Updated with new and bigger pictures while I was onboard M/T Maersk Cassandra at Singapore OPL anchorage February 2012
Photo taken by Aladdin during lifeboat drill in Antwerp 27 May 2003.
Built at Sölvesborgs Shipyard in Sweden as new construction, hull number 82. Before she was delivered in May 1973 she was lengthening with 16.8 meters. After lengthening she weighed 5.030 Dw.tons. She was equipped with four Hedemora Pielstick V8A/12 delivering 2.350 kW. She was sold 1984 to Axel Johnson Chemical AB and registered 1985 on Rederi AB Lexa. She got a new engine in 1997, one MaK 8M453C delivering 2.353 kW. at 750 rpm. Her registered owner are from January 1, 1998 Rederi AB Dalanäs (Nynäs Petroleum). 2000 in time- charter for Broström Shipping Management.
Type: Bitumen tanker
Length Over All: 122.66 m
Beam: 15,60 m
Depth: 5,74 m
Gross Tonnage: 4230
Net. Registered Tonnage: 1269
Deadweight Tonnage: 5061
She was on 5142 DWT until 2002 when the lowered her load line from 5,74m and she got a summer draft of 5,62m and now she was on 4999 DWT. If a ship is over 5000 DWT she needs a minimum distance between her cargo tanks and the hull to be a double hull tanker. The distance between 1CT and the hull wasn't enough so they had to choose between cutting of a little from 1CT or to lower her load line until she got deadweight less than 5000 DWT. They did it on the shipyard in Falkenberg in the summer of 2002.
She loads 4783m³ in 8 cargo tanks, 1CT + 2P/S + 3P/S + 4P/S + 5CT. She has 2 Borneman screw pumps for the cargo.
Broström had the management of the ship and I was hired by Broström Ship Management AB but the Ship was owned by NYNAS
Just to be safe I put the alarm clock in my mobile phone for 6 o'clock as well. When the alarm got off I thought that someone called me and I was knocking the phone on my bed side table. I was very tired and I had not got many minutes of sleep. I got a long hot shower and I was off to the restaurant for some tea and fresh bread.
Monday 18th of August 2003 and I left Simrishamn just before 7 o'clock in the morning in my rental bound for Malmö. I arrived to Malmö just after 8 o'clock and I was driving around looking for AVIS office so I could return the car. Well, it took some time to find the office and I asked them to drive me to the railway station because off all my luggage. That's good service.
I could not find the platform where my train was.
- From what platform is the train to Kastrup departing from? I asked someone that looked like he was working there.
- It's from platform 6, he said.
- There are no signs or information about that on the platform, I said.
- Well, there is but it's at the end of the platform because it's only the last cars leaving for Copenhagen.
- What the Yo! Do I have to run up and down all the platforms with my luggage to find my train?
Display the information at the beginning of each platform and lock the cars that will stay when the rest of the train is leaving. There was no information displayed on any platform. Impressing.
Finally I got on the 0844 train from Malmö to Copenhagen. As no surprise they were delayed by about 10 minutes and I arrived to Kastrup (Copenhagen airport) around 0910. I picked up my ticket at SAS office and it took some time to get the ticket because Broström had made the reservation in the name of Björn and that's not my name.
My flight was departing 1005 so there was not very much time. I managed to buy 2 computer magazines about the web. Maybe I can find some stupid web trick to show on my page and you will be the first to know if there was.
It was an 90 minutes flight from Copenhagen to Brussels and we arrived just after 1130. Brussels airport must be the worst airport (together with San Francisco) I had ever been on. When you arrive to the gate you have to start a day's march to get to the baggage claim.
And of course, there are no trolleys for you carry on luggage so about half way through the day's march the handles on your plastic bags you are carrying along are history. So you have to carry it in your arms, very comfortable.
I stopped in a book shop to buy some more computer magazines, always nice to have something to read on the ship. But stupid me, English magazines at an international airport. Where did I come up with something stupid like that?
After an eternity I reached the baggage claim area. Then it's straight out to the arrival hall.
Trotting along for mile after mile while carrying your luggage
Trotting along for mile after mile while carrying your luggage
There is an underground railway station so I took my luggage and I went to the elevator. I arrived to the underground station and when I got out of the elevator I got scared. It looked like a place where they brought people to rob them. I bought a 6 EURO ticket to Antwerp.
I found a seat on the train and we left the airport behind. When the ticket-collector came along she said that I was in 1st class and that I had to move to 2nd class.
- 1st class?? What the !!
It looks like on the city busses or the trams in Sweden. Unbelievable, I was only going 2 stations then I had to change the train.
So I left 1st class and stood up until we reached Brussels Nord and I changed to the Antwerp train. Believe it or not, it was the same story again. I had to take all my luggage (Most snus and t-shirts from France. And a few kilos of linseed) and leave for 2nd class.
Well, I believe you had enough of the pissing and moaning by now. But remember that I had been on the go since early morning with no sleep. But now it's enough of the pissing and moaning.
At arrival to Antwerp I called our agent and he sent a taxi to pick me up. I arrived to Framnäs around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. When I came onboard I asked for my tea mug first thing and the Cook was screaming from the kitchen that he was about to clean my mug.
I was not happy to hear that it was our good Cook from last time I was onboard. I had kick started my diet and he was serving Kålpudding for dinner, hmmm, I can as well kick start tomorrow. I had 2 quick (and big) mugs of tea and a chat with the crew. There are 5 (including me) in the crew from Skåne onboard. Well, the company must have opened the valet this time. To get 5 "Skånepågar" onboard doesn't come cheap.
Framnäs was still waiting for the loading berth at Nynas to be ready. We didn't know when to shift to our loading jetty. There was another ship waiting as well, but she waited at the anchorage at the deep sea pilot station and she had at least 10 hours to the jetty. Nynas decided to take us alongside first and at 1655 we shifted berth and had all fast at Nynas at 1720. We started to load our 1st parcel at 2030 and at midnight I was off to bed after a long day. Before my power and beauty nap I will try to connect to my server. I haven't been able to upload my page or send e-mail for a long time now.
Yo!!! I manage to get contact with my server and my inbox was full of letters from Sue and I could update my web page as well so I was very happy when I went to bed.
Tuesday 19th of August 2003 and We completed loading at 1045. I had completed the cargo calculations at 1115 and pilot was ordered for 1400. Our agent came onboard at 1 o'clock with our motorman's bag. They had lost it on the airplane when he signed on. Our agent told us that there were 24 inbound ships for Antwerp and that they had postponed our departure by 1 and a half hour. MERDE!! I have to spend my whole evening watch with the pilot.
I will write some e-mails to Sue and then I will have my afternoon nap, I'm still a little tired after my adventurous journey yesterday. Maybe I will skim through my computer magazines before I fall asleep. I would love to learn how to send an e-kiss to Sue.
We left Antwerp at 1635 while I had my sleep. I slept until 7 o'clock in the evening. Now I had made up for lost sleep. Maybe it will be hard to fall asleep at midnight but I have my computer magazines to read. Anyway I missed to take pictures of our departure but there will be new opportunities. Instead I asked Captain for some chocolate to munch on while working with my web page (still haven't found a way to send an e-kiss). He had Toblerone and Gayliano sea shells. Toblerone was 100g bars and the Gayliano was 500g in a box.
Gayliano tastes best, but 500g is a little too much. Hmmm, What to choose? I took 2 Toblerone even though they don't taste so good.
- I take 2 Toblerone. It's only 200g and better for my diet, I told Captain.
The AB on my watch looking out over River Schelde
Captain looking out over River Schelde
When I came on my watch at 2030 we were still on river Schelde and I knew that I had to spend my watch with the pilot. We were going to change our Pilot in Vlissingen and we expected to be there around 11 o'clock. I was suffering from some severe agony after the chcoclate I had eating earlier in the afternoon so when Captain came on bridge I asked him to “kick me behind” and throw me out next time I was asking for chocolate.
Changing Pilot in Vlissingen
Wednesday 20th of August 2003 and we arrived to Wandelaar pilot station at 00:45 and the pilot left us all by lonesome, nice. Bayonne next and I was off to my cabin and my bed. Well, it is always nice to leave Antwerp behind and I never want to come back.
My refrigerator is full of snus and Diet Coke so I'm pretty sure I will have a nice trip to Bayonne. ETA Bayonne on Friday and we will change some of the crew there. I asked Captain to e-mail the company to arrange some snus for me with the reliever. I brought 1 bag brimmed with snus, about 14 rolls or 140 tins when I signed on, but we are not scheduled for Sweden for a long time so I prefer to play it safe. Better to have a few extra rolls.
We passed through the English Channel 20th of August and we passed the white cliffs of Dover on my morning watch.
Our Captain was always drawing and he was busy drawing pictures of the crew onboard. I asked him for a few drawings to put on my web page and he told me that he would work on it. So the drawings you can see here are all made by our Captain
We had nice weather all day and I had been in a good mood all day long, soon time to sign off and meet Sue. On my night watch Captain came to the bridge singing the French national anthem.
- PLEASE!! I promise to call you when our "Entertainment center" brake down!! I said.
After my watch I was down to FLIP through my computer magazines before I tried to sleep.
Thursday 21st of August 2003 and we had just passed Ouessant TSS when I came on my morning watch. It was very nice weather when we entered Bay of Biscay and I could see Dolphins swimming around the ship.
In the afternoon we had BBQ on the poop deck. It was very nice weather and the whole crew was sitting outside eating dinner. We have to take every opportunity, autumn is lurking around the corner with storms and plenty rain for us. Autumn and the storms, never mind, by then I will be with Sue.
We will change our Cook in Bayonne tomorrow and then we will see if there will be any more BBQ onboard Framnäs this year.
Our Cook at the grill
Our Cook at the grill
Our Cook at the grill
Our 2nd Officer from Skåne
Our Chief and 1st Engineer in the day room
And today the planet Mars will pass very close to the earth. Its 60 000 years between these close passages so I think we will be dead next time. During my night watch we could see a red planet coming up and we thought it was Mars. Yeah-yeah I know. I could have checked in the nautical almanac and then it would have been easy to calculate the bearing to Mars.
But what a disappointment if we have found out that it wasn't Mars. Now we could say that we have spotted Mars and any way there isn't that much difference between the planets, just that Mars is red. But who cares?
Friday 22nd of August 2003 and we arrived to Bayonne pilot station at 1230 and we had all mooring lines fast at 1305. We started to discharge at 1400 but they had forgotten a valve in closed position ashore. We had to stop and they investigated what was wrong ashore. They said there was a plug of cold bitumen in the line but later they found out about the closed valve and 1430 we could start again. I was off to my cabin and a shower. It was very hot today.
There will be a referendum in Sweden 14th of September. So we have to say yes or no to the EURO. The European monetary union. I.E. if we want the same currency as the rest of EC (except Denmark and UK). We got our ballot-paper onboard today. I don't know when we will vote, but we need to do it so we can send our votes to Sweden before 14th of September.
I will vote NO. I will offer every one onboard a Diet Coke if they vote NO. I was very EC and EURO pro before the Swedish Social Democratic Party started to blow smoke up our asses. The consumer minister says that a family will save so and so much money if we join the EURO.
I thought the consumer minister should see to the rights of the consumers and not to treat them like fools. This is stuff we are used from "Kiviks marknad" or "TV Shop" .She will be better off making a fortune selling ointment for baldness.
Our prime minister (Ringmaster) says that there will be hundred thousands of new jobs if we say yes to EURO. Well, send him to "Kiviks marknad" as well. He can make a fortune selling diet pills. What ever they want I will vote against. I hope the Swedish Social Democratic Party will lose the election. They belong on a touring carnival. I will have a case of Diet Coke stand by for all NO voters.
And now, 2012, when I update this page on Singapore anchorage I change my mind. All YES voters should buy me a Diet MAX. The whole EURO zone is about to collapse and Sweden have done much better than the EURO countries.
We got a new Cook, Chief Engineer and 3 new ABs onboard during the afternoon and the off signing crew took off to a hotel. Their flight is early tomorrow morning.
At 2215 we completed discharging and pilot was ordered for 2400 22nd of August. By then I was in my cabin and I had a nice cool shower. It's very hot. I sent a SMS to our Cook from CT Star. He lives close to Villagarcia and we are going there on our next trip. I have promise him to bring a few gifts if we were coming to Villagarcia and he was happy.
Saturday 23rd of August 2003 and My morning watch started with nice weather but during my watch the wind increased and after my watch while sitting in my cabin the ship started to roll slowly for sea from NE. I hope I don't get sea sick.
Captain busy sketching the crew
Captain busy sketching the crew
On signing crew in Bayonne brought snus for me so now I have filled the refrigerator on the bridge as well. Snus all over the ship, good, now I have enough for a few days.
Now I only need some chocolate and I went to Captain's cabin to get the keys to the slop chest before going for my POWER nap. Captain was busy with his project to make drawings of all the crew members and we arranged for a few pictures of him sketching.
He made all the caricatures of our crew members that you can see on this page.
Sunday 24th of August 2003 and we were in the English Channel when I came on my morning watch. It was dense fog and "zero" visibility. Just after 11 o'clock the sun showed up and it became a nice day.
After my watch I went down to the mess room for my lunch and after lunch it was time for me to vote about the EURO. And this was the first time ever for me voting, I just had to take my responsibility to say NO to this drivel
I used to be very PRO EC, when it was like the Northwest European countries. We have about the same way of thinking. But they just want to bring onboard all the Scooby Doo and Mickey Mouse countries. Who is going to pay for this? And the Euro, it is like you and your friend share your money.
You work and you spend, and you make sure that the bills are paid. Everything works very well and you decide to bring on another friend. But this friend hasn't had a job for years and no one can remember when he paid a bill last time. And if he by chance happen to have more than a Dollar in his pocket he spend it on Booze.
So it doesn't require too much imagination to understand what will happen with the monetary union. So we're in a hurry to vote because we have to send the votes from Antwerp so they reach Sweden before 15th of September. Captain and 1st Engineer attested my vote. I need witness affirmation so they know it's my vote and that it was me voting.
During the afternoon I scanned a new drawing of our 2nd Officer. I asked Captain to make a drawing of Team Skåne but I don't know. Team Skåne is a ticklish subject. If you're from ,hmmm, outside Skåne it's easy to feel alienated. That's life, all of us can't come from Skåne.
But I got a drawing of our 2nd Officer from Skåne and our Captain had obviously not forgotten our life boat drill last time i was onboard. Our 2nd Officer forgot the tiller to the life boat rudder.
During the afternoon I was watching a Swedish movie. I started the movie on CT Star but the video tape was broken. I found the tape in our day room and I could continue the movie. Well, by the time I reached the place where the video tape broke on CT Star it was time for my power nap.
I slept until 1930 so it will be very hard to fall asleep after my watch. So I had an hour to spend before it was time to go on watch at 2030 and I went to the mess room to see if I could found some vitamins. There was some potato gratin from the dinner so I put it in the micro.
It's some championship in Paris were people are running around and stuff. Captain and the Engineers were in the dayroom watching some people running around for hours.
- This is as exciting as watching paint drying, I said.
I was off to my cabin and I continued my movie.
During the night the head wind increased and slowed us down a little. ETA Wandelaar pilot around 8 o'clock in the morning 25th of August. We received a message that they weren't sure about our cargo being ready for us. We will see what happen during the day tomorrow. I went to my cabin after my watch at midnight and I could finally finish the movie.
Monday 25th of August 2003 and we only made 11,2 knots when I came on my morning watch. It was a gloomy and grey morning with head wind. We had the tide against us as well. We arrived to Wandelaar pilot at 1000. After about 40 minutes the tide changed direction and we made over 14 knots even though we had strong head wind. I made tea for the pilot and we were drinking tea all the way to Vlissingen where we changed pilot in Vlissingen just after my watch at 1240.
AB and 2nd Officer waiting for the Pilot in Vlissingen
Changing pilot in Vlissingen
I had seen Tärnsund when she was on the way in to Vlissingen from Steenbank so I was on deck during pilot change, I was hoping to get some pictures of Tärnsund. But I was unlucky, Tärnsund stayed behind us all the way and she didn't got the same lock as we in Antwerp. No good photos.
We arrived to the lock just before 4 o'clock in the afternoon. It was nice weather with sun shine so I took the opportunity to to test our equipment before loading. It was nice weather and I enjoyed the afternoon on deck. And I also took the opportunity to pester our 2nd Officer with my camera while he was on the fo'c's'le working with our mooring ropes in the lock.
Approaching the lock in Antwerp
2nd Officer on the fo'c's'le
AB Officer on the fo'c's'le
2nd Officer on the fo'c's'le
Framnäs in the lock
2nd Officer and AB busy with the mooring ropes
2nd Officer busy on the fo'c's'le
2nd Officer at the mooring winch
2nd Officer at the mooring winch
2nd Officer at the mooring winch
Our 1st Engineer from Skåne on the Poop deck looking at the lock
We spent around 45 minutes in the lock and at 1715 we had all fast at Nynas jetty. I did the paper work with the loading Master. We will load 2 parcels of Bitumen to Villagarcia and Vigo in Spain. We will split 1 of the parcels onboard and take 500 ton to Vigo. Just a short trip from Villagarcia.
I went to my cabin when I was ready with the paperwork, I had plenty e-mail to send to Sue and there was plenty e-mail for me. I was happy because I had not checked my e-mail since last time in Antwerp. E-mail from Sue is the best thing happening onboard.
Captain showed me his latest drawing. He had made a drawing of "Team Skåne". Well, I don't know, but it's his interpretation. Anyway, I think it shows with desirable clarity how it feels not to belong to the group you really wished you belonged to and are looking up on. What can I say?
We completed our paper work at 1800 but we had to wait until 1945 for them to connect the arm. At 2005 we started to load the small parcel of 60/70e bitumen. There was a hole in a steam line ashore, the hole was just next to the ship at deck level. It was a horrible noise with that steam whistle blowing all the time. We used ear protection on deck and could not speak or hear the walkie talkie. I had to call them and ask them to turn the steam off. After 2 hours there came 2 men and started to climb around on the pipes and thank God, at 2230 they managed to turn off the steam.
After my watch I was of to my cabin for a shower. I updated my web page and then it was time for my beauty nap. I need it, I have to look darn handsome when meeting Sue.
Tuesday 26th of August 2003 and we got provision during the morning and they came from HKF with newspaper and magazines. We completed loading at 1210. It was a nice day with sun shine but there is a gale warning for the English Channel and the Bay of Biscay. I was off to my cabin after lunch and the cargo calculation and I ran in to our Captain on my way to the cabin.
- Hey Aladdin, come here, I have made some changes to the Team Skåne drawing.
He started to look around in his cabin for the drawing but he could not find it. I told him that it was never mind, it's good as it is.
- No No, I add some colour, it was colour less and I'm thinking about putting some hurray shouts and cheers, he said.
- Yeah-yeah don't bother, we get the picture. It's pretty colourless to be an outsider. We understand who wearing the party hats and cheering and blowing the party whistles without you adding anything.
After all this I got tired and I can always (almost) find time to squeeze in a beauty nap in the afternoon. As mentioned before I need to be darn handsome before soon. I'm counting the days so I need much of the beauty nap (1000 year or so).
We had ordered pilot for 1500 and when I woke up we were on the River Schelde. Even though I slept like the Sleeping Beauty my looks hadn't improved, or maybe, I overslept the dinner.
At 2030 I had to go and relieve our new 2nd Officer Sr. on the bridge. He signed on in Antwerp.
We changed the pilot in Vlissingen just after I came on watch at 2040. On the way to Wandelaar I could hear Swedish radio on the short wave. There was the latest news on the referendum and a desperate Social Democratic Party are doing everything to gain yes votes for the EURO. Now the minister for foreign affairs is make common cause with the telecom company Ericsson. They made a joint statement:
- It's going to be very hard times for Sweden if we vote no to the EURO
The Swedish Social Democratic Party really know how to choose partners. I'm sure the Swedish people have confidence for Ericsson. If this is the best they can come up with I don't know if I should laugh or cry. It's some confidence-inspiring partner they have found this time. Not long ago they wanted to move their head office to London and they are kicking many of their employees. They should concentrate on making good products they can sell. I'm sure Ericsson is very concerned about the well-being of Sweden and the Swedish people.
We left the pilot at Wandelaar pilot station 2320 26th of August. It was nice to leave the pilot behind. I stayed on the bridge chatting with Captain and 2nd Officer Jr. until 1 o'clock and we had passed the wreck of Tricolor.
ETA to Villagarcia Friday 29th of August. I will call the Cook to see if he is home by then. He told me that he would spend some time in the South of Spain while he is home on holiday from CT Star.
Wednesday 27th of August 2003 and we passed the white cliffs of Dover onmy morning watch. We received weather reports and it was blowing force 9-10 in the Bay of Biscay. Hopefully it will be gone when we pass the area. During my morning watch the wind from E had increased to force 6. It's gloomy and grey but there are a little sun shine as well so the ABs are chipping the deck.
After my watch and lunch (rice and salad) I read the latest news. HKF is sending news to Swedish ships daily on e-mail. Latest news on the referendum is that Swedish citizens on Ireland can't vote no. They haven't sent any no votes to Ireland.
Thursday 28th of August 2003 and when I woke up in the morning I knew we were in the Bay of Biscay. The ship was pitching a little so I thought we had run in to bad weather. When I came out from the shower I opened the blind in my sleeping cabin. It was sunshine and the sea was smooth like a mirror but there was some swell. The ABs could paint and chip on deck all day long.
There is plenty of work to do on deck so we need every nice day we can get. Soon it's autumn with rain and bad weather and by then it's too late to work on deck. We don't want her to look like a PanamaGreek even though the company have 1 new built ship and a second new ship to be delivered soon. And it makes sense, they cannot have a ship looking like a wreck only because they have new ships. We don't know when they will sell Framnäs. Maybe she will be scrapped. Framnäs is a very nice ship and everything works like when she was new 30 years ago (Swedish built).
Today you can't have a 30 year old ship in your fleet even if it's a fine ship. If something happens the newspaper will write that this and that company is sailing around with 30 years old wreck. Even though there is nothing to blame the ship with. Even if a 2 years old ship hit us the most of the critics will be about sailing around in 30 years old ship.
We had lost contact with the radio stations when I came on my watch. I could listen to Radio Sweden at 1200 and 2200 on our short wave radio. It's only the news so I have to remove the dust from my CDs. I played some good Hip Hop and our 2nd Officer Jr. complained every day. He's the one relieving me. But look whose talking, he brought Simple Minds CD to the bridge. The only thing worse is to fall overboard. But later on he told me that it was some of the worst crap he had heard. Yeah yeah, I told you so.
Friday 29th of August 2003 and I told Captain about my plans to take a photo of the crew.
- Very good idea, he said.
I asked Captain if he could arrange for the crew to come on the bridge so I could take the picture. We need to be on the bridge so as many as possible of the crew can be on the photo.
- Isn't it better if you ask them, Captain asked.
- No no, you have more authority than me, I said.
He put a note in the mess room that we will meet on the bridge at 1720. As no surprise we had to start look for the crew at 1730. While waiting our 2nd Officer and 1st Engineer found the Skåne flag and they started to play around and I managed to get a picture of TEAM SKÅNE.
At last we got all the crew on the bridge except 1 AB and finally we got the photo and I was off to my cabin to edit the picture. The only thing not possible to edit is the Captain. I told him at least 3 times to move in to the front. I want to stay here was the replay. Well, I want to be in my bed but when we are doing this we can as well do it good.
Well, anyway here are the pictures for all of you to see on the internet. Enjoy!!!
The Dream Team
The Dream Team
We had a nice passage over the Bay of Biscay. It started with weak wind from the South and during the 28th it changed to East and during the night there was rain with thunder and lightning. The wind changed to North force 5 with sunshine. The ABs been working every day on deck chipping and painting. Now we need more paint.
Friday night 29th of August. ETA Vigo pilot 2045. I called the Cook from Ct Star and told him that we had got orders to discharge in Vigo as first stop. I told him that I will call him Saturday morning when we have arrived to Villagarcia.
We arrived to Vigo pilot station 29th of August at 2105 and we had all fast at 2135 and we started to discharge at 2305.
It was a nice evening, not hot and not cold. But we should only discharge 500 MT so there was no time to enjoy the evening, well, if there had been a blizzard I'm sure that we had noticed. Anyway, I think you understand what I mean.
Saturday 30th of August 2003 and we completed discharging 25 minutes after midnight and we left Vigo around 1 o'clock in the morning. 3 hours to Villagarcia don't give me much time for sleep. Will there be time to dream about Sue? Hmmm, I hope so. I also hope that I manage to fall asleep before they call me again.
Well, there was no sleep and they called me just after 4 o'clock . We had all fast at 0440 and we started to discharge first parcel at 0540 and I was off to bed. I manage to get a little sleep before they called me again 0740 for my watch.
It was a beautiful day so I took the opportunity to fix our high level alarm in cargo tank 3 port. I had help from the AB on my watch and before soon the high level alarm was working again. As it should do on a Swedish flagged vessel.
I called my friend from CT Star and he drove up to Villagarcia. He came onboard just after 10 o'clock with fresh wheat bread. Yeah, always destroying my diet. We were just about to complete our first parcel when he came so he could study us when kicking ass on deck.
Our 2nd Officer Jr. was ashore but he had promised to be onboard around 11 o'clock so I could go ashore with my friend to buy crayfish. I was relieved just after 11 o'clock and I was off for a quick shower. My friend had brought his formula 1 car so we were in the city in a jiff. It wasn't very far and we spent most of the time looking for a place to park the car.
We took a walk to the fish market. We looked around and we were standing haggling most of the time until we got the crayfish for 20 Scooby Doo $ per kilo.
After the haggling we took a walk in to the city and we ended up in a restaurant. I'm always eating lamb chops when in Spain so I ordered lamb chops. All the girls was looking at me drooling, it's not every day there is a Swedish Viking in town. I wished Sue was here with her boxing gloves to help me out. Hmmm, after the restaurant we rushed to my friend's car and off we drove.
At a restaurant in Villgarcia
Back onboard I called Sue but the line was very poor. I hope I can get contact later on. I also had to call my bank, I lost my VISA card in the ATM machine. Same story with the pin code you have 3 tries before the ATM machine take your card. And now I discovered something new. I had forgot my pin code and I thought I was smart last time I used my card in Sweden. I tried 2 times and I could keep my card. But they are obviously keeping track, because they took my card after the first try here in Spain.
At 1430 I went out on deck to help 2nd Officer Jr to complete the discharging and to do the paper work. At 1445 we completed discharging and at 1500 the hose was off and I was in my cabin trying to call Sue again.
I managed to get contact but it was a very poor line. I was off to my bed.
When I woke up we had left Villagarcia and Spain behind. I was tired but happy, nice weather, high level alarm working and my inbox was overflowing with e-mail from Sue. I had spoken with her on the phone, it was nice even though I could only hear her voice some where far away. It had been a nice day in Villagarcia, my friend showed me around and the only thing not very nice was that I lost my VISA card in the ATM. That's the story when you can't choose pin code by yourself. Hmm, I have to shape up.
This is not the first card I loose in an ATM machine. I have millions of pin codes to keep track on and it's easy when you can choose code by yourself. But I can't choose code for my VISA card. I remember my first VISA card back in the days. I got it on a Sunday morning from the manager of the bank. We had a meeting outside the bank on the Sunday morning, that's the kind of expectations they had of me. But when I was 20 there was no interest in having any money in the bank, there was other and funnier thing to do with them. Now I'm pushing 27 and there is still no money on the bank even though I wish there was. Maybe soon.
During the night we had an increasing wind from the North and we were a little worried that we could not sit outside tomorrow and eat our crayfish. After my watch I bought a box of Gaylian. I need to have a serious talk with Captain. I have told him several times to throw me out from his cabin (he have the chocolate in his refrigerator) when I ask for chocolate. I had plan for this box to last long. I will open the box when I watch a movie after my watch and I will take the last 2 pieces when I finish the movie tomorrow.
Sunday 31st of August 2003 and it was a beautiful morning. Looks promising for the crayfish this afternoon. The ABs cleaned the poop deck and 1 AB was decorating the poop deck.
After my watch I continued Captains work to fill up and empty our DB tanks in order to get some of the mud out of the tanks. While doing this I took the opportunity to do some paper work as well. After wards I over flowed the tanks until it was clean water coming on deck. Afterwards I was off to my cabin to finish the movie I started at midnight. It was about someone making a movie about a book about orchids. An all time low again and I will not mention anything about bad movies on my page again until I have found a good one. After the movie I moved over to my bed for a quick power nap (I have given up the beauty nap for now, I have realised that there isn't much hope).
They had been busy decorating the Poop deck
They had been busy decorating the Poop deck
There was time for painting as well
There was time for painting as well
I was on deck taking pictures and 2nd Officer was watching from the bridge
Our 2nd Officer on the bridge
At 5 o'clock Captain told me that the crayfish were served and I took a quick shower before introducing myself at the poop deck.
I had not been eating crayfish for many years. I don't remember last time but I think it was when I was a little boy. In Sweden the season starts in the beginning of August and then there are crayfish parties everywhere. People wearing stupid hats and stuff. I have been on crayfish parties, but then the focus has been on heavy drinking and to misbehave.
But anyway, I don't like the crayfish so much. Too much work for little food. It doesn't taste bad but it's not growing to be a favourite, fish fingers is still my favourite sea food. They say that fish fingers are for children, well, yeah yeah, blah blah. I like it.
Eating crayfish on the Poop deck
Eating crayfish on the Poop deck
Eating crayfish on the Poop deck
Eating crayfish on the Poop deck
Captain eating ice cream
I had some ice cream after the crayfish, just a little comparing to how much Captain was shovel down. He told us that he was a member of "Ice-cream Enjoyers Association". Not only that, he had a diploma as well.
There was about 4-5 crayfishes left when we were finished and it had been a nice evening except the sight of Captain gourmandize on the ice-cream. Now it's only the Christmas food (except for Skåne and Mårten Gås) to go and we have done all the festivities for this year and then we can start all over again next year.
Monday 1st of September 2003 and autumn is here. It's still sunshine and summer weather but it's getting a little chilled in the air. We had entered the English Channel early morning and I could listen to BBC 4 on the radio. But after a while I had to play my CDs again.
1st of September and AB is painting on deck
1st of September and AB is painting on deck
Tuesday 2nd of September 2003 and pilot boarded us at Maas Center @ 13:15 and we had all fast in Europort, Rotterdam at 1440. We are going to load 2 parcels of Bitumen here in Rotterdam. I took the opportunity to send some e-mails to Sue while waiting for the Surveyor and at 1520 the Surveyor was onboard. Paper work and stuff and at 1610 we started to load 1st parcel. Nice, I need some sleep before my watch tonight and I hope I can fall asleep.
Pilot boat is coming for us
Pilot boat is coming for us
Captain watching the Pilot boarding us
I could not sleep before my watch. We had a pretty busy watch. At 2220 first parcel was ready. We stopped loading at 2150 with space for 25m³ in our last tank and we had to top-off last tank with a 25m³ line clearance. That means that they open for our next parcel ashore and the line from the shore tank to the ship contains 25m³. When our tank is full next product is at the ship and it's only to open to the tanks onboard for that parcel. At 2220 we stopped the line clearance and at 2225 we started to load our 2nd parcel. Expecting to be ready around 0500 in the morning so not much sleep.
Wednesday 3rd of September 2003 and I was called for at 0640 when they had completed loading. We completed ullage and calculation in a jiff and then we had to wait for the Surveyor. He came onboard a quarter of an hour before 8 o'clock. He signed my loading logs and ullage reports and he went ashore to do the cargo paper. At 0905 he was back onboard and he told me that they had ordered pilot for 1030.
We will shift berth to Botlek and discharge 500 ton there and load 500 tons of a different grade to mix our 2nd and big parcel to a new grade, exciting.
We will discharge in Antwerp and then load in Antwerp for Nantes, France. The plan was to go from Nantes to Eastham and load for Dublin but they changed loading port to Dundee, 2 days longer from Nantes and thus about 2 days longer from Dublin. I'm in a hurry to sign off and now we are delayed by 4 days. Can't make any plans in the shipping business.
Does Sue understand? Hmm, I don't know, but I hope.
On the fo'c's'le at departure
On the fo'c's'le at departure
On the fo'c's'le at departure
On the fo'c's'le at departure
We left Europort at 1030 and just before arriving to Botlek they told us that the jetty was occupied. Hmm, good organisation. We had all fast at the waiting berth (more delays) at 1235 and I was off to bed. I felt a little bad and I needed the sleep. When I woke up (I felt a little better) the Surveyor came onboard and we did the paper work.
The Surveyor told me that we are shifting berth between 2300 and midnight. The Agent says 2030 and when 2nd Officer called me for my wakeup call he said 2130. Well, you see, can't make any plans in shipping. Finally at 2155 we could start to shift berth and at 2215 we were secured alongside. Paperwork and we started to discharge at 2250. 2400 we were ready and at 0020 4th of September we started to load.
They had changed their plan to blend the bitumen onboard so we will mix it when we discharge. They expect 2 hours for loading so no use to go to bed. I wrote a few e-mails and I had a shower and quarter to 2 I went down to assist 2nd Officer and to do the paper work.
Thursday 4th of September 2003 and we completed discharging at 00:00 and at 00:20 we started to load. We completed loading at 02:20. Hose off and paper work ready 02:30 and I was in my bed trying to catch some sleep before it's time for action again.
When I came on my morning watch we had left Maas Center and the pilot behind. It was a very nice day so I enjoyed my watch on the bridge. On the way to Steenbank we meet Tor Belgia so I took a few pictures for my web page. We arrived at Steenbank Pilotstation at 1045 and when I got off my watch we had about 20 minutes to go to Vlissingen and the pilot change there.
AB and Cook having lunch
After my watch I went to the mess room and I had some spaghetti. Hmm, I had just sent an e-mail to Sue about my fruit and juice diet. But I was very hungry, I had only had 3 oranges in the morning and nothing the day before. I went to my bed after my lunch and I woke up at 1730 when we were in the lock in Antwerp.
At 1855 we had all fast at Nynas jetty and at 2125 we started to discharge our 1st parcel. We will discharge all tanks except 4P/S and then we will load again for Nantes in France. We had a nice watch, the AB and I. It was a nice evening and we talked about the good old times. We talked about when we were young and our fortune was smiling at us just dally our life's away.
- Back then you could sit in the park with your entertainment centre and a 48 pack in the middle of the day and girls walking by were shouting "Hello handsome!! How's life?", I said.
- Yes, today they think you're a bum living on social benefits when you enjoy a sunny day in the park, the AB said.
- Yeah, and most likely the police will show up.
Friday 5th of September 2003 and I was off to my cabin at midnight trying to connect to the internet. I failed and I could not send my e-mails. I will try tomorrow again and I was in my bed with a book. Just before 4 o'clock 2nd Officer Jr. called me. Yo!! He had problem with a computer program and I could handle it on the phone.
We had completed discharging during the night and on my morning watch 5th of September we had started to load. We expect to be ready in the evening. It was a sunny and hot day and at 10 o'clock they delivered provision and HKF came with newspaper. When the provision was ready there came an inspector and did a port state control.
After my watch I went to my cabin for a shower. After the shower I went out to say good bye to our Captain. He's signing off today. I will give it a new try with the e-mail before my sleep.
My inbox was brimmed with e-mails from Sue and I was both happy and down. Now I really want to leave the ship ASAP. I hope that we are so much delayed so I can sign off in Antwerp before going to Spain. Otherwise I will be delayed for a few days, well, more days more dollars. But now I don't have any more space for dollars on my account.
I took the opportunity to give her a call as well but no replay. Hmm, I was hopping to have her voice fresh in mind when going for my power nap.
I didn't manage to get my afternoon nap, I was thinking too much about Sue. At dinner I got the latest news from Båstad from the new Captain. He told me that they are going to have some gay parade over this weekend. Now there should be gay parades everywhere. Now it's legal and possible for gay couples to adopt children, crazy. Where will it end? I just feel sorry for those kids. Today it's enough to have the wrong kind of sneakers to be bullied then imagine being from Africa with 2 poofters as parents. Just because some people in the government want to feel unprejudiced they can come up with stupid things like that.
They just legislate without thinking and then they are talking about how bad the children feel in school today and how they should arrange everything so it will be a good and nice environment for our kids in school again.
Sue called in the evening and we had a long chat. After the call it was soon time to go on watch again but I had time for a few chapters in my book.
Well, I didn't expect us to be ready when I came on my watch but I had expected to be ready with the loading not long after. They didn't break any records while loading us and at 2310 5th of September we completed loading. Paper work was ready just before midnight and I was off to my cabin. I will write a last e-mail to Sue before losing contact with the internet on the 7 oceans. I will take the opportunity to update my web page as well. Then it's time for a snooze so I will be nippy tomorrow morning. We have ordered pilot for 0200 6th of September and that means that I will spend time with the pilot tomorrow morning. I know by experience that they like to have deft Officers on the bridge. We're always representing Broström when onboard and we must behave accordingly.
Saturday 6th of September 2003 and we had just left Vlissingen and the change of Pilot behind when coming on my morning watch. I had to spend about 2 hours with the sea Pilot before leaving him at Wandelaar. The pilot was a jolly lad and the 2 hours passed by quickly. He told me about some of the other ships he had been on. Very scary stuff and you is pretty much the same stories from the other pilots, no matter where you meet them in the world.
He should take 1 ship from Wandelaar to Vlissingen, it was blowing and it was hazy. Bulgarian crew with a Ukrainian Captain. The radar was working but he could see f... all in the radar so he asked the Officer about the radar.
Well, as no surprise the Officer could not speak English but the pilot started to adjust the tuning and brilliance and clutter and he managed to get some picture in the radar. He asked the Captain who spoke a little English how they managed to get all the way to Antwerp without any radar.
- GPS, Captain answered.
They had put their route on the chart and waypoints in the GPS and then they had followed the route no matter what coming in the way.
I told the pilot about when I passed Skagen with CT Star west bound for Immingham. I had the big container ship MSC India coming up from behind on my port quarter. He was making much more speed than me and he was overtaking us. I called him on the radio:
- You better change course now or you will crash in to me.
- I'm soon at my waypoint.
I had to change course to starboard otherwise he would have run in to me.
Amazing, but this is shipping of today. The pilot told me that many of the ships coming have maps (charts) 20 years old without any corrections. He could not understand how they dared to sail around like that. On many of the ships no one spoke understandable English. I told him about 1 time when I passed Maas pilot. Pilot Maas called 1 ship:
- What's your position?
- I'm at sea, I'm at sea.
This is what we have to compete with and it's the shipping company responsible. The STCW convention or whatever the name is says that everyone should speak good English before getting their license to drive a ship. But good English is comparative and if I can say "Yes Sir" and the guy issuing the license can't say f... all then all of a sudden I'm excellent in English.
And as I said the scary part is that all pilots have stories like that to tell.
Our new Captain, he lives in Båstad
AB cleaning the bridge
Our 1st Engineer from Skåne on the bridge
Captain sending departure message
We left the pilot at 1010 at Wandelaar and we continued our voyage to Nantes. When we passed the wreck of Tricolor. They are working there 24-7 to remove the wreck and now they are in a hurry before the storms begins to blow. All ships passing have to report to a French guard ship guarding the wreck. There are plenty buoys marking the area. I think its 3 ship that had run in to the wreck already.
When we passed there was 2 small speed boats driving around in the area, they were interested to see how it looked. The guard ship was calling them on both channel 16 and 67. The guard ship was treating with navy ships and arrest. The speed boats passed us on the way to Belgium. This was just 2 weekend sailors wanting to see the work area.
Soon after passing Tricolor I was relieved by 2nd Officer Jr. and I was off to more exciting things to do. I had my lunch and I found 2 books in the library that I will read. But first updating my web page.
Removing the wreck of Tricolor
Removing the wreck of Tricolor
Sunday 7th of September 2003 and we entered the Bay of Biscay just before midnight. It was gloomy and grey with rain and wind. We had head wind from SW during the passage of the English Channel. I hope this weather is not here to stay. I have not brought my "Panta longas" and I hope that I can manage without until I sign off. Our 2nd Officer Jr. will sign off in Nantes and I had made a CD for him with the pictures I had taken onboard during the summer and autumn.
Monday 8th of September 2003 and we were ordered to drop anchor at arrival to La Loire pilot we and wait for the tide water and we dropped our anchor at 11:00. It was raining but the wind had decreased so it was mostly swell at the anchorage.
At 1445 the anchor was up and at 1455 the pilot was onboard. At 1900 we had all fast in Nantes. Nantes is situated at the river La Loire and there is several meters difference between high and low water. We have to keep an eye out for the mooring ropes all the time. We started to discharge our first parcel at 1950. It was an annoying drizzle the whole watch and it doesn't looks like there will be any painting tomorrow. After my watch I sent some e-mail to Sue and my inbox was full again. Her e-mail is the only thing (except signing off) I'm looking forward to on the ship.
Tuesday 9th of September 2003 and they called me for my morning watch at 0740. I had my shower and I went down on the deck office. We had completed discharging at 07:00 and the cargo arm was disconnected at 0730. Pilot was ordered for 0930 so I had time to do paper work and to drink some tea before departure.
There was a force 5-6 blowing from NW and some grey clouds in the sky, but the sun was shinning so the crew started to paint on deck and at 0930 the pilot came onboard. We left Nantes at 0940 and we had to steam up the river for 1 mile about before we could turn around and go with the tide out to the pilot station at Saint Nazire. ETA at the pilot station around 1330. According to the weather reports the wind was decreasing from force 6-8 to 4-5. But rough sea was to be expected.
On the way down the river the pilot discovered a huge hornet in the window. It was huge, almost like a sparrow. The hornet made a terrible thud every time he hit the window trying to get out. I crap my pants. The pilot told me that he had been stung by a hornet the week before and he had a gaping wound on his arm to show. It looked like someone had shoot him in the arm. He told me that his arm had looked like a football. I gave a "Notice to Mariners" to the pilot and he killed the hornet.
During my ride down river La Loire while talking EURO with the pilot I learned that 25 years ago there had been a change to the French franc as well.
- 100 franc became 1 franc and it was hard for the people to get used to the new denomination, the pilot said.
This was interesting for me to know. When looking at old French movies and reading old French books I had always wondered how they could spend so much money, a night on a disco and 200 000 Franc was gone. Hmm, I know how to spend money, or more exact, I used to know. But 200 000 Franc on a disco, well, know I understand. It seems like a pretty normal night out.
At arrival to the anchorage yesterday I managed to call "Traditionella Lantkök" in Sweden. I ordered my kitchen sink and I hope I can have it delivered to me in November/ December. I hope my kitchen will be ready by then so I can cook some food from Skåne for Sue.
We got a new 2nd Officer Jr. in Nantes and I was relieved by our new 2nd Officer just when we passed under the bridge in Saint Nazire. I went down to our mess room and my lunch. (rice and salad)
I was running in to the AB on my watch when he was eating, he's married with our cook so they are eating together.
- It's nice weather so you can work overtime painting in the afternoon. You need the money when you are going to Funky Town.
- We are not going to Funky Town, the Cook said (his boss). We!!!??? That was a new one.
Hmm, yesterday night on our watch he told me everything about that he could do what he wanted to and that he would go to Funky Town if he wanted to. We heard it all before.
- We are planning for our holiday, the Cook said.
- Yeah, will it be a "Lill semester" in Fredrikshamn? I asked.
Arriving Saturday afternoon with the ferry just giving you time for the ballyhoo at Bengtssons wine shop. Buy 2 bottles and you get a colourful hat. In the evening steak on the hotel with dance and the morning ferry back to Sweden.
- Please, ask if they can put an extra bed in your room for me?
After lunch I went to my cabin and I updated my web page. I had a look out of my window around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. The sea looked good and the sun was shining. I hope we have good weather until I sign off.
Wednesday 10th of September 2003 and we had force 5 wind from NW and the ship rolled slightly when we rounded Oussant and entered the English Channel early morning. Its rain in the air and it's gloomy and grey with sunshine. The summer is fighting back the autumn. It's getting a little nippy in the morning. After my watch I had toast (no butter) and water. Last time our ship chandler delivered butter in Antwerp he delivered butter that had an expiry date back in 2001!!! So it is easy to skip the butter.
After lunch I found a movie "The Ring", I had seen the movie with Sue last winter. At the cinema we could giggle and monkey around in the dark. I was hoping to bring the moment back to life in my cabin. Well, how desperate am I now? I bought a box of Gaylian (last box onboard, good) to have with my movie. I hope Sue doesn't read about the chocolate.
In the evening I brought the chocolate (leftovers) to the bridge. I told the AB that he could choose between eating chocolate or chipping on deck. He chose the chocolate and I felt better with my diet. That's the same old trick I did on Master Cody. I ordered, I think it was 20kg salted peanuts for Singapore + chocolate and stuff but that's another story. I had 1 tin of peanuts and I got this terrible agony for my diet. My cabin was full of peanuts and I gave a few tins to the ABs from Sri Lanka. I gave them a few the day after as well.
- No, thank you. We have enough.
I asked them if they wanted to work 8 hours a day and eat peanuts or if they wanted to work 12 hours a day. I was out of peanuts before we reached India.
Thursday 11th of September 2003 and when I came on my morning watch we had Tricolor on our starboard (right) side. We should change course to port (left) and cross the TSS and then continue along England's east coast up to Dundee in Scotland. It was nice weather so the boys could chip and paint on deck. On the news they said that the Swedish Foreign minister had died of her stab wounds she received yesterday when she was shopping. Some lunatic attacking her on the department store. On the news yesterday they said that her condition was critical but there was no danger for her life and now she's dead.
After my watch I went down to find a video. I choose Titanic so now you know how desperate I am. I'm really digging at the bottom of the crates bored to death. I turned on the video and wrote e-mail to Sue. After the e-mail I turned off the turkey and went to bed with my book.
When I relieved 2nd Officer in the night he told me that Bro Traveller had passed us. I called them on CH 16 and I spoke with my friend there. He's Chief Officer and he was on watch as well. They were on the way to Tees
After my watch I was down in my cabin and there was connection to the network. Poor connection but I managed to send my e-mail but I could not receive all my e-mail. My inbox was full of trash, big files with pictures and stuff, making it impossible to get my e-mail. Broken connection and we had to start all over again with these mails. I was in a bad mood when I went to my bed.
Friday 12th of September 2003 and we dropped anchor just outside loading berth at 13:45 ST. Our jetty was occupied and we had to wait at anchor. Hmm, typical, I'm in a hurry and we are only waiting. Finally at 1700 we were alongside. Hose connected at 1755 and we were ready to kick ass. Where is the Surveyor? Hello!!! I'm in a hurry home to Sue and I can't lie around here waiting. No one had seen the Surveyor. Our agent told me that he had not done the shore tanks either and they could not reach him. The Surveyor must check our tanks before we can start to load. Help!! I'm in a hurry here. This is Murphy's Law.
While waiting for the Surveyor I had a shower and I tried to Call Sue 5-6 times. There was only a machine telling me that I had reached her number. I will not make a remark on 12th of September 2003 in my almanac as my lucky day. After several calls to Sue I gave up. My good friend the "Spanish" Cook called from Spain. He will be in the south of Spain visiting his son when we are coming to Villagarcia.
Finally 2nd Officer called me at 1935, Surveyor was onboard. That was about time, I was jumping up and down in my cabin. At 2015 we started to load our first parcel. With the rate they kept we are staying here for a long time.
Saturday 13th of September 2003 and at 1340 we completed our 3rd and last parcel. Paper work completed just before 3 o'clock and I was off to make my call to Sue. I called her after lunch but I had to go on deck assisting 2nd Officer when completing loading. She had been at the cinema when I called her yesterday. We had a long chat and I was happy except for wanting to sign off even more than before.
We agreed that she will pick me up at the airport 28th of September when I'm coming home. I hope the times run away and that everything runs smooth so I can manage to be there at the 28th. I really don't care for spending hours waiting for Surveyors and from now on I only want tail wind.
Pilot ordered for 1600 ST and I think we left around that time, I was in my bed trying to sleep. I had just finished my talk with Sue and I could not fall asleep. Hmm, I went to my computer and then down for dinner. Our 2nd Officer had bought a bag of computer magazines for me when he was ashore. So after dinner I had plenty to read.
I had a barrel of hot chocolate with wiped cream at dinner so it was nice to go to bed with my magazines. But no sleep so after my watch at midnight it will be nice with a nap.
The AB brought Toblerone to the bridge on our night watch. I didn't eat any chocolate. I suffered with a terrible agony after my hot chocolate.
- If you don't eat you have to go chip on deck, he said.
- Hey, hey, that's my line, I said.
I didn't have any chocolate ( I was proud of myself. This is the stuff Sue wants to read) and we agreed on to save it until tomorrow. Sunday night special.
Sunday 14th of September 2003 and and today it's time fore the referendum on Sweden's future currency. When I came on my morning watch we had just passed through Pentland Firth. Just before reaching Cape Wrath we got increasing sea against us and at Cape Wrath I changed course to SW and we got force 7 head wind and we made 9 knots. Please!! I'm in a hurry and if we keep up like this I will never make it to see Sue 28th of September.
2nd Officer on the bridge
On my night watch we were listening for the referendum result on Radio Sweden and as no big surprise NO won a landslide victory. 56% against 42% for yes.
Well, there was the usual analyse and retrospectives. They had found a guy telling us that the parties wanting a NO to € had been the same as the parties wanting us to shut down our nuclear power plants in the referendum 1980.
- They were afraid of the technology, was his profound analysis.
I wonder if it's the technology or the nuclear waste people are afraid of. Where do they find all these experts?
AB and Captain listening for the referendum result
Captain listening for the referendum result ...
...and the AB is making coffee
AB and Captain listening for the referendum result
Well, I turned off the radio and I put on some nice French Hip Hop. Now the ringmaster had to pack up his circus and hit the road again. Next time they stop in your neighbourhood don't be surprised if they pull a new rabbit out of the hat.
- If you vote like we want you will all be millionaires.
You think they care about us? Well, one thing you can be sure of is that they are disappointed with the result. They are afraid that they can't join the € club going around Europe scratching each other's backs.
Some of the losers interviewed said that the Swedish people were afraid of joining Europe and that Swedish people thought that Sweden was the best country in the world. That's why they voted no. (Just to say something like that on the radio after losing a referendum should be enough to be expatriated) No one of the Swedish people I know think Sweden is the best country in the world.
They also said that there had not been enough information about the €. Well, we have heard that:
- There will be hundred thousands of new jobs with the €. (I have no doubt about that. But where? In China)
- All families will save 3600$ per year with the €
- Our welfare will improve with the €
The only information missing:
- The € cure baldness. Sounds likely to you?
- The € makes you beautiful. Excellent!!
- The € is the best diet known to mankind. Well, now we are talking. This is my cup of tea.
- The € makes the summers last longer. Yeah yeah, bla bla
- All people voting yes will get a bottle opener and/or a key-ring.
Every time they are coming up with bull like that they just convince more and more people to vote no. Especially with the improved welfare. They say that everything they do is for improved welfare and it's just deteriorates. So all the losers said that it was a loss for Sweden and hard time was to come. Worth noting is that when I listened to BBC Radio 4 they said that the referendum was a setback for the € and not for Sweden. And believe me or not I trust BBC more than politicians saying that I'm afraid of Europe.
When I got of my watch at midnight the ship started to roll for swell from SW. There had been strong winds on the Atlantic.
Monday 15th of September 2003 and we were just north of the TSS (Traffic Separation Schemes) between Scotland and Northern Ireland when I came on my morning watch. It was gloomy and grey and there was a little rain. The sun managed to break through the grey clouds and the boys could start to paint on deck. We have to take every opportunity, soon it's too late.
We got fax from NYNAS and they had added Vigo to our Villagarcia voyage. Shit!! I will never make it until the 28th of September. I will aim on signing off in Villagarcia to have a chance of making it to the 28th.
Dublin pilot boarded us at 2005 ST 15th of September and we were alongside at 2055. We stayed just next to the jetty were we used to discharge paper with M/S Alstern a few years ago. When we arrived we got a new AB onboard and the one going home will leave us early tomorrow morning.
At 2145 we started to discharge 1st parcel and at 2345 we completed 1st parcel and I started 2nd parcel before I got off my watch at midnight. Maximum allowed back pressure is 5 bars so we will not break any records while discharging here. Breaking records is the name of the game when you are in a hurry home. 1st parcel was 250m³/h and I will be retired before I meet Sue again. Hey old timer! That's not what I want to hear when I meet her again.
Tuesday 16th of September 2003 and when we completed discharging at 1135 we had not break any record. We left Dublin at 1245 on a very nice day. Summer day, no wind and sun shine.
Wednesday 17th of September 2003 and we had entered the English Channel in the morning. When I came on my watch it was gorgeous weather. The sea was calm like a mirror and sun shine, the summer is back in town and we were hauling ass making it to Wandelaar pilot early morning 18th of September. Yippee!! I will soon be off. In the afternoon we received a message that our jetty was occupied until the 19th of September. F..., is it impossible to leave the ship. I will not make it until the 28th.
Thursday 18th of September 2003 and when I came on my morning watch Wandelaar pilot called us and told us that our pilot would be available at 1000. We had 30 minutes to go so we had to slow down and adjust arriving time to 1000. At 0955 the pilot boarded us at Wandelaar pilot station. Captain had got a message that "maybe" our jetty was available at arrival.
AB preparing for Wandelaar Pilot to board us
AB preparing for Wandelaar Pilot to board us
Pilot is coming for us
Pilot is coming for us
Pilot ready to get onboard
Pilot boat is leaving us
Our jetty was MAYBE available at arrival, sounds very good, then there will be a chance to get to Sue in time. Hmmm, at 18:50 we were secured alongside the waiting jetty. Swedish Seaman's church waiting on the jetty with new newspaper for us. We are going to discharge engine sludge and water from the pump room here before shifting to loading berth. Engine department had ordered a barge to take ashore their sludge.
So we took the opportunity to clean our pump room on the way to Antwerp from Dublin. We have to do it when we can discharge the cleaning water, we don't want this in to the sea and we can not have it in the pump room.
After arrival I called Sue and she cheered me up. She complained a little about me not updating my web page. So I will do it after midnight when I'm off my watch. Well, anyway, I was delighted after our talk and I hope the last week onboard will be a quick one.
Captain on the bridge
At 9 o'clock we were ready with our sludge and I had a soda pop (Diet Coke) with the AB on deck. Yes, believe it or not but we had a few seconds over for relaxing and scratching our behinds.
- Sue said hello to you when I spoke with her, I said.
He became very happy. I showed him the picture from the ship on my computer a few weeks ago and he saw the pictures of Sue and after that he had only been speaking about her.
Well well, at 2225 we left our waiting jetty and 2300 we had all fast at NYNAS jetty and at midnight we started to load 1st parcel. My last loading on this ship.
I was off to my cabin and I sent my e-mail and I uploaded the latest updates on my web page.
Friday 19th of September 2003 and we had summer weather again whenI came on my morning watch. They said it should be 28°C during the day. We got provision and during my watch we topped off cargo tanks and we completed loading of the first parcel at 1155. 1215 we started 2nd and last parcel. We expect to be ready around 7 o'clock tonight. For sure I won't make it to see Sue in time.
After my watch I started to watch a movie, yesterday at arrival to Antwerp our agent brought a box with new videos. E-mail and a video before my afternoon nap.
I woke up just in time for dinner and I had time to continue on my movie before we completed loading at 1920. Then we had to do some serious calculation. Pilot was ordered for 2200 and we were all stand-by on deck, ready to leave. At 10 o'clock they called and told us that we had to wait until 2230. We left NYNAS jetty at 2245 and we arrived to the lock just before midnight. We had to slow down waiting for the lock to be ready. I was relieved at midnight on the fo'c's'le by 2nd Officer. We were still waiting to enter the lock.
No lack of waiting and delays on my last trip.
Saturday 20th of September 2003 and I just had time to make tea and to eat my "Oatmeal surprise" when I came on watch before we left the pilot at Wandelaar pilot station 0935. It was a very nice day again with no wind. I passed the wreck of Tricolor and steered a westerly course while crossing the north bound TSS at Hinder L/B. When I reached Foxtrot 3 light vessel I changed course to SW and followed the south bound TSS. Please God give me something to hold on to, we made a breakneck speed of 11 knots and it will be Christmas before I see Sue.
Monday 21st of September 2003 and we entered Bay of Biscay in the afternoon. When I came on my night watch we made 10 knots. Increasing head wind from SW and when I went down at midnight we made 7 knots. I was just waiting for us to get a parking fine. But I had given up everything about seeing Sue in time and now I gave a f about our speed and when we arrived to Antwerp.
Tuesday 22nd of September 2003 and I caught sight of a fin dead ahead just after coming on my morning watch. . I thought it was a porpoise and there are 13 of them on a dozen. The fin submerged when the whale porpoise through the sea but I could see the back all the time.
Then I realised that it was not a porpoise, it was a huge whale. I ran out on the bridge wing when we passed just next to it and it was huge. The blow hole was big enough for me to fall in to. Then it's huge. If I had felt in to the hole the whale had most likely been mistaking me for a bogger. I had been blow out of the hole through the stratosphere all the way to Sue.
- Watch out Sue!! Your cuddle toy is about to land.
The ABs was chipping on deck and I used our horn trying to get their attention so they could see the whale. But no success until it was too late. About 15-20 minutes too late I came up with the idea to slow down and alter course. We could have followed the whale for 10 minutes so the crew could have seen it and I could have been taking some picture. Once in a lifetime view.
I have seen many whales, but never so close and so big. The closest I had been to a big fish before was a hammer head in the Indian Ocean after passing South Africa on the way to Taiwan. I was on the bridge wing when I looked down in the water. Just under the wing there was a hammer head swimming and it was big, 5-6 meters long. I crapped my pants even though the shark was 30 meters below.
Well, anyway, on my watch the wind turned from SW to WNW and force 7 had become force 5. 11,5 knots when I went down for my lunch. I don't want to say that we were hauling ass but it's a lot better than 7 knots.
Wednesday 23rd of September 2003 and it was still pitch-dark outside when they called me for my morning watch at 0740. After my shower I went to the bridge. First thing I saw was a note from Chief Engineer that we could have maximum pitch 8 on the KAMEWA. Great!! Everything slowing us down and delay my get-together with Sue is much appreciated now.
Why is it happen to me?
I made my tea and I watched the sun coming up over the Spanish mountain. Looks like we had a nice day ahead of us. At 1110 pilot boarded us in Villagarcia and at 1130 we had all fast. We will discharge all cargo except 1000 MT here and the rest will be discharged in Vigo. A few hours south of Villagarcia. Our agent told us that maybe our jetty in Vigo will be occupied when we arrive there. Well, why not, everything turns to shit this last trip.
At 2230 we completed discharging and we left Villagarcia 2300. 3-4 hours to Vigo and we have to drop our anchor until 7-8 o'clock tomorrow morning 24th of September. Yeah why not? Wind changing from south to north, of course, head wind all the way.
Thursday 24th of September 2003 and we dropped our anchor just off out jetty in Vigo at 0205. There was a cement ship at our jetty and we had to wait. When I came on the bridge just before 8 o'clock in the morning there was no sign of us leaving the anchorage. Our 2nd Officer told me that he had spoke to the pilot 20 minutes before 8 o'clock and they told him that the cement ship should leave at 8 o'clock. Not even time for a quick early morning cuppa.
- Yeah yeah, blah- blah.
0845 the pilot called me and he told me that he will be onboard at 9 o'clock. 0910 our anchor was up and at 0935 we were secured alongside. We had 1000MT onboard to discharge and we started 1030 and completed discharging at 1250. We left Vigo in a jiff and I hope we can be in Antwerp on Saturday morning. But as I mentioned before we had not broke any record so far. If any broken records it will just be the amount of shit coming our way.
I have a few things to do on the way to Antwerp. AB on my watch told me the other day that he had bought 2 CDs and he wanted me to burn some music for him. We are listening to Danish Hip Hop every night on the bridge and now he wants some to listening to at home. Well, it's the same story all the time.
I hope the weather allows me to burn the CDs or I will do it when I'm coming home. I also sent my last e-mail to Sue before meeting her next week and I was in a good mood when we left Spain. Now I hope that there is no more shit coming our way and that we will have tail wind all the way to Antwerp.
When leaving the Spanish coast line behind in the afternoon it was sun shine and the sea was smooth like a mirror (some swell, but what the ...) with dolphins jumping around the ship. I was in a good mood. I had received new orders from Captain Darling (shouldn't be too much of a guess work to figure out who this is), I was not allowed to eat any more chocolate. Now it will be easier to say no to the AB when he runs around with his Toblerone on our night watches.
When coming on my night watch just north of the Finnistere my good mood disappeared. Our speed was anything but good and on the last hour of my watch we made 11, Mickey Mouse knots. This whole trip turns in to a farce, one of those French farce no one is laughing to. For sure I could not hear anyone laughing.
The only thing cheering me up was the news from Radio Sweden at 2200. Gothenburg had beaten Djurgården in soccer. Malmö had beaten Djurgården the other day and are now only 4 points from the top. I'm sure the Skåne flag will be flying proudly in the sky when Malmö win the league and once again become the best team in Sweden.
Saturday 26th of September 2003 and we had entered the English Channel when I came on my morning watch. We were between Oussant and Jourburg TSS. The weather was nice and we did over 15 knots. Maybe I can sign off Saturday afternoon. I told AB on my watch that he could call and make the reservation at Röda rummet for tomorrow night. His favourite pub in Gothenburg and he wants me to go there. Looks like the farce had turned to a comedy, but I won't say hey until I'm home. Shipping is an uncertain business with good and bad news.
At 1300 we held a drill. Oil spill and rescue of a person from the pump room. We started out in the crew's dayroom where our 2nd Officer explained first aid and what to do if we found an unconscious person. He demonstrated our Oxyvac, a bottle of oxygen with a mask to use when giving artificial respiration to a person.
2nd Officer demonstrates the OXYVAC
2nd Officer used our Mess man to demonstrate the semi-prone position and artificial respiration, and believe me, Our Mess man looked pretty happy when it was all over.
After the demonstration in the day room it was time to rescue an unconscious person with a broken bone from our pump room. We send down 2 crew member in the pump room with a stretcher. We had placed a stuffed boiler suit in the pump room to act as the wounded crew member. They got the dummy on the stretcher and brought it back up on deck.
When the dummy was back up on deck they moved him to a stretcher with handles and carried him to the hospital. When we were ready with the drill it was time for me to have our oil spill drill. I explained the usual stuff about the scupper plugs and our oil spill equipment.
We have 2 air driven pumps on deck during cargo operations. We use these if there is an oil spill on deck. We put one of them on deck and connected all the hoses. We used a bucket of water and pumped the water and everyone had a chance to see how the pump was working. In case of a real oil spill we pump the oil to empty drums or to an empty cargo tank. No oil is allowed in to the sea. This is a good thing and a big change in the last 15 years. Before it was never mind if they pumped the oil in to the sea. Unfortunately there are still people thinking like that.
At the pump room entrance
Stretcher with our DUMMY on the way up from the pump room
The DUMMY is safe on deck
Stretcher with our DUMMY on the way to the hospital
After the drill Captain told me that the loading jetty in Antwerp was occupied.
- Good. Then we can sign of directly at arrival, I said.
Well, as mentioned before shipping is an uncertain business with good and bad news. Anything can happen. I hope the right thing happen.
Sunday 27th of September 2003 and we arrived to Wandelaar pilot station at 0530 and we changed pilot in Vlissingen 0805. Captain gave me my flight information:
KL 1732 L 27SEP 6 BRUAMS HK1 1730 1825
KL 1163 L 27SEP 6 AMSGOT HK1 1950 2115
I called to Gothenburg and made a reservation on a hotel. I will stay in Gothenburg a few days before going home to Bangkok. I called my friend and he will pick me up at the airport. Very good, and Sue will pick me up at the airport when I'm coming home. Very nice, maybe time for some KISS KISS even before reaching home.
At 12 o'clock we entered the lock in Antwerp and we were just about to leave when I was relieved by 2nd Officer at 1230. We had order to go to a waiting jetty until our loading jetty was ready. Very good again, I will be off. They will load 4 parcels of bitumen for Nantes and I'm happy to be off the ship. I have no wish for return to Nantes.
From 18th of August to 27th of September we did the following voyages:
Antwerp - Bayonne: 2 parcels of Bitumen. Voy 37/03
Antwerp - Villagarcia and Vigo in Spain: 2 parcels of Bitumen. Voy 38/03
Rotterdam/ Rotterdam - Antwerp: 3 parcels of Bitumen. 39/03
Antwerp - Nantes, France: 4 parcels of Bitumen. 40/03
Dundee - Dublin: 3 parcels of Bitumen. Voy 41/03
Antwerp - Villagarcia and Vigo: 2 parcels of Bitumen. Voy 42/03 (My last trip
Our relievers arrives
On our way to the airport
A beer at the airport
We will use the same transportation to the airport as our reliever arrives with. There are 7 of them coming. I had time for a shower and to pack my last thing before leaving. I left Framnäs behind with screaming and smoking tyres. Watch out Sue!! Your cuddle toy is coming. I don't know my "next" ship. But I know that I will spend a long time with Sue.
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