December 2009         

Tuesday 1st of December 2009 and December start the same way November ended, at Margate anchorage. And this anchoring drives me up the wall. And I hope that this will be the day we're Ek-Riverleaving Margate anchorage.

At 10:15 our 2nd Officer came down and he told the Ek-RiverAB on watch that it was time to start heaving the anchor.
- We're going to Skagen for order.
Good, at least we're moving and no one was sad to see the coast of England disappear behind us this December morning. Skagen for order and bunker. It's close to Göteborg so I hope they choose to take bunker in Göteborg and then I can try to get some snus.

The weather was pretty good and the wind had decreased. And hopefully we will have nice weather until I go home again, but it�s a very slim chance for that.
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So I'm enjoying every day we're not rolling. Then it's just to hold on to yourself and your tea mug. Well, anyway, our Fitter had a look at the manifold valve and there wasn't much to do.

At least not until he had a spare disc in case the one we have gets f@cked up. Then we don't have any valve on the manifold and we cannot load or discharge.
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Well on our way towards Skagen and we got 2 new voyages. Riga to Tallinn with VGO. I also had to Ek-Rivercalculate how much gas condensate we could load from Svetly to ARA. So if we're lucky we have enough to last us until January now. Time will for Ek-Riversure turns quicker if we have something to do.

The weather improved even more during the afternoon. We had sunshine, last seen in FUNKY TOWN some weeks ago. It has been gloomy and grey every day since I arrived to Sweden 16th of November. So I spent some time walking up and down tank deck.
Exercise and enjoying the weather at the same time. And of course I could keep an eye on the guys putting back the valve on the manifold.

Well, it's not like the guys need someone watching them. But it gives me a good excuse to be on deck exercising a bit. Always trying to give an appearance of being important.

Wednesday 2nd of December 2009 and we're steaming on a NE'ly course so the satellite antenna is shadowed by our funnel and thus no internet. Tonight we will reach Hirtshal or Hanstholm or whatever the name is and we will change course towards East.
So by then I hope the internet is kicking in again.

I spent most of the day in my office preparing for next loading in Riga. 1st Engineer and 2nd Officer is signing off tomorrow morning when we take bunker in Göteborg. In the afternoon I called the service boat and they will bring snus for me tomorrow.
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Thursday 3rd of December 2009 and I woke up when Captain knocked on my door.
- Here is the money! The service boat will arrive in a few minutes!
Ek-RiverI had a quick shower before going on deck to say good Ek-Riverbye to our 2nd Officer and 1st Engineer. Well, I wouldn't have bothered if it wasn't for the snus. Yeah, it was below zero and I would have preferred to stay in bed. But snus is arriving and I'm delirious with expectations.

I was a wee bit tired and usually a hot shower helps a bit. But it's cold outside and I'm not looking forward to come out with wet hair on deck. (The little hair left)
- “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” or no “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”.
Well, snus is important but my new hair is more important so I decided to take a quick shower so I could apply some of the “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”. Our new 2nd Officer was fresh on deck, he had arrived with the service boat, and he was gaping at me when I came on deck.
- What the
I'm coming on deck straight from the shower with “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” foam flying around me.
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By now the crew is used to see my head covered in shampoo foam so they did not even lift an Ek-Rivereyebrow. But our OS spotted my camera and, yeah, I don't know what kind of problem he has. But he started to undress on deck as soon as he saw my camera.
- HEY HEY!! PLEASE TAKE MY PICTURE!!

I finished the picture business so I could concentrate on the snus. The only reason for me to be on deck this very cold Ek-Rivermorning. The guy on the service boat, yeah, the very same guys that took us out to the ship 17th of November when we signed on.
- Do you have the snus? I screamed to him.
- Yes!!
- You're a darling! I will send the money with my best guy!

When the snus came on deck I threw myself over the bag. I ripped open a roll and I wedged a fresh one. I was just about to put it under my lip when I realised that I needed a picture of this enjoyable occasion. I asked the off signing 2nd Officer to get a Ek-Riverquick shot of me. It was cold so I was in a hurry to get inside, and, well, as you understand I was also in a hurry to get the snus under my lip.

2nd Officer was fiddling around with my camera, and you can see on my face on the left hand picture that I was almost loosing it.
- TAKE THE DARN PICTURE ALREADY!
- WHAT THE ARE YOU DOING?
- FER SAKE!! IT'S COLD AND I WANT TO GO INSIDE!!
He was fiddling around and at first I thought it was the flash that's needed to recharge. But then I discovered that he held the camera upside down. What the.......??!!

I instructed him how to take the picture.
- You must push the BUTTON not the BOTTOM!
I was soon inside with a fresh snus under my lip. Now I could prepare my tea and start some cargo calculations. Our new 2nd Officer brought 2 rolls of snus so I have 4 now. 2000 Scooby Dollars for 4 rolls and that's almost as much as you spend on a good night out.

Well, since I started to buy bottles at the discos it's a good night out. 2000 Scooby Dollars will get you 5 bottles of Vodka on the discos in FUNKY TOWN. Before when I ordered drink by Ek-Riverdrink you could spend 2000 Scooby Dollars without getting drunk, OK, a wee bit drunk. But instead of buying 10 drinks, that's about 15 cl of vodka, you can get 1 bottle for the same price. And if you drink 5 bottles...

I was in my office drinking tea when the bunker barge arrived. We will bunker DO and HFO and we expect it to take around 2 hours before we can continue towards Riga, Latvia. I wanted to call my friend but my sim card was very low on cash. OK, I can reload it via internet. Well, we were in Öresund before I managed to get my sim card loaded with money. And that's 10 hours later so the internet connection left a lot to wish for.

I called him and I just have a feeling that he will never stop reminding me of the fact that I didn't showed up at his birthday party.
- You have to go out and make an official apology on your web page! He said.
Ek-River- What!!??
- Yeah, you wrote about the Berlin Wall on the 9th of November but not a word about my birthday.

Well, every time I'm at his birthday party I get blamed for everything bad happening. And of course, when your name is DJ Porky you have responsibilities.

If DJ Porky hears bad music he just must change it. And if there is a couple of cracked Ek-Riverspeakers, so what? Its party fer sake! And who the buy speakers that's too small for the amplifier?
So don't blame me, I'm used to buy loudspeakers that goes together with my amplifier. And even then I'm running in to trouble. My last amplifier and loudspeakers I had in Sweden, may they rest in peace, is the reason for me to live in FUNKY TOWN.

I had been in FUNKY TOWN visiting a friend and I came back home to Sweden on a Friday. Bjäbben left for Småland to visit parents over the weekend.
Of course, DJ Porky took the opportunity to throw a party. As my friend said.
- I could hear the music all the way to the taxi station. And it was at disco level!!

To make a long story short, Sunday when Bjäbben came back there was a long queue of neighbours knocking on the door. They had been there Friday night already. But I had just opened the door asking:
- What the do you want?
So I was kicked out Sunday night. Where to go? So I packed my bag and I moved to FUNKY Ek-RiverTOWN and I'm still live there. Maybe I should be grateful, yeah, I think so!

But OK, here it goes. My official apology for not attending his birthday party.
OK, I'm sorry for not spending 13 -14 hours on a airplane + SEVERAL hours running around airports so you could have someone to blame when your speakers went bust, the police was knocking on your door or when J had been eating the marzipan cover on the birthday cake.

Yeah, that was a surprise, time for cake. My friend opened the fridge just to discover that J JA FAN I MEJ VA ÅKSJUK MAN VART!!!!                       Fan i mej Björn. E d inte Göteborg's sötaste par? Dom håller ju ihop som Leran o Längen. D var kanske ingen olyckshändelse, den däring fadäsen klockan 05:30 när jag vaknade.  STYGGT!!!!!had pulled of the marzipan cover and half the top layer. His fingers had left clear marks in the whipped cream. Never mind, there were plenty to drink and no one really felt like eating cake anyway.

Såja Björn. Nu fick du mycket mer utrymme än Berlin muren 9 November 1989. Så nu hoppas jag att du e glad! Och tänk på vad all denna plats kostar. Web hotel e ju inte gratis!

Well, where were we? Yeah, approaching Öresund and I wanted to see Skåne. Haven't seen Skåne for a long time now so I could as well take the opportunity. So when I hang up I went to the shower for my evening treatment with “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”. Having a real mop of hair still makes it high on my WISH list.
Ek-River
When I came on the bridge we were just North of Helsingborg and Helsingø and we could expect plenty ferries. It was beautiful with all the lights from Skåne, actually so beautiful there was a tear rolling down my cheek.
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Ek-River
We spent the time talking about the good old times. Swedish shipping is not all that big industry Ek-Rivertoday. So everybody knows everybody, almost anyway.

I told them about my GOOD MORNING HUG routines Ek-Riveronboard Bro Provider. Captain thought it was a GREAT idea.
- I want to see this!

So when the AB on the 8 - 12 watch came on the bridge I told him that we will have the GOOD MORNING meeting at my office at 08:00 in my office. He didn't look all that enthusiastic when I told him about the Ek-Rivernew improved morning routines. Well, I guess he don't understand the benefits with the GOOD MORNING HUG routines.

Of course it�s a great idea. First I pep the crew with a GOOD MORNING HUG and then I can scream at them from the bridge.
- WORK HARDER!! QUICK QUICK!!!

Excellent way to start the day and we will soon have the Ek-Riverright TEAM spirit going here. - Who to take the picture?
I took the pictures myself onboard Bro Promotion, but as you can see the pictures leave a whole lot to wish for. And by that I don't mean the people on the pictures.

Well, when we had passed Helsingborg it was time for me to return to my cabin. Ramlösa and snus, what a feast. Before I left 2nd Officer asked if I wanted coffee.
- What..??!! It's only girls drinking coffee, I said.
- Do you want a cup of tea?
- You should ask if he wants a tub of tea, Captain said.
- Well, I'm out of here and I see you tomorrow!
AB on watch was still a wee bit wan after the GOOD MORNING HUG surprise. But I guess it will be better tomorrow. It's not like there is any option.

Friday 4th of December 2009 and I woke up after a good night�s sleep, the best since I joined the Ek-Rivership. Our Mess Man put new pillows in my bed yesterday. 3 big pillows so there is hardly any space left for me in the bed. The pillow I got when I signed on was in the size of Aspirin pills and I didn't sleep very well.

So I was in a good mood when I came down for my morning tea. Well, I don't know, it could have been me looking forward to the GOOD MORNING HUG. Coming down and I ran in to the crew.
- IN MY OFFICE @ 8 O'CLOCK!!!
Then I was off to get my morning tea. A few minutes after 8 o'clock I had the crew in my office. I started by telling them about our new cargoes and routines with cargoes with a high pure point. But the crew were more interested in the GOOD MORNING HUG and they were full of expectations. When we were finished with the “job planning” it was time.
- OK, ENOUGH ALREAY! GET OUT ON DECK MOTHERF@CKERS!!!
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We will arrive tomorrow so I had the crew to do the Saturday routines today, cleaning the Ek-Riveraccommodation. And they appreciated it, its cold outside.
Baltic Sea at this time of the year and you're not in a hurry to Ek-Riverget outside.

And cleaning was really needed. The rags were all black after a while, and that's even though they changed the water very often. The water turned black after just a wee bit.

They cleaned under deck and the bulkheads so now it will look nice for the Ek-Riverupcoming Christmas, yeah, I wish I could dodge the Christmas. But the chances are slim even though you're sitting on a ship.

I don't know why, maybe the success with the GOOD MORNING Ek-RiverHUG this very morning. But when I came to check the progress of the cleaning the crew wanted an AFTER LUNCH HUG.
- Can't we have another group hug? PLEASE!
- Well, why not?
- YIPPEE!!!!
Of course, we can do everything if we think it's good Ek-Riverfor the TEAM spirit. And it seems like the other departments are getting jealous of the deck departments team spirit.

- So you have started with the GOOD MORNING HUG here as well? Our Cook asked.
- Here as well??!! Where else did I have the GOOD Ek-River MORNING HUG?
- On Bro Provider, she said.
- How do you know that?
- I checked your web page.
- So this is what you do all day long, checking out my web page. Good, you're not wasting your life watching stupid movies!
- Group hugs are good for the TEAM feeling, she said.
- Yeah, are you having a daily group hug in the kitchen department?
- No, but we can join you tomorrow.
- Yeah, 8 o'clock in my office.

Well, latest news is that we have to drop anchor at arrival to Riga. There is one ship ahead of us and she will also load VGO.
So maybe Sunday or Monday, and then we will see if I can go ashore to buy a new mouse for my computer. I also need a tea mug but it depends on how far from any shopping centres we are. But our Cook is going ashore so maybe she can buy the stuff for me.

Saturday 5th of December 2009 and I was dead tired when they called me. Must be my new pillows, the day before I slept so good so I must have been thoroughly rested. And Ek-Riveryesterday it was impossible to fall asleep. At least to fall asleep before 4 o'clock.

We dropped anchor 20 minutes past 12 o'clock ship time. No news Ek-Riverfor us, but the ship before us went along side 10 o'clock this morning. Our crew spent the afternoon greasing wires, gloomy and grey weather so I was in my office. Well, I made a quick visit on deck to get a few pictures of the crew greasing.

I had one of the ABs to open all the quick couplings on the sounding pipe on the SAAB radar as well. Loading VGO and you can't trust the radar so we might have to measure the tanks manually. So we're better off making sure they couplings are working.

Ek-River
I spent the afternoon in my office. Our Loading program leaves a lot to wish for. Kockumation, never buy this program. For sure there are better.

Another day has come to an end, I think is the third Saturday I spent onboard.
Good, no hangover tomorrow!

Sunday 6th of December 2009 and waking up on Riga anchorage. No hangover, but I wish I had.
- Yeah, that's exactly how good the Star Wars movie was.
I watched the Star Wars yesterday evening and it turned out to be a complete waste of time. Not only that, the more I watched the darn thing the more infuriating I got. And that's even though I used the FWD most of the time. I wished I had read my Thai books instead.

Maybe we're coming inside today so I had the crew to prepare the ship for arrival and loading. Our Bosun checked all the P/V valves and we had to change 2 lead weights on the vacuum side.
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I was in my office doing paper work when I caught sight of our OS outside my window. He was busy cleaning around our mooring winches. I could see that he wasn't as enthusiastic as I wished him to be. So I knocked on the window.
- WHERE IS THE F@CKING SPIRIT??!!
I didn't get the reaction I was hoping for.
- DON'T YOU DARE!!
It was snowing and it was pretty cold on deck, but there was nothing stopping him.
- FER F@CKS SAKE!! GET DRESSED!!!
Yeah, there is always some GOOD MORNING ACTION outside my window. And I remember in France with Bro Jupiter. Our Deck Cadet was washing my windows.
Bro Jupiter
Bro Jupiter
Bro Jupiter
Bro Jupiter
Bro Jupiter
And while reviewing my pictures from Bro Promotion I found 2 pictures of our 2nd Officer. He Bro Jupiterreally didn't enjoy the hug and male bonding stuff. I guess a Bro Jupiterhug wasn't so macho. But, well, it was worth trying.

We started to heave up our anchor after lunch. I was in bed study Thai when I heard the main engine start. I went to the bridge to see what was going on. Pilot was on the way and we will finally get some cargo onboard the ship. My first loading and I have been onboard for almost 3 weeks. Time turns quick when you have fun and it will be time to go home before soon. Good, I will return home as Televinken. Better off forgetting about Aladdin and Pelle Plutt.
- Hmm, maybe not the best idea. We remember the Pelle Plutt fiasco not long ago.
Ek-RiverBut it would be nice to come back home and start a new life. Of course, give up drinking and making a total tit out of myself would be the best option.

Or maybe I should deny everything. Yeah, that's another option.
- I have never been drinking so it's impossible it was me doing...
I tried that one before and it really didn't work.

The worst idea I ever had was to buy the PISS OFF spray to my Teacher. I don't think it will work. And it will be very expensive to hand out a Ek-Riverbottle of PISS OFF spray to everyone you meet after a bottle of wine or two.

Snowing and it was cold weather coming our way. the Pilot told us that they expected it to be 15° below 0 next week. Darn, that's cold. Well, I'm lucky to have a good crew. I can sit in my office drinking tea and listening to Trip hop. Yeah, it's good to be the Chief Officer, especially when you have a Ek-Rivergood crew that takes care of the stuff. Otherwise it's not so very fun, to run around like a track horse checking everything they do.

We had all fast quarter to 4 in the afternoon. I went down to my office to wait for the Loading Master and Surveyor. They were onboard just after the Immigration and our Agent. Paper work and stuff so I missed dinner. Well, I wish, but I was a wee bit late.

So I was munching on cake while the Surveyor finished Ek-Riverhis paper work. 500 stupid questions later we could start loading.

When loading was up and running I went ashore. According to the Pilot it was a 10 minutes� walk to RIMI. A Supermarket, so I didn't expect them to have any mouse for my computer. But I need a walk and our Cook is in town and she might be lucky to find a mouse and a tea mug for me.

It was nice to get off the ship, even if it was only for a short time. There wasn't very much to see Ek-Riveraround the terminal. I was walking through a tank farm, crossing a railway track and a road. And there it was, RIMI. Nothing to get excited over.

I needed toothpaste, but I had no cash. No use to pay a Scooby Dollar with card so I could as well buy some underwear. I was also looking for a tea mug. But there was nothing of interest (The right size) so I went to the cashier to pay.

- 36 Scooby Dollars.
- What??!! What kind of currency are you using here?
I thought the prices were in €, but obviously they have their own Scooby currency in Latvia and my cheap underwear turned out to be expensive. Well, not expensive, but it was more than I thought. Same happened to me in France. I was buying T-shirts. There was a 10€ label on the shirts.

I filled a cart with shirts and when it was time to pay I found out that it was a 10€ discount. Well, it would have been embarrassing to return the shirts so I paid for them and left.
Ek-River
Coming back onboard I went to my cabin to wait for the first pair of tanks to be ready. We will blow the lines to the tanks and I want to be in the CCR when the 2nd Officer is blowing the lines. We need to find out the right pressure for blowing so we don�t blow it out on deck.

Monday 7th of December 2009 and we were about to get finished when I came down to the CCR. I Ek-Riverhad time for a quick cuppa, and I used my new tea mug. Our Cook managed to find a real tea mug when she was ashore yesterday. Good, I don't have to drink from a pitcher any more.
We completed loading at 09:20 and the cargo documents were Ek-Riveronboard just in time for lunch. Well, miss lunch will do me good so I was a wee bit disappointed when I found the time for a quick lunch before the Pilot came onboard @ 13:00.

Lunch time and it feels like evening. Gloom as far you can see. OK, we still have Ek-Rivership time 1 hour after Riga, but anyway. Pitch dark 3 o'clock in the afternoon and it has felt like evening since I got out of bed. Well, a few months more and we will have spring again with 24 hours of sunshine.

I had a quick shower after departure and then I went to my office to finish all the paper work. Making copies for the Surveyor in Tallinn, filling up log books and I prepared the document for the discharge port.
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A slow afternoon turned in to evening and it was time for dinner. I must study my Thai after dinner, there had been no studies today due to departure. So I have to do it after my dinner. Always something to look forward to.

Tuesday 8th of December 2009 and I was delirious with expectation when I got out of bed. Today
Before
After
is the day I will bring the “Best looking guy in town '09” diet in to the second phase. After a few weeks of, maybe we can call it stagnation.
- Hmm, maybe not stagnation. It's more like I'm going backwards.
But yesterday I decided to take my “Best looking guy in town '09” diet in to the second phase. So I told our Cook and Mess Man that they would get 100 US each every time they caught me eating. Only vegetables and meat are allowed.

I hope I have better success than on Bituma. I had to go home in my underwear, I had lost everything but weight. But of course, it was fun.

But weight is the only thing I will lose this time, hopefully!!!

After my morning tea we started to test the equipment for discharging. I was in my office and our Pump Man was on deck testing high level alarms and emergency stops. We expect pilot to be onboard around 12 o'clock and I had the entire paper work ready in good time. I even had time to eat fish and spinach before the Pilot came onboard at 11:50 ST.

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All fast at Pakterminal Jetty 1A @ 13:50 ST. I could see MCS Eyra approaching the container terminal assisted by 2 tug boats. Engine problem, again! We passed her 2 hours before the pilot station. Well, we had to put hard to starboard to avoid collision with her. When we called her on the radio we only got one answer.
- We have engine problem.
Later on she passed us again and when we approached the port we passed her when she was drifting out of control. 2 tugs were approaching ready to assist.
MCS Eyra
It's amazing what they are allowed on the seven seas. A junker like that should have been towed to Ek-RiverAlang a long time ago. But MSC is only buying old shit. As one Pilot said on River Schelde.
- MSC, More Shit Coming.

And yeah, I have previous experience from MSC. let me
MSC Carla

Date nov-1997
Location Azores islands, Atlantic Ocean
Remarks Vessel broke in 2 parts during heavy water. Forepeak sank, aft peak floated and was towed to the Canary islands thereafter. Just after the accident sources said the Italian officers steered the vessel with full speed into the high waves, but in 2005 research concluded the welding points of the ship (when it was jumbo-sized) were weak and are the reason of this accident.
Source http://www.containershipping.nl/casualties.html. Worth paying a visit, some amazing pictures.
review my journals. Yes, first encounter was back in 1997. We were on the way from New Orleans to Le Havre, France.


November 1997 and we had nice weather until we had passed Florida. When we had passed Florida the winter weather hit us with full force. We had the sea coming from behind.
Rough weather on the Atlantic Ocean

November and predominated winds are strong and from west. We had terrible weather all the way from the US to Europe. 1 night on watch I could see plenty light on deck. I called the Captain and NihonI went to investigate. We had boxes with our lifebelts on boat deck, the boxes and the attaching bolt had been ripped off deck by the waves. When we passed The Azores we received a Mayday on the radio. It was in the night 24th of November 1997 in very severe weather that M/S MSC Carla was sending Mayday signals.
M/S MSC Carla was broken in 2 pieces that was afloat but the 30th of November the fore ship sunk with all the cargo. The aft ship was towed to Las Palmas for scrapping. All the crew was saved. M/S MSC Carla was built as M/S Nihon 1972 for Broström.
MSC Carla
MSC Carla
MSC Carla after she broke in to pieces in the storm.
Pictures from Steve Harris web page.

And we continue, MSC India. Yeah, a few years ago I was steaming NW at Skagen. MCS Carla was Ek-Rivercoming up from behind, closing in and I didn't see any attempt to change course. So I called her on the radio.
- I think you should change course now or you will hit me.
- I have a waypoint to pass before I can change course.
Well, the ship owners like officers like that. They are cheap, but I guess whatever they pay them it's too much. I'm paid so I changed course. MOTHERF@CKER! Well, seriously, next time looking for job.
- What are your salary expectations?
Ek-RiverOf course, they have these guys working for free. No skills required, just to have a waypoint Ek-Riverto go to and whatever there is between you and the waypoint is never mind.

Well, enough of MSC, but I'm sure we will see more of them in the future. We had all fast and I went down to my office to wait for the Loading Master and Surveyor. What to do while waiting. OK, I will go pester our Mess Man in the galley. Our Cook is ashore buying Christmas gifts so he is in charge for the cooking.
- YO! What's for dinner today?
- It's fried rice.
- HEY! REMEMBER MY DIET?
- It's fried diet rice.
- You really want this 100US, I said to him.
- I can heat the fish and spinach from lunch for you.
- Excellent! That's the spirit!

When he started with the spinach I took over the responsibility for the DIET FRIED RICE. I took Ek-Riverover the turner.
- OK, I will give you a few pointers! I said.
Well, when the cats away... Our Pump Man was soon standing in the door. He had spotted me through the window when he passed the kitchen.
- What the are you doing?
- I'm giving a few pointers to our Mess Man.
Not an everyday sight to see the Chief Officer helping out in the kitchen. Obviously he hasn�t been working in Laurin Maritime. Yeah, I still remember when I baked cake for the crew in Mexico.

Yeah, I went ashore in Beaumont, Texas to buy the ingredients for the cake. Arriving to Tuxpan in Mexico and we were expected to go to the SPM and start discharging immediately. Last minute change and about 1 hour before dinner we were told that we would stay anchored during the night. An opportunity for party and I had one hour to go before dinner.
Quickly in to the kitchen and I started to make the cake.
Cake
One hour is plenty to make a cake, but it's not enough time for cooling down the flan case. Straight from the oven and the whipped cream will melt.

I was whipping cream and the other ingredients and luckily enough our Cook had time to Cakehelp me even though he was busy making dinner. Well, we were in deep shit. No way that the cake would cool down in time for dinner. This was supposed to be a surprise for the crew, but seems like everybody knew. Mess Man was in the kitchen all the time asking for the cake.
- Soon!
- OK, I will try to stall them.
- That's the spirit! Start with your exotic dance or whatever it takes! We're soon ready!

We were in a hurry so I just threw the filling and the whipped cream on the cake. Decorations, yeah, I did not even had time to spell it right as I'm sure Mr. Björn have noticed. I had to rush in to the crew's mess room with the cake. But even then the cream was melting and it was dripping all over the floor between the kitchen and the crew's mess room.
Cake
Cake
Cake
Well, anyway, we started to discharge the VGO at 16:25 and we expect to leave Tallinn tomorrow lunch or something like that. Back to Riga and I'm pretty sure it won't be any more exciting than last time. Yeah, maybe we will run in to a blizzard or something.

Wednesday 9th of December 2009 and discharging was in full swing when I came down to the CCR just after 8 o'clock. Everything looked good so I went to get my morning tea.

Two slices of black bread and a mug of tea later I was ready for business. We were discharging the last 4 tanks and it looke dlike we would be ready around 10:30. Pilot was ordered for 12 o'clock, in the middle of lunch as always.

We finished discharging at 10 thirty something and our Pilot was onboard at 11:50. But the mooring guys were busy with a SANKO tanker that was arriving on the otherside of the port. So we didn't departed until 12:40. And it was nice to leave Tallinn behind. But we will be back on Saturday if everything goes as planned.

I spent the afternoon in my office listening to Polish Hip Hop while doing some paperwork and cargo planning for the next cargo in Riga.

Thursday 10th of December 2009 and we were steaming towards Riga Pilot station, ETA around 9 Ek-Riverthirty. So I had my morning tea in the CCR while the crew tested high level alarms, PV valves and checked the ballast for oil.

Everything is ready for loading and I even know how to put the ROB in the ullage report. Out Loading master lefts a lot to wish for. And the manual is not worth the name.

- If this Loading Master program is so good why have I never seen it before.
This is the first ship I have seen this loading program on, normally it's no problem. Just to read the manual, but this manual is something else. But most of the ships I have Ek-Riverbeen on have Consultas or NAPA OY loading program.

Well, after 2 days and 50 meter of paper I had found out how to put the ROB in the ullage report. Yeah, we have an old matrix printer and every report requires 1 meter of paper.

Before lunch I had a tour on deck and it�s ready to receive cargo. It was a nice morning, a wee bit cold, but no wind and I enjoyed my tour on deck. I ran in to our Chief Engineer on deck and Ek-Riverwe had a look at the heating system. So now I don't have to call him when we turn off the cargo heating.

Well, my sneakers felt apart on deck. Going from looking like new to crap within seconds. I asked the Chief Engineer if they had some magic glue in the engine department.
- There should be something, just asking the Fitter.
I went down to the work shop and the Fitter Barcarollehad a can of glue. But it didn't help so I hope they will hold together until I sign off. By then I will put them in the trash can and I have less to carry. Chances are slim that I will have a chance to go ashore buying new shoes.

Well, wish I was back on Barcarolle. Captain and the Chief BarcarolleEngineer went ashore to buy me sneakers. And sneakers I got, I still have plenty of them at home. But that doesn't help me now, so I hope I can use my sneakers for another month.

Another month, yeah, I have been onboard for 1 month and I have been drinking exactly ZERO diet drinks. 2 cases of Ramlösa, the best water in the world, is what I have been drinking.

Our Cook was complaining about our OS this very morning. It all started with
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a belt. Well, she had promised me a belt. Yeah, maybe a wee bit unexpected, but the second phase of my “Best looking guy in town '09” diet have kicked off quite well and my pants are falling off.
- But you have a belt, she claimed.
- Yeah, in my panta longas, I said.
- But can't you move the belt?
- Nah, it's too much work to move the belt when changing from shorts to panta longas.
- OK, I have a belt. I got it from the company as Christmas gift.
- Do you think it fits me?
- Yeah, you can take off the buckle and cut off the belt.
- Well, I'm not worried about the belt being too big!!!
- You can try the belt.
- I'm desperate, my trousers falls off all the time.
- Like our OS, he is always taking off his clothes!
- What the ??!! Is he flashing you?
- Not for me. It's only for you, she said green of envy.
- How do you know that?
- Everything is on the web.
I'll be darned!! Impossible to keep any secrets around here.

Well, the crew were greasing the wire to our MOB boat and I went to check out the progress. And I think I have to stop having my camera with me in the future. As soon as I arrived our OS started to expose himself.
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Time for lunch and the Pilot called us. He will be onboard in 1 hour so the Chief Engineer had to leave the lunch to go get the engine running. We had all fast at 1530 and I went down to see the Ek-RiverSurveyor and Loading Master. We finished the paper work in 30 minutes and then we had to wait for the cargo. I went to the kitchen Ek-Riverfor some pranks with our Mess Man. Obviously we were rowdy enough to make our Cook stick out her head from the freezer.
- What the are you doing?

We started to load 20 minutes before 5 o'clock, good, at 5 o'clock I could go eat my fish. So today I can put yet another day with a successful diet behind me. Fish, kiwi and Clementine so I will soon be able to go to hole no. 2 in my new belt. OK, I can use hole no. 2, but then it's a wee bit tight so I start with the first hole. 1 hole a week?? Nothing is impossible.

Well, I really hope I have managed to turn my diet from a farce to a success. But after the last few days I think I'm on to something here.

Friday 11th of December 2009 and I'm still on the first hole in my new belt. With a wee bit of good will I make it to the second, pretty much the same as yesterday. A V-shaped torso is nothing you obtain in one day. Now my waist look like a 50 kg bag with rice, but this will soon be changed.

I was running in to a chock coming down to the CCR. We were still on 550m³/h and we would not be ready until late tonight. When we started to load yesterday they told us that they would only be able to give us 500m³/h for the first 5 to 6 hours. Good, we will be delayed with a few hours and I can sleep until 8 o'clock.

But they were still on the 550m³/h rate and we would not be ready until late evening. And that means middle of the night work.

I went to the galley for my morning tea. I spotted our OS in the kitchen chatting with our Cook.
- HEY! Help me out here! Our Cook screamed.
- What's the problem?
- I have tried to get him to get undressed for 15 minutes without any success!
- No problem!
I just went in to the kitchen with my camera. As soon as he saw my camera the clothes started to fall. Our Cook started to scream of joy.


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There was nothing stopping him and I just took all the pictures I could while our Cook was screaming. But I need my guys on deck and this ghastliness had to come to a stop.
- OK! ENOUGH ALREADY! GET BACK OUT ON DECK!
Ek-RiverOur Cook was disappointed when I stopped the show.
- I want more!
- Well, enough already!

I returned to the CCR where I enjoyed my morning tea and black bread. We will complete loading when it's dark. It's getting dark around 3 o'clock in the afternoon. So I wanted to compare our draft from the jetty with the draft on the SAAB.

Better off knowing the difference so we can do the final loading on the SAAB radar from the CCR. Maximum draft is 9,05m at this jetty so we don't want the ship to stand on the bottom when it's time to leave. So I went ashore with a radio and I compared the draft with the 2nd Officer in the CCR.
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It was a gloomy and grey morning, but not as cold as I had expected. At least it was above 0. I took the opportunity to get some pictures while ashore. So I walked down the jetty to get a picture of the ship and the jetty.

Plenty railway tankers on the jetty. I think the VGO is coming with train from Ukraine or Kazakhstan. Well, anyway, they are coming from far away.
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When I was on my way back onboard 2nd Officer called me on the radio.
Ek-River- They are on full loading rate now.
- Good, so we will be ready around 5 o'clock or so.

We also had a Port State Control with 0 remarks during the morning. As I said to the Inspectors when they left the ship:
- Swedish flag. Next time you might be unlucky and end up on a PanamaGreek and you have to spend weeks on the ship.

Time for the final loading and I had to be on the jetty checking the Ek-Riverdraft while directing the 2nd Officer in the CCR where to put the cargo. 9,05m even keel so we had to change between 1 P/S and 6P/S

I had to ask the AB on watch to go get me a binocular in the CCR. The draft aft is hard to see from shore so a binocular will help a little bit.

We had the ship on 9,05m even keel a few minutes before 5 Ek-Rivero'clock. So I went straight to the mess room and my dinner. Chicken and salad. As usually I was in a pleasant mood, passing the crew's mess room minding my own business.
- What the is this??!!

Our OS and cook had their dinner and they looked like they were 14 years old and in love. Our OS had moved in to ZERO range and I never seen this before.
Maybe the exotic dance this very morning had set things in to motion. Well, I have caught our OS hanging around in the kitchen several times the last two weeks. Of course, we're losing man hours on deck and I have to react forcefully.
- OK! ENOUGH ALREADY! GET BACK OUT ON DECK!

Well, anyway, seeing them at dinner was at least to say a surprise.
- So what�s going on here? I asked.
- Are you jealous? Our Cook asked.
- Not at all, I have the Mess Man.
I could see that this was not the answer she had expected. But she was quick to find an answer.
- Our OS is younger!
- Well, Mess Man have more money!

We left Riga 5 minutes after 8 o'clock in the evening. And believe it or not, I'm at the 2nd hole in my new belt. With a wee bit of good will I make it to the third, so it's one hole in one day. I have only been eating chicken and salad today, OK, I had my black bread this morning and a few apples. But for sure, I'm on the right track. How will this end?

Saturday 12th of December 2009 and I'm still on the second hole in my new belt. With a wee bit of good will I make it to the third, pretty much the same as yesterday. A V-shaped torso Ek-Riveris nothing you obtain in one day. Now my waist look like a 50 kg bag with rice, but this will soon be changed.

I took my morning tea to my office and I could start with the paper work. Tea, paper work and Polish Hip Hop blasting high in my office. What a good start on my day.

We are heating our cargo so I had to give some instructions to our Pump Man about the heating. We check the temperatures every 4 hours and we have to adjust the valves trying to keep the temperature stable in all the tanks until we arrive to the discharge port.
- Open 4P/S to 75% and we see if we have to adjust in the afternoon again.

I was busy until lunch with my cargo plans. Changes, we will only load MAXIMUM 12,000 MT in Tallinn for Hamburg when we are ready with the discharging. That means that we have to pass through the Kiel Canal.

I was in my office after lunch minding my own business. Always something to do, and if I by accident are running out of paper work there is plenty interesting stuff on the internet.
Well, anyway, suddenly our Cook was in the doorway.
- ARE YOU IN THE KITCHEN EATING WHEN I'M NOT THERE!!?? Ek-River - What the ??!!
- Yeah, are you in the kitchen eating when I'm not there?
- What the are you on about? I'm on diet!
- Someone told me that you were sneaking out in the kitchen after lunch to grab some food.
OK, now I had it!! I ran after her to the kitchen.
Ek-River- HEY!! Even for a blind it should be obvious that I'm losing weight!!!!!
- You swell up like an anti aircraft balloon!
- What's wrong with your food. I only eat salad and you say that I'm start to look like an anti aircraft balloon! ARE YOU CRAZY?
- But you do look like a giant balloon!
Ek-River- ARE YOU CRAZY?
I was about to lose my temper. It must be quite obvious that I'm losing weight. I'm almost shortening my belt with one hole per day. But she didn't bought my Ek-Rivertheory. I was so happy with my new “Best looking guy in town '09” diet but she brought me down to earth.
- Your stomach is like a Ek-Riversponge! The more you tighten you belt the more you look like a time glass!
- Well, I guess you're not very good in handling other people�s success, I said hoping for her to shut up.
But there was more coming my way, much more.
Ek-River- You were eating bread the other night!
- What the ??!! Is this the attack Aladdin day?
- Mess Man saw you eating the other night!!
- When was that? I have not been eating any evening snacks since 1983! Hmm, early summer of '83 I think it was.
Ek-RiverOK, I had a small salad yesterday evening. But this was salad only.
- When did you see me eat bread? I asked mess Man.
- The other day.
- Now I heard it all!
Our Cook just refused to shut up.
- Is it meaning that I should guard you? I have a sister with anorexia and I had to watch over her all the time. So I have experience
- Hmm, maybe 2 weeks of anorexia would do me good.

Well, what a day this turned out to be. Getting out of bed, no more Ek-Riverjumping out of bed I have pretty much given up on my “MAGIC HAIR STUFF” so no rush to the mirror. But this very morning I found that my office had been Christmas decorated. Turned out that Captain had been busy.

Of course, he refused to admit it.
- It must have been Mess Man or our Cook.
- Well, I don't think so. You are the Christmas terrorist.

We expect the Pilot to be onboard around 17:30 so we have time for dinner before he Ek-Riverarrives. I had a quick salad and 2 small pieces of fillet. So it would be strange if I didn't lose any weight.

I made a quick stop in my cabin so I could brush my teeth before going to the bridge. Dark outside and it was snowing, I really wish I was way down south.

And according to the forecast it will be 18° below ZERO on Tuesday. Then I really wish I was back home in FUNKY TOWN.
We had all fast at jetty #1 at 19:40 and I was soon Ek-Riveron my way down to my office. I made a quick stop at the kitchen. Our Cook and Mess Man were busy baking LUSSE KATTER.

Of course, I took a picture, but when it was time to down load them to my computer I managed to erase them. OK, I have a file recovery program. I managed to recover the picture of our Chief Engineer and Cook eating the LUSSE KATTER. And of course the pictures of our OS when he is disturbing me in the office. But all the exciting pictures of the snow were missing together with the picture from the kitchen.

OK, we do our best to survive the missing pictures. Well, anyway, I was soon in my office and it didn't take long before our Cook was running around with LUSSE KATTER fresh from the oven. Unnecessary to say, I declined the offer.
- I'm on diet!

I was minding my own business in my office when our OS came in. I had French Hip Hop on full blast and our OS could not help himself, so he preformed some of his moves.
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We started to discharge at 21:15. So I expect us to leave tomorrow evening. But I got good news, next cargo is not ready until Monday morning so we will drop anchor tomorrow night. Very good, otherwise there would have been a risk for all night work.

Sunday 13th of December 2009 and I'm still on the second hole in my new belt. With a wee bit of good will I make it to the third, pretty much the same as yesterday.
- Well, maybe not as much will as yesterday
A V-shaped torso is nothing you obtain in one day. Now my waist look like a 50 kg bag with rice, Ek-Riverbut this will soon be changed.

Coming out for my morning tea and I discovered our OS in the kitchen. Obviously he was busy courting our Cook.
Well, it's not the first time.
- GET YOUR ARSE OUT ON DECK!!!

I was soon back in my Christmas decorated office with my morning tea and two slices of black bread. We expect to be ready early afternoon so I started to prepare the paper work for loading.
I also got a new computer in my office so I put it up and I tried to install our loading program.
- What the ??!!
The loading program needs a DOS partition and it came with hundreds of floppy discs, haven't seen them around for many many years now.

Time turned quick and it was soon time for lunch. Coming to my cabin and I discovered an e-mail from my class mate.
They have had a Christmas party with school yesterday and he updated me with pictures.
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They had been at Bangkok Rock Pub or something like that. He told me that most of the staff had been there so I was very happy that I was thousands of miles away. I'm pretty sure that I only have one more chance. If I make a tit out of myself at any of their parties I will have to leave Bangkok.

We finished discharging at 13:35 and the Surveyor was onboard at 14:00. Dipping the tanks and Ek-Riverpaper work. Pilot was ordered for 15:30 so I had an hour to kill before the Pilot would come onboard.

I went to our exercise room to inform Captain and our Chief Engineer.
- HEY!! HEY!! You should join us here.
- I wish I had the time. Pilot is coming in one hour.

We will just go for about 2 hours to the other side of Ek-RiverTallinn. There we will drop our anchor until the cargo is ready for us. And according to our Pilot, he came onboard at 15:30, it would start to blow gale force from NE during the night.
- It will be cold! He said.
- Hell, yeah, it's snowing already.

It had been snowing all day and with changing winds it will be cold so my guess is that by tomorrow the landscape will be covered in snow. Well, I�m glad that we can leave all this behind when we're ready loading our fuel oil here.
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But my guess is that it won't be much better in Hamburg, but 15° below ZERO in Hamburg is not very likely. But I have been in Hamburg when the port was covered in thick ice, so it's not impossible. But hopefully....
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We left Tallinn at 15:40 and I was soon of the bridge down to my office to check out this DOS Ek-Riverpartition bullshit. But first a quick stop in the kitchen. Well, I didn't make it all the way to the kitchen. Our Cook stopped me. - STOP!! DON'T COME INSIDE!!
- What the ??!!
- I had it with you and your diet now!

I had to sneak around trying to get a snack. But she was Ek-Rivereverywhere. I'm hiding behind the door.
- Peek-a-boo!!
Yeah, she was there. She caught me with a sandwich in our mess room. I had been searching the surroundings very

- Thank God that I got my eyesight back!!! I could not see the butter on my sandwich yesterday and today I can see the church through my slice of bread.
carefully and I was convinced that she was in her cabin. I was busy putting cheese on my slice (The thinnest slice I ever seen) when she showed up.
- 100$!!!
- Why? What have I done now?
- You're not allowed to eat cheese!
Ek-RiverSo I had to throw away the cheese. Well, I should not complain. This was the reason for me to have them look after me. And of course, they don't do it for the fun of it and thus the 100$ award for catching me. And for me, I lose weight and its exciting sneaking around. It's like playing hide and seek.

Our OS had stretched his dinner to last for over 30 minutes trying to make it last until it was time for our Cook to have her dinner. I just had to help him out. I called our Cook.
- HEY! Can't you see that our OS want company at the dinner?
Well, finally he got company, but by then he had chewed his food for 45 minutes while waiting for our Cook to come out and make him company. Well, it looked like they had it cosy when I left for my cabin.

We dropped anchor at 18:20 and they will call us at 9 o'clock tomorrow morning with the latest berthing prospects. Good, at least I know that we can sleep all night long. So the only dark clouds at an otherwise light blue sky is the cold weather and my “MAGIC HAIR STUFF”. For sure hasn't done anything to make me look like Bob Marley.

Monday 14th of December 2009 and my waist is still like a bag with 50 kg rice. But I refuse to Ek-Rivergive up and I will hopefully look good soon.

Coming down to my office and it was 10°C below ZERO. When the sun came up the temp went up to only 9° below.

I had my morning tea while reading all of our old vetting inspection reports. Interesting reading, you always find something in the old reports, and I prepared my cargo plans with a few amendments and additions.

Sub ZERO and the deck crew were working inside today. We have a paint shop and they have Ek-Riverchipped deck in the paint shop so they could paint the first layer of Ek-Riverprimer today. Always good to have something to do for the crew indoors when we encounter hostile weather.

I found a lot of old papers in my office so I needed some strips to tie them up in bundles. I had to go to the ECR to find the bundle bands, well, I had one of the AB to show me.

OK, if I had gone through the trouble going down to the engine department I could as well stop by at the paint shop to check out the progress. Things are looking just fine at the pain shop. The only concern I have is about our OS. He threw himself out from the paint shop when I came.
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He ripped off his winter overall while screaming “ Wait a second ”. And quick it went, actually so Ek-Riverquick the camera didn't had time to focus.
- Maybe I have to keep my camera in the SPORT mood in the future.

The rest of the crew was just gaping at the OS, and that's even though they have got used to him by now. Pump Man suggested that we should send him on deck.
- He can do his stripping on deck where it's 10° below 0!!

Our OS was quick to get dressed when he Ek-Riverheard this and things were soon back to order. I returned to my office and all the important paper work. Music, yeah, I must see to fix a pair of new loudspeakers in my office. Just distortion coming out from the darn thing when I have my Polish Hip Hop on full blast.

Time turns quick and it was soon time for lunch, salad and meat only. Ek-RiverAnd I'm closing in on the next hole in the belt. And that's much thanks to our Cook. She is guarding the Kitchen/ Galley area. If I'm coming to close to any snacks or prohibited food she starts to screams: - FY! PORKY FY!
So it's just for me to move back and wait for the next opportunity. Of course, all this makes the eating process much more fun and exciting.
OK, seriously, I'm just joking with her. I really need to lose a few kg so I can start flying coach again. I have to spend a lot of extra money buying business class tickets, and that�s only because my concern for fellow passengers.

Exactly how fun would it be ending up next to Porky on a long haul flight? Not very! We have my last flight with KLM from Houston to FUNKY TOWN fresh in mind.

I was flying AA (We're talking a few years back)from Barbados to San Juan, Puerto Rico. I was a wee bit tipsy feeling like a million. Well, that was until they dropped 300kg female next to me.
- What the !!??
Yeah, they must have dropped her from a helicopter. Impossible for her (2,8 m Ek-Riverbetween the back pockets) to sink down in the seat by gravity. IMPOSSIBLE!

And my mood didn't swing in to better when I learned that AA has a limit on 2 beers on the flight. Yeah, that�s even when you paid for the beers. So I got two beers and I had to pay 5US each. No problem, but imagine how easy it was to reach your valet with 300kg female next to you. And this was a very small aircraft, some kind of island hopper. But of course, arriving to San Juan was the best thing and I was soon in a pub drinking Vodka.

Well, anyway, where were we? Yeah, dinner. Our OS had to eat his dinner without the company from our Cook. And it was pure gloom at the dining table. When the rest of the crew were ready he was still at the table. He was full, but he forced himself to eat more. Maybe, maybe he could enjoy a few minutes with our Cook. I never saw anyone taking so long time finishing an avocado before. He stretched this one for 20 minutes before he finally gave up the whole idea.

I felt sorry for him when he came out in the galley he cast a covetous eye in the direction of the kitchen hoping to catch a glimpse of our Cook. But without any luck.
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Tuesday 15th of December 2009 and my waist is still looks like a bag with 50 kg rice. BUT I'M
Before
After
ON THE THIRD HOLE IN MY NEW BELT!!!
- YIPPIE!!!
My “Best looking guy in town '09” diet makes wonders and I refuse to let our Cook's bitterness bring me down. She had her sponge and Ek-Rivertime glass theory. I proved her wrong and now she has come up with a new theory. STRETCHING LEATHER!! And who the have heard about stretching leather?
- Where do you come up with all this crap?
- Yeah, you have stretched the belt!
Ek-River- You are really bad in handling other people�s success, I said.

Well, I should be used by now. After the sponge looking like a time glass theory and the latest STRETCHING LEATHER theory. At least I expected her to be running out of stupid theories. But not, I got down to the kitchen telling her about the success.
- HEY! LOOK!!! THE THIRD HOLE!!
- You're always smaller in the morning!
Ek-River- What the ??!! Thanks for pepping me! I returned to my office with my tea and sandwiches. Of course it didn't take long before I had the Cook in my office. Putting her nose in my sandwiches.
- CHEESE!! NOW IT'S 100$!!
- Seriously, can't you see that I'm busy?

Well, Pilot should be onboard 15 minutes after 8 o'clock so I had time to drink my tea while the crew tested the high level alarms and the other stuff on deck. When I finished my GOOD MORNING tea I went to the bridge. Sunny morning, but very cold, so I was happy to stay indoors.

We had all fast at 09:30 something and we started to load 5 minutes after 12 o'clock.
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We have a wee bit too much ROB when we have finished loading. We had an idea of blowing our lines from the pumps ashore instead of blowing the lines back in to the empty tanks. We will get rid of about 15m³ extra that way. But we don't have any air connection on the cargo line. Except for on our stripping line. We have blinded the stripping lines because we don't want any HFO to clog up the system. But we had an idea.

I wanted our engine department to have a look at the stuff. Let the professionals take a look and we might get a few pointers. Our Fitter was on deck to see what he could do about the pipes. While we were on deck checking the pipes our Loading Master came onboard.
- It's very slow rate. Can you shift the vessel 2 m astern so we can connect another loading arm?

So they stopped the loading and they blow our line. Disconnecting the cargo hose and we were Ek-Riverpretty much ready to shift the ship 2 meters astern. But of course, before a big operation like this the crew demands a group hug. And I'm not impossible. I called our Mess Man and he had to take the picture.

I instructed the crew and we went on deck. Yeah, I brought my camera for some picture of this NOCTURNAL EXTRAVAGANZA. And it won't take long before we have the pictures on internet. The Ek-Rivercrew started by moving forward spring lines.

They were moved to the next bollard aft and we will get a good bearing on the ropes so we can heave the ship astern with the winches.

Motherfunker!! It was cold. 11°C below ZERO and the wind on top of that. Ek-River“HURRY UP BOYS!!” so I can go in and drink my tea. When they were ready with the spring they started to heave on the forward spring lines while we slacked on the aft spring lines and head lines.

A well trained crew, OK, preparation (Group hug) is also very Ek-Riverimportant and the whole shifting operation was ready in a few minutes and I were soon back in my office. A quick cuppa while they were connecting the cargo arm. We were up and running 10 minutes before dinner time.

Our Mess Man is in charge in the kitchen department today because our Cook is ashore shopping. I finished my salad and meat and I was just about to retreat to my cabin. Yeah, this Ek-Riveris the recipe for a success full diet. Of course, an angry Cook does wonders, but when you finish your first plate just leave the table. But our Mess Man had other plans.
- Have some cake!
- Fer sake!! You know I'm on diet!!
- But our Cook is not onboard to see what you eat.
- Fer sake!! You know I'm on diet!!
- It's a diet cake. Plenty strawberries!
- What about the rest of the cake?
- Almost only vitamins!
- OK, I have one very small piece of cake just to keep the others company.
-WHERE IS OUR COOK??!! SHE NEEDS TO BE HERE SO I CAN KEEP MY DIET ON TRACK!!
On my way to my Thai books in my cabin, well, I got stuck up in my office checking out tickets to FUNKY TOWN for our Captain. We checked the tickets on internet and I asked him how Ek-Rivermany adults are going.
- One.
I entered one adult on the web page. We had been talking about children and that he would like it if we were discharging in Stockholm over Christmas so he could be with his children. So I asked him how many children to enter on the ticket booking page.
- None.
- What the !!??
- No, I will go alone.
- What kind of holiday are you going on?

Well, back in my cabin and I threw myself on the bed and I studied Thai for a few minutes before going down to the CCR to see what kind of temperature the cargo have. Very slow loading and it takes time for the cargo to reach our temp Ek-Riversensors. Coming in to my office and I discovered a JUMBO size bottle of diet drink on my desk so obviously our Cook was back from shore and her shopping spree.

I was very quick to return to my cabin. I haven't had a diet drink since I left FUNKY TOWN International. I bought it from “Miss Most Beautiful Girl in the World #2” at Nero Cafe when I was waiting for my flight.
- Hmm, maybe I had one or two in Göteborg as well.
Björn, du kanske kan hjälpa mig här. Jag kommer inte ihåg om jag drack någon diet drink i Göteborg. Du f�r ju statik på alla möjliga saker.

Wednesday 16th of December 2009 and I'm still on my third hole in my new belt.
- CAKE!!
Yeah, I should never have had the cake yesterday. But now it's too late, well, a small piece of Ek-Rivercake once a year shouldn't be any problem.

Well, I discovered that it was 15°C below ZERO when I came to my office. MOTHERF@CKER!! I'm better off staying indoors today. There is plenty to do indoors, we will change to Norwegian flag in January. I need a PEC certificate, so first of all I started with the computer based PEC course. A shit load of crap if you ask me, but Ek-RiverI will be rewarded with a nice certificate when I'm gone. And of course, we're talking different salary when we have Norwegian flag.

Well, maybe not the salary, OK, it will be about 30% extra, but my tax goes from 50% to about 22%. So that will be very nice.

And I was pleasantly surprised, even though I had the cake yesterday it was no problem tightening my belt to the fourth hole after my
Before
After
morning tea. So I guess a piece of cake once in a while isn't all that bad.
But, hmm, our Cook might be right with her “TIME GLASS THEORY”. I look a wee bit like a time glass, so now my waist is like 2 25kg bags of rice with a belt in between. But now I will stay on the fourth hole until the “TIME GLASS EFFECT” is a goner.

I went on deck to measure gas after lunch. Our Fitter have made a plug for me to use in our Ek-Rivervapour locks. So now it�s just to connect the gas detector and you don't need to open any hatches. I found 45 ppm of H2S in the cargo tanks. Dangerous stuff, sudden instant death!!

When I was back indoors I continued with the CDs for my PEC certificate. What a waste of time.

Or what do you think of this exercise? Drag different work permits to pictures representing the situation where it's needed. A guy welding, can it be hot work permit?
Or the brain teaser, underwater work permit.
- Hmm, can it be the picture with the diver??
The one question that almost made me fail the test was, what communication skill do you need when giving orders?
A) To be able to scream so you can be heard over disturbing noise.
B) To be able to use the right body language, easy hand gestures and a calm voice.


Yes, that was a hard nut to crack, almost as hard as the: What's important to avoid when receiving work orders?
A) Swearing.
B) Misunderstanding.

I can't help but wonder where they come up with all this crap. But well, never mind, I was in a
Before
After
good mood after running in to our Mess Man.
- Our Cook told me that you're starting to look slim in your face.
- Yeah!
- But don't tell her that I told you. She doesn�t want you to know.
- Well, how can I help not noticing? I'm on the fourth hole in my belt, 3 holes in a few days!
- The girls will go crazy when Pump Man, you and me go to the Forth in Manila.
- F@cking A!!

Manila, yeah, I will be there in February for my school. Study Thai is good but maybe a wee bit waste of time. I will never learn to speak the darn Scooby language. No one understands what I'm saying. Except when I'm drunk, and I cannot be drunk all the time.

And Manila have a few advantages, no one know Aladdin. At least no one I expect to run in to. Well, except at my hotel.
- Mr. Aladdin! You are back!
So I can stretch the use of the name Aladdin. Back in FUNKY TOWN I will have to start operate under the name Televinken. And what a great opportunity to do this next time coming home. No one will recognise the new SLIMMER Aladdin.
- Who is this guy?
- It's Televinken.
- Who is Televinken?
- I don't know, but it looks like a handsome version of Aladdin.
- Yeah, he is welcome. We need all the handsome guys we can get to this town!

Thursday 17th of December 2009 and I can make it to the fifth hole, but I will keep it on 4 until most of the time glass effect is gone.
Well, anyway, hell broke lose when I came down to the galley for my morning tea.
- SO YOU ATE CAKE THE OTHER DAY!!
- What the ??!!
- Mess Man told me that you ate cake the other day and now he wants his 100US!!!
- MESS MAN! COME HERE ON THE MOTHERF@CKING DOUBLE!!
Ek-River - YES SIR!! WHAT CAN I DO FOR YOU?
- Our Cook says that you saw me eat cake the other day!!
Ek-River- I would never.....
He never got a chance to finish his sentence, our Cook flew up on him and hit him on the ear.
- TRAITOR!!!

Our Mess Man took off covering his ears while screaming of laughter. I was on the floor wetting myself watching our Mess Man getting his reprimand.
Hilarious! Our Cook was really angry and she screamed that I could eat whatever I wanted. Ek-RiverI tried to calm her down during the breakfast.
- I don't care! You are on your own now!
- But...
- You're cheater and Mess Man is a traitor.
- CHEATER!!?? What the !!?? Even you must see what a Ek-Riverremarkable success my diet has been!
- I'm not impressed!
- You told Mess Man the other day that I was getting slim!
- I was talking about someone else. NOT ABOUT YOU!!!
OK, seems like nothing is helping around here. Seems like I have to bring the heavy artillery. I went to get our OS.
- Hey, can you please go try to cheery up our Cook?

At least to say, our OS failed the cherry up task. Ek-RiverHe was kicked out from the kitchen. I was in our smoke room drinking tea when he came back from the Ek-Riverkitchen.
- Nothing to do. But I will give her a strip show for Christmas.
- Yeah, that will cheer her up.

Well, a little set back, but what to do? OK, I have plenty to do until the coffee break. But I will start by going to my office. Crank up the music, sit down relax and drink your tea while waiting for e-mail. Yeah, you never know when Ek-Riverthere is something important arriving to your inbox, and you're better of being stand by for immediate action if it should be required.

I was sitting in my office minding my own business when our Bosun came by.
- Don't you have anything to do?
- HEY! There can be an important e-mail any time.
- You have a good time here...
- HEY!! Isn't there anything for you to do on deck?

Well, I grew tired of my office so I went out to the kitchen Ek-Riverto see if I could annoy our Cook. She was making sponge cake and I asked if this was healthy enough for me to eat.
- You can eat what the you want!! I don't care!
- A little bit cranky today??
I tighten my belt to the fifth hole and I discovered that this was the last hole in my new belt. But our Cook was not impressed.
- HEY!! IT'S THE LAST HOLE!!
- Yeah, Mess Man helped you tighten the belt. You look like a TIME GLASS!
- So much bitterness...
I went in to the crew's dayroom. Christmas decorated since yesterday when our Mess Man brought up the Christmas trees. Our OS was in the day room eating sponge cake and planning for the stripping show he will have for our Cook at Christmas.
He was looking for a big box, big enough for him to hide inside.
- I will place it on the kitchen floor and I will jump out starting my show.
- Yeah, I'm sure our Cook will be surprised. And I will be there with my camera.

We will see what happens with his Christmas show. It was soon time for lunch and after my salad I studied some Thai. But it was soon time to go down to have a check at our Aft Peak.
Ek-River
Ek-River
Ek-River
Bosun had opened the hatch before lunch so everything was ready for me to go have a look at the tank. The manhole is down at the steering engine space so we had to climb down a ladder before reaching the manhole. Well, I got down in the tank just to discover the smallest man holes I ever seen.
- What the !!?? Do they expect people to get through these holes?
Ek-River
Ek-River
Ek-River
Well, I was in my office, busy with paper work, when our 2nd Officer came. He is signing off in Ek-RiverHamburg and this is his last time onboard.
Well, he took a seat at my desk.
- It's a very good time onboard now, he said.
- Of course, that's the way it should be, I said.
- It's a very nice spirit onboard since you came.
- Of course, that's the way it should be, I said.
- This is what I will remember from this ship.
- Don't go sentimental on me now!

Of course, it should be fun onboard. The other day the Chief Engineer came in to my office.
Ek-River- You really like it here, I said.
- Yeah, I never spend time in Chief Officer's office. But since you came I'm here every day!
- Must be the Polish Hip Hop, I said.

Well, anyway, I and the 2nd Officer had a chat when Captain Ek-Rivercame by. And he had a suggestion.
- I think we can have the coffee in the day room everyday from now on. Talking and socializing a bit.
- Coffee!!?? Do we have girls onboard? We drink tea around here.
- OK, we can drink tea.
- I wish I had the time!

Well, I made a bucket of tea and we enjoyed a Christmas decorated day room. Actually time turned so quick I forgot the time and suddenly I had the crew in the door way.
Ek-River- They are waiting for you at the slop chest.
- OK, I will be there on the double!

we have our slop chest on the second poop deck so I took the keys and I went up to open the door. There were already a few of the crew waiting. And chips seem to be the flavour of the day. Pringles and Kim's Franska Kartofler. Of course, I didn't buy any of the candy. 2 cases of Ramlösa is enough for me. We have ordered snus from the on signing Chief Engineer coming in Hamburg, so I'm just fine.

And I can imagine our Cook if she would have caught me munching on some stupid potato chips. For sure, our Cook would have exploded. I saw her assault on our Mess Man this morning, the poor guy.

Mess Man told me that she had attacked him first thing at 6 o'clock this morning.
Ek-River- TRAITOR!
She had pulled his ear blaming him for me eating cake.
- I read about the cake on the internet!!
Ek-RiverBut I understood this already when she started to scream to me 8 o'clock this morning. Mess Man would never say something like that.

And whenever I run in to her she just goes on and on about the f@cking cake. Well, I tried to explain to her that our Mess Man and I just put the picture on the internet to mock her. And obviously this paid off, way more than expected. Mess Man was running around laughing all day long so it was worth it.
Well, yet another page blown out of proportions. So just click the “NEXT” button and you will be on the exciting December 2009 (PART 2) page
       
                  
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens at my web page. So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page. So I put a “Next” button here so just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!

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? No hay problema! 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!

คุณพูดภาษาไทยได้ไหม ไม่มีปัญหา ถ้าคุณต้องการไปหน้าถัดไป ให้กดปุ่ม “Next” ข้างบนนี้

Вы говорите по-русски? NJET PROBLEMA! Просто нажмите синюю кнопку "Next" с левой стороны и Вы моментально переместитесь на следующую страницу!

E ni Svenskar och inte förstår Engelska så ska ni skämmas. J och Björn, med det menar jag inte att alla mina stavfel ska ältas varje gång vi träffas.





                                       

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