Rewritten April 2011 while onboard M/T Ternvik
Halmia as Tarina
Picture from www.shipspotting.com Photo by Andreas Spörri, taken 8th of May 1996 in Travemünde
Halmia (ex Tarina -98, Vaka -90, Thyrill Litlafell -82, Sioux -71) was built in Kiel 1964 and she's on 1229 DW ton.
Halmia is 67,31m long and 10,1m wide. She had a MaK 4SA main engine on 809kW. She was operating from Rostock as a bunker boat.
I was walking down Kvilletorget, Hissingen in Gothenburg. Most likely on my way to J's and my favourite Chinese restaurant on Hissingen when my phone rang. It was the owner of M/T Halmia, a Swedish tanker used as a bunker boat for the ferries in Travemünde and Lübeck in Germany. He asked if I had any experience from small ships.
- Well, I don't know....
- We need a Captain to M/T Halmia
He asked if I could join the ship in Rostock, pretty soon. I think it was in 2 days or so. I always find it hard to say no so I accepted. I really didn't want to go to this ship but, well, anyway it turned out to be an experience.
I left Gothenburg on a train bound for Malmö. I paid extra for the X-2000 service to make sure that I would make it to my connection in Malmö. X-2000 it's supposed to be a high speed train. Well, the only thing different from the other train is that they don't stop at so many stations. You pay more and get worse service, SJ sucks and you're better off with a rented car, cheaper, faster and more convenient. As no surprise the train was late and I missed my connection to Trelleborg and I had to go by bus to Trelleborg and a taxi to the terminal. I reached the ferry just in time for departure.
Thursday 14th of September 2000 and I signed on as Master in Rostock 14th of September 2000. We loaded Gas oil and heavy fuel oil in Rostock and we delivered bunker to the ferries in Travemünde and Lübeck.
I arrived to Rostock, Germany in the evening and the owner picked up our new Chief Officer and me at the ferry terminal.
Well, the ship was not exactly a cruise ship. It was an old ship and there wasn't anything to get excited about. My cabin was OK but I had some trouble with the hot water in the shower. So I had my showers cold.
After loading the bunker in Rostock we had a few hours to Travemünde. We left Rostock in the night and we arrived to Travemünde in the morning. Our owner wanted to have an AB on watch while I and the Chief Officer would sleep between Rostock and Travemünde. No way, so I took the watch, our Chief Officer needed to sleep, he had been up all day long loading the ship and he would have to be up all day long bunkering the ferries.
When we left Travemünde or Lübeck he went to sleep and I took the ship back to Rostock. Arriving to Rostock in the night and we did the same thing all over again. Except weekends, then we were waiting to late Sunday night or early Monday morning in order to be in Travemünde Monday morning. We delivered bunker to the ferries and Finncarriers RO RO vessel and they was running on a time table so it was pretty much the same times and days of the week we delivered to the different ships.
So I was ashore every Saturday night “Representing” and it was a big difference from when I was in Rostock back in the East Germany days. Well, this time around I wasn't picket up by the Police. But I was back at the very same bar where they had 3 or 4 police cars to pick me up when it was East Germany.
So ashore all night long and I spent the Sunday in my cabin playing Nintendo Gameboy or whatever it was called. And this Nintendo really saved me from going crazy. There wasn't very much to do on the ship and as the Captain I had more spare time than I wished for.
So I spent hours by playing SuperMario and calling the kitchen for buckets of milk shakes. Well, the Nintendo was fun until I discovered that if I jumped on one of the mushrooms in a stair SuperMario stopped there jumping up and down the same mushroom while the score counter just went on and on. So I got millions of points just by sitting there drinking milk shakes. And after that it wasn't so fun anymore. No need to break any records anymore. And I can't remember ever playing the game since then. My Gameboy is most likely in a box at J's place.
Most of the time we delivered bunkers for the ferries in Travemünde and Lübeck. Sometimes
when we delivered bunker to Lübeck and it was a about 2 hours from Travemünde to Lübeck. We had to pass Travemünde on Trave river (I think that's the name).
the second-largest city in Schleswig-Holstein, in northern Germany, and one of the major ports of Germany. It was for several centuries the "capital" of the Hanseatic League ("Queen of the Hanse") and, because of its Brick Gothic architectural heritage, is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. In 2005 it had a population of 213,983.
City of Lübeck
Situated at the Trave River, Lübeck is the largest German port on the Baltic Sea. The old part of the town is an island enclosed by the Trave. The Elbe– Lübeck Canal connects the Trave with the Elbe River. Another important river near the town centre is the Wakenitz. Autobahn 1 connects Lübeck with Hamburg and Denmark (Vogelfluglinie). The borough Travemünde is a sea resort and ferry port at the coast of the Baltic Sea. Its central station links Lübeck with a number of lines, notably the line to Hamburg.
Yes, while searching the internet (2011) for pictures from the port of Lübeck I learned that the River is named Trave. And I also learned that the port of Lübeck include the port of Travemünde. So I understand that it is the biggest German port in the Baltic Sea. I also think that it is one of the few German ports in the Baltic Sea. Rostock and Kiel and then a few small ports like Wismar and Stralsund. So biggest in the Baltic really doesn't say very much.
But there are plenty ferries and RO RO ships going to the port of Lübeck - Travemünde so I understand that it is a big port. Or at least much cargo going in and out of Germany from the port. Well, so I have learned a few things writing my web page.
There are plenty RO RO ships going to Travemünde/ Lübeck from Sweden and Finland with paper and wood so we were busy delivering bunkers to the ferries and RO RO ships. And we had to wait over night in Lübeck for the ferries to arrive and we bunkered the ships while they were loading and discharging. So there was time to go ashore for shopping and it was walking distance to the city. I spent more than a little money on "magic" diet powder.
I had bought my condo in Bangkok and one thing is for sure, I never expected it to take 4 years before I could move in. So I spent a lot of money in Lübeck buying kitchen utensils for my, what I thought back then, my new soon to be ready kitchen. But back then it was fun to buy stuff to my new home. It wasn't until 2 or 3 years later it felt like throwing money in to the sea. But it turned out OK after 11 different companies working to redecorate the darn condo. And now, 2011, I have my special guys to call when I need something done. But it took a lot of different companies to find them.
But I have one piece of advice for you if you ever going to buy a condo in Bangkok. Stay away from foreigners and Pattaya Beach boys.
When we finished in Lübeck we returned to Rostock to load again. One time our owner wanted the ABs to go down in the tank to weld the cracks. No talk about tank cleaning or gas freeing.
- Not as long as I'm onboard, I said.
The AB that was supposed to do the welding told me later on that he was grateful that someone had stopped the welding.
- They are crazy, he told me.
So they put cement on top of all the cracks in deck instead. I don't know what they did when I had signed off. I was onboard for 2 weeks and I really don't care. But I wouldn't be surprised if they welded in the tanks when I was home. The owner was onboard all the time when I was there, he didn't passed his medical exam any more. He could not see so he needed a Captain on the paper. I remember one time when we arrived to Lübeck. He was approaching a ferry and as he was almost blind he didn't realised that he approached to quick.
The ABs and Chief Officer on deck was stand-by with mooring lines and boathooks. Of course, everything broke with our speed.
The owner started to scream at the ABs.
- YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR THIS!!
I got angry and told him that he can't blame the ABs when he f@cks up.
- I will deduct it from their salaries.
What salaries? He had some crew from former Eastern Europe and I heard later on that they never got their salaries. I went to the SEKO Sjöfolk when I signed off. SEKO is the trade union for the ABs. I told them about the situation onboard.
I told them that he had Eastern Europeans onboard a Swedish flagged vessel and I asked them to check out the ship and help the guys.
- We know about the problem.
- So why don't you f@cking do something?
We also delivered bunker to new built ship at the shipyards in Wismar and Stralsund. Exciting, and on top of that we did a trip to Kiel to delivered bunker to the bunker station at the lock to the Kiel Canal. But this only happened one time and we were back to the exciting Rostock to Lübeck / Travemünde adventure.
I really don't know where the owner of the ship found his crew. I remember when I should sign on a new AB joining us in Rostock. I asked for his documents and he handed over a seaman's discharge book with last entry 20 years ago. It was one of those old books that I had
not seen around for 25 years, so I must admit that I got a wee bit nostalgic. The same style as my first seaman's discharge book.
is a Swedish state-owned limited company with the mission to create meaningful and developing jobs for people with disabilities as reduced work capacity. The company was founded in 1980 and is one of Sweden's largest companies. One of society's goal is to at least five percent of employees each year will move on to a job with another employer, which would mean that around 1000 people a year leaving society for a new job.
During its first decades of activity was dominated entirely by the industry's own production. Today, three quarters of employees in service and staffing for other companies, which is thought to facilitate transitions to other employers.
Hmm, I got a little suspicious. The book had expired a long time ago and is this guy really an AB. No medical check up or any other documentations. Turned out that he had been working for SAMHALL and that he quit because the stress full environment at SAMHALL.
It was fun to have him onboard, when painting our superstructure all the paint ended up on deck and nothing on the superstructure. He just disappeared and I found him in he's bed.
- I got tired, he said.
What to say? I just laughed. 1 time he got bored with the painting and he spent the 2-3 last hours of his watch on deck with a cup of coffee hanging over a bollard. Our Chief Officer was crying and I was laughing.
Well, I didn't know if I should laugh or cry so I decided to laugh. I had not hired him and I really didn't care very much about his painting.
And I'm not sure he received any salary. Well, anyway, I signed off 2nd of October and it was very nice. In Sweden we call ships like M/T Halmia for “scrap” or “rust buckets”
When I took the ferry back to Sweden from Rostock I meet an AB that I was working with on my first ship when I was a deck boy. I also worked with him when I was Chief Officer on a vegetable oil tanker. He was a great help during the tank cleaning. I could have a few hour of sleep. Before he came on the ship I had to do those 24 hours of tank cleaning without a rest or sleep. Now he was working on the ferry and showed me around the ferry on my trip back to Sweden.
After Halmia I signed on Tärnvind as Chief Officer.
OK, it has come to my knowledge that we have senior citizens visiting my web page. How hard can it be? So it's not very easy for them to see the blue coloured links to the next page.
I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one.
Jiffy (also jiff)
noun [in SING.] informal a moment: we'll be back in a jiffy.
ORIGIN late 18th cent.: of unknown origin.
So as you understand, in a jiff pretty much depends on your internet.
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? 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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