Rewritten onboard M/T Ek-Star October 2010
I bought this picture of a guy selling ship photos when I was in Finland with Nordic Link 1986
M/T Corona was built 1976 in Brake and rebuilt 1978 in Gothenburg. She is 116m long and on 8205 DWT. She was owned by Joel Backman & söner. I was hired by Joel Backman & söner since Thore Shipping went bankrupt. They wanted me to sign on as AB for 2 weeks before I went back to M/T Vestria.
Friday 1st of March 1985 and I signed on in Malmö, Skåne. I arrived onboard when M/T Corona was discharging. Of course, when I came onboard I compared her with M/T Vestria and she was nice in comparison with M/T Vestria. But of course, she was built 1978 and M/T Vestria was built back in 1965 so it was 13 years difference.
I wrote home that I came onboard at 3 o'clock in the afternoon. I also noted that we were loading gasoline and oil. We only loaded acid and caustic on m/T Vestria.
I thought that my cabin was very big and nice, well, comparing with the cabin I had on M/T Vestria. we left Malmö 9 o'clock in the evening bound for Poland to load for Go:teborg.
Saturday 2nd of March 1985 and the winter of 1984 and 1985 was very cold. I remember ice in the port of Hamburg when I signed off Vestria back in January.
I wrote home that we had been stuck in the ice for a while on our way to Swinoujscie, Poland. I was working day man and I had spent the Saturday cleaning the accommodation
Darn, it was cold. It was March so there was not any big problem with the ice, only a few cm thick so it was not like we needed assistance from an ice breaker. But anyway, we were stuck for a while. We arrived to Swinoujscie 3 o'clock in the afternoon and I was free until Monday morning.
I wanted to go ashore for a good time, but the weather left a lot to wish for so I stayed onboard. But I was almost ashore, but it was too cold for me. Thinking about it today and I regret not going ashore, a free Sunday on a ship is nothing you experience every day, well, at least not every Sunday.
Sunday 3rd of March 1985 and we left Poland around 17:thirty bound for Go:teborg
Tuesday 5th of March 1985 and we arrived to Go:teborg at 7 thirty in the morning. I know this thanks to my letters I sent home. We were discharging under the bridge that I called Älvsbron in my letter. I didn't knew the name of the darn bridge back then, and I still don't know the name of the bridges in Go:teborg. OK, I know the names but not which one is which.
I sent this postcard from Göteborg when we arrived to Brofjorden
They came from Rosenhill, a seaman's club close to the oil port in Go:teborg and I wrote home that they had swimming pool and badminton courts etc.
We left Go:teborg around 11 o'clock in the evening bound for Brofjorden.
Wednesday 6th of March 1985 and we arrived to Brofjorden at 05:30. Beleive me, coming up ay 5 thirty in March to discover Brofjorden was not a nice experience. This was the first time for me in Brofjorden and I still remember how it felt seeing it for the first time. It was dark and cold and there were only a jetty coming out from nowhere and I remember thinking “what kind of place is this?” It was only the jetty and rocks. Do we have places like this in Sweden? Since then I have been many times in Brofjorden, but I never forget the first time.
Yes, Brofjorden was not a place I was in a hurry to come back to. Cold and isolated and I had never seen a place like this before in Sweden.
- Is there anyone living around here?
Well, here I am 25 years later and I have been many many times to Brofjorden after this very first time. My best memories from Brofjorden is of course from the summer of 2009 when I was on Tärnvåg. My friend came to pick me up in his boat every time we were loading in Brofjorden and we toured Bohuslän in his boat stopping at every bridge to buy ice cream.
But, well, Brofjorden, I have grown to like it. Well, like it, I don't know. But it's OK. The people working there are nice and easy to work with. And I can listen to Swedish radio.
Thursday 7th of March 1985 and we left Brodjorden bound for Århus, Denmark fully loaded with diesel and gasoline. Even though I read my letters I can't remember us beeing in Århus.
Friday 8th of March 1985 and we arrived to Århus at 03:30 in the morning. I wrote home that we had much ice but the weather wasn't too cold. We discharged all our cargo and we left At 20 thirty bound for Kalundborg. Kalundborg, I can't remember that we went to Kalundborg, but according to my letters we were loading for Go:teborg.
Saturday 9th of March 1985 and we arrived to Kalundborg 2 o'clock in the morning. There was a small boat running aground next to us. But he managed to get off the ground. I spent the day painting and doing some other jobs, all according to my letter home. Very informative.
Sunday 10th of March 1985 and we left Kalundborg 2 o'clock in the morning. It was snowing, raining and blowing, yes, the weather wasn't better back in 1985.
We arrived to Go:teborg around 16 thirty. And I remember that the ship owner came onboard with homemade cookies when we arrived. Strange, I remember the homemade cookies, but not Kalundborg and Århus.
It is unheard of today that the ship owners are baking cookies for the crew on the ships.
I sent this postcard from Göteborg
Monday 11th of March 1985 and our deck was covered in snow when I came on deck at 8 o'clock. So I had to remove the snow from deck. But at 12 o'clock the sun was shining and it was getting hot.
Tuesday 12th of March 1985 and we left Go:teborg bound for Mongstad, Norway where we will load for Oslo.
I think we loaded Kerosene and Gasoline, at least according to my post card I sent from Oslo.
Second page on my first letter home from M/T Corona
I remember doing tank cleaning on our way to Mongstad in Norway. I should go down in 1 tank and mop the bottom. I went down in 1 port and the other AB went down in 1 starboard.
When I came down there was still gas from the gasoline in the tank. Any normal guy should have returned back up on deck. But it was like getting instantly drunk , very drunk so I never realised that it was gas. I was just concentrating with the hose and the rag at the end of the hose.
I had a hose with me that we used to suck up the last water from the tank. It was like a vacuum cleaner and we have a rag at the end of the hose to prevent the water to fall down in the tank again when we take up the hose.
I could not manage to pull out the rag from the hose and when I finally made it I remember it like I pulled out 2 meters of rag, but it was only 5 cm. I remember the last thing I thought before passing out:
- How the can I get this rag back in to the hose again?
Next thing I remember is that I wake up with a BA set over my face. When the other AB came up from his tank he looked down in my tank and he could see me sleeping at the bottom. So he got a BA set and got down in the tank. Well, our Chief Officer was lucky. He would have been in a shit load of crap if something had happened to me.
Well, back then I never saw anyone measuring for gas and stuff before entry and there was no one watching at the tank entrance.
I wrote in my letter home that I had fainted in a tank and that the safety thinking was excellent onboard. Well, there was no safety thinking at all, 2 guys on deck, one in CT 1 Port and the other one in CT 1 Stb. We would both have been dead if there had been gas in both the tanks. 20 or 30 seconds more in the tank and I would have been dead.
But I guess the Chief Officer was the lucky one, I would not have noticed if I would have died. But the Chief Officer would have ended up in a shit load of crap.
According to my letter we expected to anchor in Mongstad in the evening and we're expecting to go inside on the 13th of March.
My second letter home from M/T Corona
Obviously I had finished my first letter before arrival to Mongstad. I sent it with the Agent from Mongstad so it must have been in the envelope on Captain's office. Well, my letter in the envelope and they must have changed their mind because I start my second letter with the information that we didn't had to drop anchor.
I also wrote that it was raining and blowing, no surprises there.
Wednesday 13th of March 1985 and my notes says that it was raining and blowing. I was ashore for a constitutional and I wrote home that there was only mountains and a few houses ashore.
Thursday 14th of March 1985 and we left Mongstad at midnight thirty bound for Oslo. And it was nice weather according to my letter home.
Friday 15th of March 1985 and we arrived to Oslo around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. Sunshine and no wind and I had a 30 minutes constitutional in to Oslo city centre. I never wrote home that I needed to get back in a taxi and that I spent the evening drinking beer in Oslo.
I sent this postcard from Oslo
What I fail to mention in my post card is that I was dead drunk when I came back onboard
Saturday 16th of March 1985 and we left Oslo 8 o'clock in the morning bound for Hamburg. According to my letter it was nice weather so I guess the spring was progressing.
I'm suffering from vertigo and I remember one day when we were going to wash the superstructure. We were outside the bridge in front of the superstructure and I was just holding on to the rail.
I must have been as pale as death because they came out from the bridge and they asked me to come back in. Very good, well, anyway, I wasn't for very much use hanging there holding on to the rail.
Monday 17th of March 1985 and we arrived to Hamburg around 22:00 and we will load Gasoline for Norrköping in Sweden where I will sign off
I sent this postcard from Hamburg
Wednesday 20th of March 1985 and I signed off M/T Corona in Norrköping. It was soon time for me to join M/T Vestria so I only had a few days at home.
Friday 22nd of March 1985 and I took the car to Helsingborg to meet a few friend's. It took me 40 minutes to drive from Båstad to Helsingborg.
My friends were having a drink when I arrived to my friend's place in Helsingborg. There was also a guy I didn't recognised.
- Hey Aladdin! Meet this guy!
It was a guy that felt off the train in Helsingborg. Back then there was no tunnel under Helsingborg so they had to pull the train across the square (Hamntorget) going from the South station to the North station in Helsingborg. And of course, the traffic was stopped. Now there is a tunnel.
Obviously my friends had been out for a party coming back from Denmark in the middle of the night when the train had crossed Hamntorget and this guy on his way home to the North of Sweden had felt of the train.
Well, never mind, he stayed in Helsingborg for a few extra days having a good time.
We finished a drink or two before going to the ferry terminal and the ferry to Helsingør, Denmark.
We were drinking more beers on the ferry to Denmark. And if we didn't wanted to leave the ferry it was no problem. Just to remain in the restaurant and we were soon on our way back to Sweden.
Back then there was a place called Rockpiren, and it was a popular place with live music. But I fail to remember this as a fun place. The only thing was that I used to meet people I had not meet in a long time.
I was not living in Helsingborg anymore and since I started to work at sea I lost contact with many of the people I knew from back in the days. But I always meet people that I knew when I was out drinking beer in Helsingborg.
I remember this evening and the girl looking at us when we're sleeping on the sofa at the entrance.
And of course, Aladdin was quick to get a picture of the girl.
Saturday 23rd of March 1985 and I don't remember where we woke up. Most likely in my friends sofa, or on the floor. But I remember this very day, even after 25 years. We started at Queen's Corner at Hamntorget.
I don't know why, but I had a straw in my ear and I forgot all about it and suddenly I turned my head and the straw hit the sofa and in to my ear. Darn, that was painful. I was worried that I had damaged my ear so I went up to the wood divider dividing the restaurant from the waitress area.
The waitress was behind the divider so I whispered to her behind the divider:
- Can you please whisper some secrets to me?
My plan was to check my ear, but she obviously thought I had something else in mind.
She exploded and she came running out in the restaurant startingto throw punches at me.
Luckily enough she relaxed a wee bit when I explained the situation. We never got kicked out from Queen's Corner.
We left to visit a friend after Queen's Corner and we arrived a little tipsy after a full day on Queen's Corner. Our friends' were sober so they tried to reach our level in a jiff. Yes, how fun is it to sit sober when your friends are drunk?
Not very fun to sit around listening to stupid jokes, so of course you're in a hurry to get at least a little tipsy so the stupid jokes gets a wee bit less stupid.
It's strange how you find the very same stupid jokes hilarious when you're drunk.
Well, didn't take them long to reach or alcohol levels and we were all silly instead of only me and the guys that had spent the whole afternoon at Queen's Corner.
We left for Helsingør in Denmark later on in the evening for a few beers. I remember that I meet the son of one of my Teachers at Roxy. A big disco in Helsingør that was open almost 24 Seven.
I have had my breakfast at this place more than one time. Actually no, when they started to serve breakfast at 8 o'clock I wasn't very peckish for fresh bread.
- But please! One more beer!
Roxy's, of course they have changed the name of the place several time during the years.
I'm not surprised to find pictures from Rockpiren from this very same evening. Leaving Denmark to Rockpiren, well, maybe we found Rockpiren more interesting.
I think I was banned from the place, at least once or twice they refused to let me in. There had been a band playing and I was on the stage stealing the microphone from the singer. They kicked me off the stage. Well, who is on the stage 3 minutes later?
Yes, it was our hero and he gets kicked off the stage again.
I don't remember any of this, but I have been told about this incident several times. But I'm not sure it ever happened. For sure, it doesn't sounds like me, and if it was is forgotten by now so let's not remind anyone.
I remember my friend stopping by at a container on the way back home. I can just imagine how it must have felt waking up with a hangover force 9,6 and to discover all the junk on the floor.
I woke up on the floor or in the sofa and after a breakfast I drove back to Båstad.
Sunday and I was in no hurry to get back to Båstad.
Yes, Sunday night in Båstad was a real killer. Hmm, pretty much every night was a boring experience in Båstad during March. So I was glad to leave on Wednesday 27th of March 1985 and it's time to join M/T Vestria
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