
- Where is the camera?
They went on and on while I enjoyed my hot chocolate. But I could see that our 1st Engineer was impressed and I would not be the least bit surprised if he shows up one of these days with a “HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE ”. I will be stand-by with my camera.
Wednesday 28th of February 2007 and we were steaming on a NE'ly course towards Beaumont when I came on my morning watch. A little hazy and mist in the air so I wondered if we could get the grit blaster up and running during the day. But the sun came up at 7 o'clock and they finished our cargo hatches during the day.
We got e-mail saying that we have to drop anchor at arrival and they expect us to start load the MTBE on the 3rd of March. There is a ship at our berth waiting for the fog to go away before they are allowed to leave. I hope that we stay a few days on the anchorage so we can get a little work done on deck.
Well, after dinner I continued to do a tank cleaning plan, we have received e-mails of a possibility to load Caustic after discharging in Tuxpan. It was no surprise when we decided to watch a movie later on in the evening and we had an appointment for 8 o'clock in the day room.
I took a shower and I wrote a few words on my web page before leaving for the day room 5 minutes past 8. I brought my camera just in case our 1st Engineer decided to make a “HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE ”.
Disappointment, agony and pain, no 1st Engineer and here I stand like a fool with my camera. What to do?
- I make a “HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE ” for my self.
The whipping cream capsized in my bucket when I brought the tank in to the day room where our Electrician waited. No 1st Engineer and Engine Cadet so we had time to choose a movie.
Well, I'm proud of our choice, we turned on the sucker and it only took 3 seconds before they started to shot at each other. No sleeping pill Electrician and I are in charge in the movie department.
I enjoyed my “HOT CHOCOLATE SURPRISE ” while they were killing each other on the TV. Sometimes there was a break from the killing and they started to chased each other in cars with screaming and smoking tyres. This is the kind of movie that keeps you awake.
The first thing we did when we took charge in the movie department was to throw the plodding killer epic: “ I have a flat tyre ”. As long as the Electrician and I are in charge in the movie department we will never have to see dreary and humdrum movies like: “ 5000 days on a beach in India ” or “ I have two chalks and I don't know which one to use ”.
Well, that's it for February and we swing right over to March.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
links to the next page. So I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pas de problème! Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? Non problemi! Per vedere la prossima pagina lo scatto per favore giusto Il bottone “Next” sopra
Sprechen sie Deutsch! Kein problem! Wenn Sie die folgende Seite sehen wollen gerade klicken der Knopf “Next” oben!