Monday 1st of September 2008 and same ol' same ol'. September starts on the same course as August ended, 341°(T). At 12 o'clock we changed course to 319°(T) and this course will take us past the Northern parts of Brazil on our way to Delaware, USA.
Well, when I and Captain had solved most of the “world's problem” our Mess man entered the bridge with a plate of fresh buns.
- What the...!!??
- No problem, Captain eats 3 and I take the rest, Chief Engineer said.
Yeah, fat chance, I was soon left alone with the buns, filled with cocos. Yummy, well, I wouldn't know.
After a quick lunch it was time to gauging the FP for gas so the crew can bring down the anodes. Paper work and 2 o'clock I was in the track. Feeling good after a few days of feeling like shit and it was nice to be back in my track.
Beautiful afternoon and the crew were busy greasing and painting, preparing the ship for the upcoming inspection in USA. Well, at least we're expecting an inspection so we can as well prepare and hopefully no one will find any deficiencies. After dinner, language course, shower and an episode of Dexter and I'm off to the bridge and my night watch.
I have managed to keep my diet drink drinking to a minimum and I only had had 2 diet drinks during the day when it was time to go for my night watch. I hope I can stay away from the diet drink during my night watch.
2 diet drinks in one day and that's a new record. And 2 of the 2 were totally unnecessary, the first when I woke up, just old habit to open a diet drink when I wake up. After my constitutional I went to Captain's office, I have a 6 pack in his fridge so I had one while telling him how good I am. So I'm down to 2 from more than 10 per day. GREAT!
Tuesday 2nd of September 2008 and two more hurricanes coming in from the Atlantic Ocean. Well, until now it's only one, the last one is not upgraded to a tropical storm yet and is just called 10. Number ten for this season, but when it's becoming a tropical storm they give it a name and it will start with J.
Anyway, looks like we will pass between Ike and 10 on our way to Delaware.
We checked the weather map during my night watch and TROPICAL DISTURBANCE 10 was now named Josephine, but as it looks now we will pass between Ike and Josephine, 511 NM from Josephine. Strong winds expected, but nothing to write home about. I don't even think there will be any exciting picture for David. We remember the guy that wanted me to post some “BAD WEATHER” pictures. But we see what happens.
Wednesday 3rd of September 2008 and I started the day by gauging gas in FP and the aft stool. They will continue taking down anodes to the FP and Pump man will grease 2 valves in the stool.
We made 2 enclose space entry permits and I was off to make myself 3 slices of crisp bread for my breakfast on the bridge. A beautiful morning and I enjoyed my tea and crispbread while listening to my language course. Captain was soon on the bridge and our Chief Engineer stepped in on the bridge a few minutes later.
We killed time talking about the good old times and my watch were soon over. Time to test our emergency cargo pump. Our Pump man and Cadets and prepared the pump and it was ready to test after lunch. we need to test it every now and then to make sure it's working, and we refresh ourselves in the use of the pump. If suddenly we need to use it it's good to know how to connect the pump and where to find all the stuff for the pump.
Our Emergency cargo pump in action
When we use it there is a cargo hose connected to it
Pump man and our Cadets had placed the pump in a drum of water and it was just to open the hydraulic valve and the pump started. It took 3 seconds for the pump to pump out the 200 litres water in the drum.
When we use it for cargo we lower it down the cargo tank and then there is a hose connected to the pump and we connect the hose to
the positively charged electrode by which the electrons leave an electrical device. The opposite of CATHODE. The anode is usually made of metal, in a thermionic valve, cathode-ray tube, or battery. The anode attracts negative charges or electron current, and is the electrode by which electrons leave a system. Used in the ballast tanks for rust protection.
the cargo pipe. So we can empty the tank even when the pumps are not working.
Well, while we were testing the pump the rest of the crew took down anodes in the FP, 3rd day and today they got ready. 138 anodes a 23,5 KG. Well, ready, they are at the bottom of the FP, then it will take a few days to attach them on the bottom ( A few day for each tank). It's 138 anodes in the FP and totally it's about 1600 anodes by 23,5 kg. This will take a very long time to do. Of course they expect it to be done in 2 days.
Well, we will not even be ready taking down the anodes in all the ballast tanks before it's time for me to leave. I usually ask them to work half day in the ballast tanks. It's hot, I mean really hot, down in the ballast tanks. We're running the cargo tank fans in to the tank, but it don't help very much.
Imagine carry around 25kg in a sauna, well, I don't want anyone to die in the tanks and we also have plenty other stuff to do on deck.
Tomorrow morning they will start with DB 5 Port and we see if they can do it in 2 days, but I doubt it. But it's easier to bring them down to the DB than in to the FP so maybe, we see.
I had been on my night watch for about 1 hour when one of our Deck Cadets came to the bridge. He use to come practicing to check the compass error with the moon and stars.
The AB on my watch has his 3rd Officers license, he just need some courses in Manila before he can get a job as 3rd Officer.
Well, anyway, he takes the chance to practice taking bearings to celestial bodies as well. Of course he takes the chance to join Aladdin's navigation school.
Heavy duty calculation, and I don't allow any calculators in my school.
Mental arithmetic is good training, but the students are complaining. They want to use calculator, hell, they only need to use two of the four rules of arithmetic, and it's the two easy ones: + & -!
- We belong to different generations! We are used to calculators!
- What the....! I'm one year older than you! I replied.
Aladdin's navigation school
Checking the bearing to the star
I had them to do the compass error 2 times in order to get them familiar with the calculation. The easy part is to find the info in the books. We have an excellent book for identifying the stars.
You only have to calculate the LHA and you enter the book with latitude and LHA. The good stars is marked with a ♦, 3 out of 6 star are marked with the ♦.
Well, we finished the calculations at 11 o'clock and I told the Cadet that it will be 3 compass errors tomorrow night.
- When we finish here you should be able to do this in 3 minutes even if they wake you up at 3 o'clock in the morning.
Well, the last hour turned quick and the whole watch was very quick. We got 3 compass errors and our Cadet and the AB on my watch will soon know how to do this. As I told them:
- Maybe you're the Officer of the watch next time on a ship and then you better off knowing how to do this.
Thursday 4th of September 2008 and it's about one week to go to Delaware River. Good, we need the time to get deck in order. Well, deck is in order, but we need to paint stencils and stuff like that. We also need to get down as many of the anodes as possible. It will not be many, but anyway. They managed to take down half of the anodes to DB 5 port.
I got almost 1 hour in the track before dinner with a few interruptions for paper work.
Friday 5th of September 2008 and I started the day with gauging gas. The crew will continue to bring down anodes to DB 5 port and I need to do an Enclose Space Entry.
When I was ready with the gauging I did my 3 slices of crispbread and I stepped in on the bridge at 8 o'clock to relieve 3rd Officer.
It didn't take long for them to start taking down the anodes. Tripod and the other equipment were ready since yesterday so they just had to put the anodes at the manhole. As you can see on the left hand pictures it's not any small anodes.
Gloomy and grey morning with passing showers and that's good for the guys down the ballast tank, not so hot. Well, I was going down the memory lane with Captain on the bridge, drinking tea having a good time while the crew were working hard in the ballast tank.
After lunch it was time to do some almond paste, I have promised Captain Semlor for a few days and he is asking for Semlor every day and now it's about time to make Semlor.
Time for Semlor
Almond paste is the only thing we don't have onboard and our Cadet and I got right on to it after lunch. I got the recipe from our 1st Engineer on Barcarolle.
Sliced almonds becomes almond powder
OK, we don't have any almonds, but our Cook found a can of sliced almonds. Good, we don't have to scold and peel the almonds. We got straight to the grinding and it didn't take long to get us a KG of almond powder. 1kg almond powder becomes 2 kg almond paste.
2 Cups of almond powder, 1 cup of sugar and 1 cup of icing sugar. Add a little water and stir and you will soon have the best almond paste.
At 1 o'clock we were ready with the almond paste and we went to my office. Our Cadet will do the discharge plan during the afternoon and I was off to my cabin.
Well, what do you know? No yeast onboard and the whole Semle project capsized and we were standing there with almond paste for a crew of 23. OK, we have to find another use for the almond paste. I started right off at the dinner, I ate it as it was from a plate, YUMMY!
Saturday 6th of September 2008 and gas measuring DB 1Stb before going to my watch. They will finish (Taking down the anodes) DB 1 Stb today and I hope 1P/S & 5P/S and FP will be ready before arrival to USA.
So, our Semle project capsized and sank yesterday. And it went quick, no survivors, except a big bowl of almond paste. So far our Captain has come up with about 1 million ideas of what to do with the almond paste. I'm sure we will come up with something.
Sunday 7th of September 2008 and we have 3 days to go. ETA 11th of September and we have planned to take an inspection round on deck after lunch.
But first I had to have a Photoshop school with Captain.
- Hmm, what is he up to?
OK, Sunday and our Cadet were off to check the oxygen in the cargo tanks.
- Looks like a nice day for the sextant so when you're ready you can come to the bridge to practise with the sextant.
Our Cadet has to do some celestial navigation in order to pass the course and I have someone to pester on the bridge. Well, when our Cadet came to the bridge it was overcast and it seemed to be a slim chance to get any sights of the sun. But, well, our Mess man came to the bridge with a plate of pancakes.
Captain and Chief Engineer were already on the bridge telling each other stories from the good ol' times. They brighten up when the pancakes arrived to the bridge. Well, I was disappointed and I presented Captain with an ultimatum.
- If you want any more help with Photoshop you have to throw me out from the mess room every time I show up for a meal!
Our Cadet got lucky and we got 2 minutes of sun between the clouds and he could take a height of the sun before it was covered in clouds again.
Old school navigation
I skipped lunch (Soon time to sign off and I don't want to go home in a freighter) I filled ballast in DB 1 Stb and I discharged DB 4 Stb and I sent a ballast report to US. I was ready at 1 o'clock and Bosun, Pump man and our Cadet had a pre “Inspection Tour On Deck” meeting at my office.
We started on the bridge and we walked the deck while our Cadets were taking notes on things that need to be done before arrival to Paulsboro. Not much to do, a few stencils, some cleaning, checking flame screens and stuff.
Monday 8th of September 2008 and gauging, preparing my crispbread and I was on the bridge again. The crew were taking down anodes in DB 1 Port while I was eating crispbread and drinking my tea. One of our Cadets spent the morning on the bridge taking the sun while I was pestering the Captain.
During my morning watch our Captain gave the internet a new try. But internet is dead, there are a few flashes and the antenna tries to find a satellite, but no internet.
Well, we have more or less given up on the internet, 2008
My watch came to an end and it was time for lunch. Our crew will start with the stuck roller leads in the afternoon. All the anodes are down in DB 1 Port and they will work on deck the rest of the day. Well, several of the roller leads are stuck so there is work to do.
Pump man is busy with a hydraulic valve to the forward winch and I'm busy exercising and taking pictures. Taking pictures and screaming instructions, it's good to be the Chief Officer.
And you can as well take the opportunity to enjoy the Broström logo. Mærsk bought Broström last month and yet another Swedish Shipping Company is gone. Soon Panama flag and crew from only God know where.
- Hmm, how many Swedish Shipping Companies are left? 4 or 5?
Working with roller leads
Last time we see the Broström logo? Mærsk bought Broström last month, when will the last Swedish Shipping Company disappear?
Well, as long as we are flying the Swedish flag we will train the next generation Swedish sailors. But they will not work under Swedish flag, or as I said to our Cadet:
- You are 23 and you will be a millionaire before 27. Just to stay away from Sweden.
- You go work in Norway and you will put at least 20000 US in your pocket every month and you will get a yearly bonus of 100,000US.
- Hmm, who will work in Sweden? On Veritas ships?
Well, Captain Fylle Pelle and foreigners. I foreign Chief Officer can put 3000 US more than me in his pocket every month. He don't have to pay full tax in Sweden, I have to pay tax so they can send money to his country as foreign aid.
- Why should they pay tax in Sweden? They don't use any schools, hospitals and other tax founded services in Sweden.
- Right! But why should I pay tax both for all those services in Sweden and his country?
Well, soon time for dinner and I'm off for a shower and we will see if Captain kicks me out of the mess room, I sure hope so, soon time to sign off and I need to look good. But I suspect that I have to take care of this problem myself. I will try to avoid the area, well, a little vegetables and fruit will do me good.
But the problem is to stick to the vegetables, and I cannot just leave the table. Someone has to do the social part, and it's me. And I cannot just sit there watching the rest of them indulging.
Tuesday 9th of September 2008 and I woke up to a gorgeous morning. We were soon on deck measuring the gas in DB 5 Stb and when I came on the bridge the crew were busy taking down the anodes in DB 5 Stb.
They had all the anodes in the tank before lunch and they will start take down the anodes to the bottom after lunch and maybe they will finish tomorrow.
I skipped lunch and I did some paper work, better work than eat and now I can sense that I'm on the right track towards a V shaped torso. I also tested our emergency stops with our Cadets and I was off for my constitutional at 1430. I had to give up after 15 minutes. It was hot and I was suffering a terrible inanition.
Well, after dinner it was time for a little writing on my web page and before soon it was time to go on my night watch. Not many watches to go before we arrive to Paulsboro.
Wednesday 10th of September 2008 and today was the last time measuring the ballast tank, at least for a long time. They will finish DB 5 Stb today and we will start
Just stumbled on your site and spent 3 days reading everything. You're living my dream. I'm incredibly jealous. My wife thinks I'm crazy but I'm sure I missed my calling. What's the worst weather you experienced? Do you ever get nervous when you're in heavy seas and it's not your watch? Can you explain what it takes to clean a tank? I can't tell if it's physical or somewhat automated. Please forgive me if the questions sound stupid. I'm a big hockey fan. Calle Johansson is one of my favourite hockey players. Do you follow hockey when at work? Can you post some bad weather pictures?
I live outside Washington, DC USA
fill ballast when we discharge in USA.
A beautiful morning, but we were soon running in to a Northerly wind with heavy rain. From Tropical summer to autumn in 4 seconds. OK, no constitutional today. No way I go out in this rain so I spent the afternoon preparing the paperwork for tomorrow and I was soon off to my cabin.
A rainy day and I can spend it with my web page. Finally I have time to update my WEB SHIP with the entire tank cleaning extravaganza. The bad weather pictures? Well, so far we have had gorgeous weather.
We were crossing the Golf stream during my night watch and we were almost in the middle of it when I got off my watch at midnight. I had to compensate our course by 13° due to the Golf stream setting us to the NE.
We could see lightning during our watch and sometimes it was like daylight. I tried to catch the lightning with my camera, but I didn't have any luck. As soon as I turned around there was a flash and I missed it and I was standing there in the rain like the village idiot with my camera. I was soaking wet when I ran out of battery in my camera and I had only managed to get one picture.
I got the picture when I was on the way from Stb wing to Port wing. So I spent 30 minutes in the rain trying to get a good picture and the only picture I managed to get I took from inside the bridge. Well, of course, when I was out of battery the lightening started again and I spent the last of my watch sullen.
Thunder & lightning, Golf stream or not, we continued our course towards NW. We will pass between Cape May and Cape Henlopen and enter the Delaware Bay tomorrow.
Thursday 11th of September 2008 and we approached Delaware Bay when I came on my morning watch. I had just made my first cup of tea when we reduced speed, time to test the engine. Testing engine astern and to test the steering gear is normal procedure before arrival to USA. It worked OK and we could proceed towards the Pilot station.
I was off to my cabin to upload my web page after my watch. We were just about to take onboard the Pilot when I left the bridge. Our internet is a non working internet, but I borrowed an AT&T modem of Captain and I hope I can upload my web page.
Well, we expect to arrive around 1900 and I don't have to spend any time with the pilot on the bridge. Very nice, well, don't tell anyone, but with this Captain it's pretty nice on the bridge. I have someone to pester and the time turns quick. But he deserves the hard time. He is Captain and as I told him:
- Your Captain and responsible for the crews well-being!
- You should make sure that I stick to my diet!
- That's something you have to work on by yourself!
- Well, you're the Captain and it must be obvious to you that I don't feel good! A severe eating disorder and every meal is a cry for help.
- YOU!! YOU'RE ONLY LAUGHING ALL THE TIME! He said.
There were a million e-mails, I really don't understand where all the spam is coming from. When we left Portugal there was a million and I never seen so many spam before. When I had deleted all the spam there were 2 e-mails left in the inbox. 1 from my friend at INTERTANKO.
He is still working on the lifeboat stuff at INTERTANKO, yeah, we remember his questions about the lifeboat drills on Barcarolle. This time he had been impressed by our platforms around the lifeboat davit. Excellent! Can you send me the pictures?
Of course, and I will do it quick so the credits goes out to Broström and not Mærsk. I hope he can finish the work before we are painting the ship light blue with a white star in the funnel.
What else, yeah, an e-mail from an Engineer that I worked with on Argo Pallas.
Hello! It's the Engineer with the cake on Argo Pallas! Who are you? I can't see your name anywhere.
Always nice to hear from people you have worked with. Argo Pallas.
- Hmm, that was some 12 years ago. Same happened a few months ago, I got e-mail from a guy I went to school with 22 years ago. He had been on my web page and he took the opportunity to send me an e-mail.
OK, we had a Cadet a few years ago and she was always writing to me and she told me she had so much use of my web page while in school. Today I got a new e-mail and now she is working at the VTS in Stockholm.
Troligtvis minns du mig inte, men jag har dig att tacka för en hel del av min utbildning... Jag var cadet på Bro Jupiter 2004.Du har en del foton på mig där. Bodde i en håla på toppen av Vättern; Askersund. nej, det är inte lätt att komma i håg alla!Jag vill bara tacka dig får att jag då och då använt mig av dina i min utbildning när jag inte förstått. Jag är numera VTS operatör i Södertälje och Stockholm och trivs bra.
Vill bara undra om man kan ge ett bidrag till din hemsida för det kostar säkert en del att hålla den igång?
- No, I don't need any sponsors for my web page. Except if it is the Swedish Maritime Authorities that wants to give me a contribution. A million or so would not hurt.
Well, after replying to all the e-mails I went on deck to check on our Electrician. The tank radar in 1 Stb is not working and it would be nice if it was working when we start discharging tonight. After some work in the CCR and the SAAB computer we found out that it was the signal from the radar that was missing.
- Hmm, how did you found out that?
EASY! We swapped 4 Port and 1 Port, then 1 Port was working and 4 Port didn't. So everything is working in the CCR and the signal from 1 Port is missing, at least it's not reaching the computer in the CCR.
Well, I'm off to harass our Captain!
2 Pilots, Captain, Cadet, 3rd Officer and an AB on the wheel. The bridge was crowded when I stepped in on the bridge with two diet drinks in my hand and a smile on my face.
- HEY! Didn't you give up diet drinks a few weeks ago?
- Oh yeah! But I had to do a support purchase. Otherwise they would never been able to get rid of the diet drinks.
One of our Pilots used American snus, School with apple flavour. He spotted me wedging a fresh one.
- Ah! Is it you using the snus? I saw a can on top of the fridge.
- Yeah, do you want to try?
- NO NO! I tried it once and I was DOWN & OUT for several hours! That stuff is dangerous!
- Well, it's nothing you offer to your kiddie sister!
- Take a look at my stuff, it smells apple, he said ramming his can up under my nose.
- Well, this is something you offer to your kiddie sister!
We got the harbour Pilot onboard around 7 o'clock and our river Pilot was off duty.
- So you're off duty. Maybe you should take the chance to test the REAL STUFF now, I offered
- NO NO! I have a new ship at midnight!
Approaching Philadelphia and the airport is just at the river. So the airplanes descend over the river and over the ship. I heard the noise.
- What the BIP is that?
I could see one aircraft coming down for landing just over tank deck. You're standing on the bridge looking forward, there is a terrible noise and suddenly it is like an airplane falls down over deck. Well, I wanted a picture of this and I was off to get my camera.
Not every day you're in a river running in the same direction as the runway and the airplanes is landing over you. This will look good on picture.
Of course, when I was back with my camera the river had changed direction and we were no longer under the airplanes
We had first line ashore at 1940 and all fast at 2005. I was in my office in a jiff doing paper work while waiting for the Surveyors and Loading Master. Immigration and our Agent came onboard at the same time as the Surveyors and suddenly there were millions of papers that needed my attention.
One of our Cadets, Pump man and Motorman is signing off tomorrow and we got the new crew onboard around 10 o'clock.
- Where are the gifts? I asked.
- Yeah, you always bring gifts when you sign on a ship!
At 2325 we started to discharge, we start with a 4500 Bbls line displacement. Then it will be stop for an hour or so the check the shore tank and only God knows when I can get to bed. But it will be late, well, it will be early morning before I can get my power nap.
Friday 12th of September 2008 and I was just in time to catch a few words with Captain at lunch. I woke up a few minutes past 12, a quick shower and I was down in the mess room.
Well, it had been a long night and I didn't go to bed until 5 o'clock. Line displacements, topping of tanks and waiting for shore to lift the top on their tank with slow rate.
Well, we expect to be ready around 1600 and the off signers left just after 2 o'clock. Our Pump man got his last hug before he left. As I said to him:
- You might end up on a PanamaGreek ship next time and then there will not be any GOOD MORNING HUG!
After completion we will shift to a lay berth and tomorrow there will be a barge for our sludge. Good, a night of take it easy alongside. Our 2nd Officer and Cadet will take this opportunity to go ashore shopping.
- Good! Can you drop by “Tall & Handsome ” (Translated to Swedish it will pretty much be something like Tjockis & Fläskis) and pick up a few trousers for me?
I got 200 US of the Captain and I told the Cadet to buy 4 pair of trousers and iTunes cash card for the remaining money. So I can download some music. (When we get internet )
We left Paulsboro just after 1800 and we had all fast at Tioga Berth, Philadelphia at 2040. Sludge barge will arrive tomorrow and nothing to do during the night. I asked Captain if he wanted to spend some QUALITY TIME watching a movie.
- We can as well take this opportunity to spend some quality time together, I suggested.
- I'm so busy!
Saturday 13th of September 2008 and we were still alongside when I woke up at 9. Captain told me that the Pilot will be onboard at 1500.
- What happened with 12 o'clock?
- The sludge truck was delayed.
- DARN! Arrival Baltimore in the middle of the night, I said.
Our Agent was in Captain's office and he told me that we will drop anchor at arrival to Baltimore.
- Very good! I expected a full night again, I said.
Well, when I came to my office I found a plastic bag on my desk. 4 iTunes gift cards a 25 US and the label from my trousers I bought in Freeport. I gave the label as a sample to our Cadet when he went ashore to buy trousers for me. But obviously everything but Wal-Mart was closed yesterday. I took my gift cards and I uploaded 100 US on my iTunes account.
When I came back to my office I threw away the plastic bag.
- Hmm, the label can come in handy next time they go ashore. Maybe they will have the time in Baltimore and the “Tall & Handsome ” (Translated to Swedish it will pretty much be something like Tjockis & Fläskis) might be open then, I thought and I picked up the plastic bag from the trash can. Well, I found my remaining one hundred dollar bill in the bag together with the label so I guess I was lucky the bill didn't ended up in the incinerator.
Well, our Cadet bought his iPod at Wal-Mart and he wanted to copy my music treasure.
- OK, go get your computer and I see you in my cabin in 3 seconds.
Captain came to my office and we went to check the new stores that had arrived this very morning and when we were ready it was time for lunch. Our Cook had to leave yesterday due to sickness so it's our Mess man in charge in the galley.
Well, anyway, after lunch we went to my cabin to install iTunes and to copy my music treasure to the Cadet's computer.
When I opened my door to the cabin I got a chock.
- LOOK! MY COMPUTER DELIVERED A BABY DURING LUNCH!!
It was our Cadet's computer and it looked like a baby next to my computer. For sure I didn't miss the opportunity to tell our Cadet so.
I was on the bridge at 1440 and I was surprised to see both the Pilots on the bridge. I had expected Captain to be there and I wanted to spend the 20 minutes before the Pilots were supposed to arrive by pestering Captain. But well, it's better to get away earlier and we will arrive a few minutes earlier to Baltimore anchorage.
When I came on the bridge Captain were busy testing the engine AHEAD & ASTERN and we started to take in our mooring ropes at 1450 and 5 minutes later we left the berth. Our Dock Pilot asked where we were going.
- Dock Pilot??!!
- Yeah, we have one Dock Pilot and one River Pilot. So as soon as we are off the jetty the River Pilot takes over.
I never seen this system before and as soon as we are off the jetty and on the way the Dock Pilot is leaving the ship.
Well, anyway, our Dock Pilot asked where we were going.
- Baltimore, our Captain said.
- That's a very nice place! You should go to the marina and have lunch tomorrow. There are plenty nice restaurants.
- Well, we're on diet, I said.
- We had a Mr. Bro Provider contest 2 weeks ago. I and Captain were the only 2 contestants and no one won! So we decided to do something about it.
Steaming down Delaware River
On the way down Delaware River we passed Philadelphia and the old docks. Well, it's easy imagine this as a busy harbour a few decades ago. But now they have built condominiums and offices in most of the old sheds and it looked pretty good. At least the docks close to the city center. Way better than to let it fall in to disrepair.
Hmm, OK, the degree of disrepair increased pari passu with the distance from the city center.
Captain and our Cadet were busy taking pictures and I was busy taking pictures of them taking pictures.
We passed a new condominium and I asked the Pilot how much they were asking for the units. He told me it would cost around 300,000US.
- Well, if they remove the sunken wreck they can ask for 500,000, I said.
There was a sunken wreck just in front of the condo and it didn't look very nice.
Philadelphia River side
As you can see there is a slight difference between the docks in the city and a little bit outside the city. But it will be plenty razor blades the day they decide to scrap the junker.
S/S United States
We passed Philadelphia city center and the landscape became more and more of a eyesore. No more condominiums along the old docks and not long after passing Philadelphia city center we passed S/S United States.
I asked the Pilot for the story of the S/S United States. But he didn't know, but it had obviously been on the way to be scraped for several years now. I don't know how she ended up in Philadelphia instead of on a scrap yard. But most likely it's because of asbestos and other stuff they used when they built things back in the GOLDEN days.
OK, I had enough of Philadelphia and Delaware river and I left the bridge for my cabin and my web page. I will write a few words before dinner and then I hope I have time for a movie before my night watch.
Leaving Philadelphia behind and no one is in a hurry to come back
After dinner it was time to enter the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal, a man made Canal between Delaware River and Chesapeake. The Canal is almost 15 miles long and goes between Delaware River and Elk River at the head of Chesapeake Bay. We save about 285 miles by using the Canal.
Otherwise we would have to go down Delaware River to the Atlantic, turn South and then enter the Chesapeake Bay and go up to Baltimore.
I can't say it was very exciting to enter the Canal, but as I said to our Pilot:
- It's very boring in the accommodation when Captain has to be on the bridge. No one to argue with. So I have to come stay on the bridge on my watch below. But I must leave now, I will spend 4 hours with Captain on the bridge tonight and I need to save some of the most interesting conversation topics for then. Would be a drag if we had to stay here just to find out that we had nothing to talk about.
Sunday 14th of September 2008 and they called me 0655. Our Pilot was onboard 15 minutes later and I came on the bridge fresh from the shower at 0720. Anchor was just aweigh and we started to move towards BP Curtis Bay.
- I MADE TEA WATER FOR YOU! Captain said.
- That's the spirit, I said in a pretty good mood even though I was a wee bit tired from lack of sleep.
We dropped anchor 5 minutes after midnight and I was soon in my bed. DARN! Impossible to fall asleep and I was tired after a night of turning and tossing in bed. OK, 15 minutes in a hot shower was good, but not enough. Never mind, I was in a good mood and it was a gorgeous morning.
Sippin' my tea and cracking a few jokes with our Pilot and Captain while approaching BP Curtis Bay slowly. The barge at our jetty left at 7 and we meet her on the way to the berth.
All fast at 0850 and the Surveyor were onboard some 30 minutes later. Same ol' paper work and calculation and when we were ready it was just to wait for shore to be ready. While waiting to start discharging our Surveyor surfed my web page.
- Yeah, The Surveyor had internet on his computer. Its 2008 fer God's sake!
We expect to be ready around midnight and departure in the middle of the night. Middle of the night work, what a surprise!
- Hmm, I'm better off for a power nap!
I was in the CCR when our Cadet came back from his shopping tour, he had 3 trousers with him. This was the last 3 pairs of shorts left. 3 pair of trousers for 50 US and I told him that it was a good price.
- Yeah, grand sale and they want to clear the summer collection before the winter.
Monday 15th of September 2008 and shore stopped discharging at 00:05, no more space in the shore tanks. We only discharged 42,000 bbls of the intended 50,000 bbls so now it's up to New York if they can take the rest. Well, ullageing, calculation and paper work and we were ready at 0120 when the Agent came onboard.
Loading Master came onboard a few minutes after the Agent to pick up the shore radio and to sign our pump log and protests. I was ready with my stuff and I went to Captain's office next door to file the cargo documents. I found a bag of coffee on his table.
The Swedish ship chandler in Philadelphia had delivered Swedish coffee and when I turned the bag I discovered that it was Skånerost. I could not help myself even though I hate coffee, but it was so beautiful I almost started to cry. But Löfbergs Lila making Skåne rost?
- Hmm, must be because of Jörgen Jönsson, the best hockey player in the world, I said to Captain.
Pilot ordered for 0200 and I was off to my cabin for a few minutes before going to the bridge. We were on the bridge waiting for the Pilot when they came onboard at 0200, 1 dock Pilot and 2 River Pilots. One of them must have been an Apprentice Pilot.
At 0220 we left the jetty and I was off to my bed at 3 o'clock. Soon time to go on watch again and sleep is needed.
When I came on my morning watch a few hours later we were just about to leave the Chesapeake and Delaware Canal and to enter the Delaware River
It was a gorgeous morning but the passage down the river was a boring one so I was very happy and hungry when I got off my watch at 12. No breakfast this morning and it will be nice with lunch.
We left the Pilot at 1220 something and 12 hours to New York Pilot and it will be a full night again. So I'm better off trying to sleep during the afternoon. But first some cargo planning with our Cadet and we don't have to do this during the night.
Coming on my night watch and we were approaching the TSS at Hudson Canyon. Fishing boat at the entrance to the TSS so I had to make a short cut and we were soon steaming towards New York Pilot station and I could enjoy my tea and music.
Our Pilot was onboard at 2355 and we continued towards Ambrose Channel and the anchorage. When I came on my night watch Captain handed me a message from the Agent, anchoring at arrival.
- Shit! I had been sleeping all afternoon preparing myself for a full night of hard work.
Now it will be impossible to sleep during the night and I will be tired tomorrow morning when we will go alongside.
Tuesday 16th of September 2008 and we dropped anchor at New York anchorage at 01:55. As mentioned before I could not sleep so I went to the bridge to update my paper work with the latest times. A little squabble with Captain and I was off to bed and my book.
I was surprised when thye called me at 0715, I was not that tired. Must have been my afternoon nap because I didn't got much sleep during the night, 2-3 hours tops. After a long hot shower I was off to the CCR and the first GOOD MORNING meeting in a few days. New Pump man and I will see how he reacts on the GOOD MORNING HUG, my guess is that will be a new experience for him. But I instructed our Bosun to explain our GOOD MORNING PROCEDURES for him when he came onboard in Paulsboro.
New York early morning
We were still anchored just South of Manhattan when I came on my morning watch. Anchored South of the Statue of Liberty and the Staten Island ferries. We were anchored a few hndred meters East of Staten Island Ferry Terminal. Plenty container ships, tankers and barges passed us at the anchorage.
It was a gorgeous morning and even though it was early I could see that there were plenty tourists at the Statue of Liberty. I could not help but wonder who went to New York just to run off the see a statue early in the morning.
We got some enquires about next cargo, 2nd enquiry. 1st was about Gasoil and now they want to know how much gasoline we can load at maximum draft 10 in FW. This took 5 minutes and then I could enjoy my tea hopping that next voyage would be a Ethanol cargo from Brazil to Istanbul. Istanbul and Funky Town is only a few hours away.
Verrazano - Narrows Bridge
At 1030 something they started to call us on the VHF.
- Who is calling Bro Provider on channel 16? I asked.
Our Cadet was writing discharging instruction on the computer and he got a little stressed when they called us.
- OH! THEY CALL US ON THE RADIO.
Turned out that there were 2 calls for us, one from the lub oil barge and one from the launch that came to leave our Boiler Technician. And no one knew that the lub oil was ordered for the anchorage so it was a surprise.
Pilot was onboard at 13:45 and our anchor was aweigh at 13:55 and we left the anchorage bound for Kinder Morgan Dock 3. It will take about 2 hours to get there and I'm off to my cabin and my book.
We were supposed to be at the berth, Kinder Morgan Dock 3 at 1600. But when we approached the jetty the barge was still alongside. Our Pilot got upset.
- SOMEONE F@CKED UP BIG TIME!
Well, I guess it's now you should turn off your parental filter on your web browser.
- I cannot f@cking around here in the channel! Strung tide and ships passing all the time!
We had to pass the jetty and we turned around just at the by now covered by grass and threes remaining of world trade centre.
- Motherf...er! Call your Agent and tell him he f*cked up big time! Motherf*cker!
I was just standing there smiling, I'm in no hurry nowhere. We had all fast at 17:35 and I was off to my office. Missing dinner again, but we have important paper work to do.
We started discharging at 1945 and I was off to my cabin at 10 o'clock with a pile of sandwiches and a movie. If nothing happens during the night I expect a full night's sleep.
Wednesday 17th of September 2008 and I woke up to a gorgeous morning, at 0845. No one had called me this morning. But now they called and told me that they needed to close the N2 plant.
I found a new load order when I came in to the CCR, 2 parcels of CPP 100KB and 130KB from Carib to USGC and I calculated the intake. While at the computer I could hear that someone was cranking up the music in my office. Captain, the last one I expected to crank up the music.
- This is very good music!
Our Bosun came in to the CCR some 20 minutes later and he caught sight of me. He threw himself around me.
- WHERE WERE YOU THIS MORNING? NO GOOD MORNING HUG!
We completed the discharging at 1300 and the Pilot was ordered for 1500. Back to the anchorage for bunker and tomorrow they will lift one piston in the main engine. So at 1800 tonight there will be a launch service ashore, but I think I stay onboard. Our Cadet will be on a look out for more trousers.
On the way to the anchorage
Staten Island on the right hand side and Staten Island Ferry Terminal further up the channel
I asked our Pilot if there were any “Tall & Handsome ” (Translated to Swedish it will pretty much be something like Tjockis & Fläskis) stores close to the Staten Island Terminal.
- “Tall & Handsome ”!!?? Is that something like a BIG & SMALL shop?
- Well, more like “Porky & Flabby ”, I replied.
Our Pilot felt off his chair.
- I have internet so we can check, but I think you're better off at Manhattan, he said when he had picked up himself from the floor.
He checked the internet and there were thousands of Big & Tall shops on Manhattan. So I might take a look tonight, but Chief Officer is starting to get a little tired after all the action and excitements during the day.
We were anchored just, well, we were 10 minutes late to dinner and the bunker barge arrived a few minutes after. I still don't know if I can go ashore, we have the Technician for the boiler onboard and the original plan was to test the boiler during the day. But we don't want to do it during the bunker operation so our Chief Engineer and Technician agreed on tomorrow morning at 8 o'clock. Our Technician called and changed his flight to an evening flight.
Pump man on the fo'c's'le
OK, test of the boiler tomorrow and Captain was taking my watch tonight so I could go ashore. Our launch was ordered for 1800 and after dinner I went to change clothes and I was ready to leave at 6 together with 8 other crew members. We were waiting on deck and at 1815 there were still no sign of the launch. At 1825 I told Captain that I gave them 5 minutes more or I stayed onboard. But a few minutes later I could see the launch coming.
Going down the accommodation ladder to the launch
Well, while waiting I had time to give instructions to Pump man for tomorrows test of the boiler and he could prepare hoses and stuff so we could run out tank cleaning pump without getting any water on deck.
The launch was alongside around 1830 and we lowered the accommodation ladder and we left Bro Provider 30 minutes late. Well, 30 minutes after the expected time.
We asked the driver when he was booked to take us back.
- Whenever you want, he said.
We wanted to go back at 2300 and our Pilots had told me that the Staten Island Ferries departed every half and full hour. So we decided to take the 2230 ferry back from Manhattan and to be at the launch jetty at 2310.
Leaving Bro Provider behind
It was a 5 minutes ride to Miller's launch jetty and we agreed with the dispatcher that we would be back at 2310. We left for the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and we had just left Miller's launch jetty and we passed some people.
- Are you on a march?
For sure, it looked like we were on a march or at least like a school class on an excursion. I was quick to reply:
- No, we're just exercising! Looking good is important to us!
We could hear them laugh when we passed.
It took us about 10 minutes to walk to the ferry terminal and we had to wait for 5 minutes before the 1900 ferry left for lower Manhattan.
Boarding the ferry and we followed a “SNACK BAR” sign. I expected a slot machine so I was surprised when we discovered a coffee shop with beer and snacks. But no diet drinks so I skipped the “SNACK BAR” and I went forward. But our Cadets stayed behind and next time I spotted them they were drinking beer.
We left Staten Island and Bro Provider behind and when we approached Manhattan 2 coast guard boats escorted us. I don't know, maybe they are paid to escort the ferries with the blue lights on so the tourists have something to take pictures off.
We approached Manhattan and I took some night pictures of Manhattan. I asked our Cadet why he didn't took any pictures. He looked, well, not very happy.
- Shouldn't your Scooby 750 be able to take night pictures?
By now our Cadet were sullen big time and he was regretting that he didn't spent the extra money when he bought his camera.
We arrived to Manhattan after about 25 minutes and we were soon off the ferry.
Our Bosun has 3 or 4 children living in the USA, they are Doctors and they live all over USA. He has one daughter and granddaughter living in New York.
- My daughter will pick us up and take us to 34th street. You can come with us.
Our Cadets took off by foot, but 7 persons are too much for one car and I said no thanks. It will take 2 tours for his daughter to get us to 34th street and we will lose too much time.
It was 1930 and we will go back at 2230. So I had 3 hours and a long shopping list from Captain and I took off with smoking and screaming tires in a taxi.
It took me about 20 minutes to get to Macys at 34th street with the taxi. The driver dropped me outside K-mart and I crossed the street to Macys. I looked around for the “Tall & Handsome ” section, but in vain.
OK, socks for Captain and I had to go down in the basement. I bought 12 pairs and when I paid I asked for the “Tall & Handsome ” department.
- Well, we don't have a “Tall & Handsome ” department. But try the Men's Wearhouse. Just cross the Broadway and you find it on your right hand side.
After much running around I found Men's Wearhouse and for sure, they didn't had any “Tall & Handsome ” department. But they had a whole lot of suites and stuff like that, so it was nothing for me.
I was walking around Broadway and 7th Avenue, even called Fashion Avenue. But not a “Tall & Handsome ” store to find. I asked for the way.
- It's mostly women's stores around here and everything is closing now.
Well, I got everything on Captain's shopping list, except the liquorice strings. I was around different stores but nothing. I passed a open store selling electronics and I stopped to check out the cameras.
I was looking at a Canon D40 and a 450, 1195 and 1200. I wanted to buy a camera but I hesitated after a few minutes talk with the salesman. I never feel comfortable with these “Hello my friend! I give you a special price” stores. And say what you want about BEST BUY, but you never feel like you have been coned when you leave BEST BUY.
This shop was a totally different story. 1200 to 1100 and then it was 1025 and I decided not to buy anything in this shop. When I left it was 900 US for the camera and, well, I will never go back there again.
I tried a few more stores for Captain's liquorice strings but I came up with ZIP. I took a taxi to Staten Island Ferry Terminal on lower Manhattan and I had time for a milk shake before the rest of the guys should arrive for the 2230 ferry.
I was in the queue waiting to order my milk shake. A guy approach the counter and asks for a refill for his drink.
- What are you drinking? The girl behind the counter asked.
I don't know what he said, but the girl informed him that they only gave free refill on sodas. They guy returned to his table with a disappointed look on his face. What the...??! He looked to be around 30-35, a young guy. Sitting at a cheap hamburger restaurant at 2210 in the evening with a toddler in a stroller and his wife.
OK, I realise that I'm better off than many people, even in the civilized world. OK, maybe not in the good looks department. But generally, I have a good life and my complaining must be due to my friends making billions living a VERY happy life. Yeah, I'm sure, that's what's makes me complaining and tonight I realised just that.
30-35 with a wife that looks to be 20 years older than yourself, sitting with a baby at a cheap hamburger joint and you can't afford to get a 50 cent refill. Can it get any worse?
And the 50 year old lady in front of me in the queue. She got her 74 cents change and after 5 minutes she finished counting her change.
- 2 cents is missing!
- No! I gave you 74 cents!
I was jumping up and down giving her my “Give me a f@cking break” look while thinking:
- WHERE THE HELL AM I!!?? Can I have my milkshake!?
When I got my shake I ran out of the place and when I crossed the street I saw our Bosun in a big SUV. His daughter and granddaughter left our Bosun at the ferry terminal and before they left they got a hug.
We were all on the 2230 ferry, no one missing and it was nice to leave New York behind. The biggest change since I was there last time? Last time I didn't saw any bicycle rickshaws. They were everywhere and last time I was in India they were banned because it's inhuman. Except in Calcutta, it was still allowed in Calcutta, but I don't know if it's still allowed today. We're talking a few years back here.
Passing the Statue of Liberty on the way back
We were back at Miller's launch jetty at 2310 and we expected the launch to be ready for us.
-You have to wait for 15-20 minutes.
Impressive service, when we finally left we had to deliver a Russian 2nd Officer to M/T Butterfly and then they returned back ashore. They had forgotten something and we were not back onboard until 2350.
Thursday 18th of September 2008 and we had a tug boat moored on our port side when I came on my morning watch. We must have the tug boat stand-by when the tides turn if we want to lift the piston at New York anchorage.
Our tank cleaning pump was running and they tested the boiler and just before 12 o'clock the
Good day Sir:
Thank you for your below email. You are confirmed for
BRM - Nov. 25 - 28
ECDIS - Dec. 2 - 5
divers arrived. Action filled morning, I even got an email from Norwegian Training Center in Manila.
Very good, I sent the e-mail to them yesterday and I didn't expect them to reply so quickly. But it's good, now I know what to do between 24th of November and 5th of December, I'm back to school and I'm looking forward to it.
After lunch I went to my cabin to read my book and when I woke up our main engine was ready and the divers had replace the broken speed log, good, we are set to go. But we don't have any new cargo so we will just leave New York and go outside to drift until we got a new voyage order.
Pilot is ordered for 2000 and as Captain said, it will take us quite some time to come outside. We need to go slow for the first 14 hours or so with the new piston.
When I came on my night watch we were leaving New York slowly. They had hoisted the anchor just before I came on watch. We don't have any new voyage orders and we will drop the anchor again when we are coming out.
We were only making 7 to 8 knots with the main engine on 65rpm so we were still on the way to the anchorage when I got off my watch at midnight.
Friday 19th of September 2008 and we were on the way when I came on my morning watch. We had been on the way for about one hour, still slow speed to run in our piston.
We received a new voyage order this morning. Load up to two parcels of CPP in the Caribbean area, Venezuela or Trinidad. Se we were heading towards Mona Passage on a Southerly course with heavy seas from East and we were rolling heavily at times.
Our Cadets had arranged chocolate mousse for dessert after dinner and, well, I could not say no. How could I?
- Today it's a surprise for dessert, our Cadet said when I came in to the day room.
When I finished the meal our Cadets were looking at me and after 10 minutes they asked:
- Aren't you going to eat any chocolate mousse?
- OK, but I do it under protest!
During dinner I found out that we had got our new voyage orders, load Naphtha on Trinidad.
Saturday 20th of September 2008 and I was tired when I came on my morning watch, no sleep during the night. Just before I got off my watch yesterday evening they needed to stop the main engine for the second time that day.
In the morning they stopped to change 2 fuel injectors and now there was a problem with a filter. Heavy sea and the ship started to roll heavily when we were stopped. We lost 10 drums of cleaning chemicals, literally torn to pieces. The whole accommodation looked like a war zone.
My office was a disaster, everything ripped out of the bookshelves. And that's even though all the binders are secured in the shelves. My cabin was trash. Impossible to secure furniture, we rolled from starboards list of 60° to a port list of 60° in 3 seconds. So the whole accommodation was trashed.
We also lost much of our new paint, the new paint was secured forward in the paint shop but lashings were ripped to pieces. My diet drinks!! . My table was upside down in my cabin with the legs torn off. And of course the table had crushed my diet drinks so my wall to wall carpet was soaked, well, maybe good, I don't have to drink the poison.
Our day room, trashed
Crew's day room, trashed
Captain took these pictures before going to bed this morning
I went to bed at 5 o'clock, not for sleeping. That was impossible. But I tried to read my book and I was about to fly out of bed several times. So when I came on my morning watch I had slept exactly 0 seconds.
Still rolling when I came on my morning watch, but the weather was improving by the hour. Our crew were busy taking care of everything on deck and in the accommodation.
Captain came to the bridge at 10 and the Chief Engineer came a little later. There had been a bolt in the 3 way valve for the fuel filter and that's way we had to stop this morning. The filter was clogged and they could not operate the valve to change filter and we had to stop the engine to fix the problem.
Captain asked Chief Engineer if he had saved the bolt. Our Chief Engineer took off and he returned 1 minute later with the bolt. Well, my watch were soon coming to an end and it was time for lunch. At least I had no problem to keep myself busy after lunch, my office was covered in paper and stuff to take care off.
When I was finished in my office I went to bed and I felt asleep after being awake for over 30 hours. I slept like a baby until after 6 o'clock and it was soon time for my night watch. I was in my cabin writing on my web page when Captain came with his USB memory. I had asked for the pictures he took earlier this morning and he had copied them to his USB memory. I showed him my movie from Rainbow Warrior with the angry fishermen. When we finished the movie it was time for me to go on my night watch.
I don't know if he got impressed but I had been on my night watch for 3 minutes when he
came with his USB memory.
- Take a look here! You can put this on your web page!
- What the??!! Isn't it enough that you got the “Lilla Hedersomnämnandet” for the pictures of the debris in the dayrooms? Now you want to put a video on my web page as well.
- This can be interesting to show on you web page! When we use all the foam monitors on deck!
- Was this the best you could come up with?
I suspect that he got straight from the Rainbow Warrior video to his computer desperate to find a video to put on my web page. Well, how can you say no to someone that got the “Lilla Hedersomnämnandet” on www.aladdin.st?
Sunday 21st of September 2008 and I must say that our new Pump man have taken up the GOOD MORNING HUG routine just fine. Today it's Sunday and I told Bosun to clear up the last from the other nights rolling and our Pump man and one of our Cadets started to drain our pipes and prepare us for the next cargo that we will load on Trinidad.
Time for Semlor
Here we go again! I asked the Cadets what they were going to do after lunch.
- We have some boxes to take care of.
- What about baking Semlor? Soon time to go home and its evaluation time.
And Cadet #2, well, we have to see if he is ready to move up to the next level in his education. He joined the ship in New York and I don't know him. Or as I said to our Cadets at lunch.
- You are on different levels #2 is on the Captain level and #1 is...
- On the Chief Officer level, Cadet #2 interrupted.
- Yeah! He is on the Chief Officer level and we need to see if you're ready to move on, I said.
- So you mean that the Chief Officer level is harder than the Captain level? Cadet #2 asked.
- Yeah, pretty much anyone can go up to Captains bed and ask him to move his arse. “Now it's my turn to stay in bed”
Well, it's a wee bit different story to be the Chief Officer, but that's another story. OK, our Cadets were busy in the kitchen while
Cadet #1 and #2
- What is this bullshit with #1 and #2?
Well, just so we can tell the difference. Cadet #1 is the one that have been onboard with me all the time. Cadet #2 joined us in New York, so now you can tell the difference.
And this should also make it easy to understand why they are on different levels in their education.
I went to inspect deck.
While on deck I checked out the damages from the heavy rolling the other night. We lost 14 drums of cleaning chemicals, the rail is broken and one electric box is loose on top of the sample locker. The paint shop is a disaster, but our Bosun and his best men have it under control and it will soon look like new again.
The good thing, well, after 7 years (the ship is built 2001) and nothing is secured onboard (Very strange, nothing was secured in my cabin and I discovered it during the rolling. Sound system, video, DVD and all the other stuff ended up on the floor. I still don't know if it works). So the crew is busy securing everything, TV's, computers, monitors and furniture's etc.
- Who the hell is securing a 20kg SUBWOFFER with 10 cm Velcro® fastening?
I also took the time for my constitutional, it was hot, but it was nice with a walk. I also took the time to check the progress with Semlorna in the galley. Our Cadets were busy and as soon as they were ready with the almond paste it was time for a taste.
While talking about tasting the almond paste I'm thinking about our Electrician on Barcarolle when he tried our almond paste. HE THOUGHT IT WAS MASHED POTATOES.
- This is very sweet!
The almond paste was great, this time I asked them to take a little more almonds and a little less sugar and it turned out to be just fine.
- Hmm, I will end up with a bunch of cadets that will remember me for Baking Semlor only.
Unga Herrarna Sjökaptens studenterna
Before returning to my cabin I made a stop in the galley. The dough were just ready and it looked good. I was confident that they could finish the job and I was off to my shower and Captain's videos I kept my self busy until dinner with his video and my web page.
Semla, delicious, and I can't understand those people saying that you cannot eat Semlor if it's not the season.
- What the BIP! Give me a break! Semlor is delicious and it's always season.
We remember CT Star when we were picking up the on signing AB coming out with the Pilot boat. Captain and I called him and asked him to buy whipping cream and almond paste. Our Cook from Spain was in for a surprise when he came to the kitchen the morning after. Kitchen full of whipping cream and almond paste.
Captain and I had been nagging on the Cook for Semlor for weeks.
- I don't have the ingredients!
We arranged the ingredients and the kitchen were soon full of Semlor. Yeah, CT STAR, that was fun. Captain and I sent an NONCONFORMITY REPORT to the company when our Cook served chocolate mousse with vanilla sauce. Well, that should be against the law to serve vanilla sauce to chocolate mousse. But after this we got chocolate mousse with whipped cream 3 days a week.
Unga Herrarna Sjökaptens studenterna eating Semlor
Well, our Cadets had made excellent Semlor and I was full when I finished the dinner. Back to my cabin, a few words on the web page and it were time for my night watch.
Monday 22nd of September 2008 and it was a beautiful morning. GOOD MORNING meeting and today there were 2 Cadets so it was crowded at our GOOD MORNING HUG in the CCR. Pump man and our Cadets will start to strip our tanks and Bosun and our best guys will continue securing everything onboard.
2nd day the crew are busy securing stuff in the accommodation. And it's seven years ago the ship left the ship yard. I understand if she was delivered last week, but after 7 years it should be secured. After my watch I was putting back our cargo computer, the computer had been bouncing all over the CCR during the rolling the other night. Well, everything onboard has just been placed on tables and desks so pretty much everything was bouncing around.
Bosun and the OS were waiting to secure the computer while I was starting the computer.
- NOT WORKING, DARN!
I was under the desk screaming.
- MOTHERF@CKER! 7 YEARS AND NOTHING IS SECURED!
Captain came by and asked what was going on. He asked me to disconnect the computer and he checked inside and he found a loose cable to the hard drive.
Our Cadet was connecting the computer again and it was working again.
I was in a good mood again and I told our Cadet that we were lucky this time to have a good Captain onboard. Not running around wetting his pants as soon as the shit hit the fan.
But everything works smooth with this Captain and as I told him:
- We must be an unbeatable team!
OK, I lost my temper and while I was angry screaming under the desk our Captain stayed cool and he repaired the computer. Captain and the Cadet did the work with the computer, and I? Yeah, I'm not afraid of taking a little credit for the job. Well, that's how I operate and I don't mind if people thinks the sun shines from my behind.
Well, at least Captain has moved on from “Lilla Hedersomnämnandet” to “Stora Hedersomnämnandet” on www.aladdin.st
Tuesday 23rd of September 2008 and I woke up to a gloomy and grey day, strong wind coming in on the port bow. I enjoyed my morning tea while approaching Puerto Rico Trench and Mona Passage.
Captain was busy calling our internet provider and after 100 calls we got internet connection. But it was so slow so it was no use trying to upload anything. E-mail took hours for a few KB and it stopped before it was ready.
When I came on my night watch we had just passed between Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic (The Mona Passage) and after 25 minutes I changed course to 142°(T) at Isla De Mona.
Wednesday 24th of September 2008 and I woke up to a gorgeous morning on the Caribbean sea. Steaming towards SE and we will arrive to Trinidad tomorrow afternoon.
During the morning our internet improved and at lunch, after about 24 hours my web page was updated. Good, but internet is not good enough to visit internet bank and I asked my brother to pay my bill for my web hotel if our internet don't show any improvements in the next few days.
I spent a beautiful afternoon walking on deck while our Cadets are doing the loading plan. Our crew is busy painting on deck and Pump man is checking all of our valves. A busy day on deck.
Thursday 25th of September 2008 and we were still on course 142°(T) steering towards Trinidad when I came on my morning watch. A beautiful morning, even though we had a force 5 head wind.
We approached Bocas Del Dragon between Trinidad and Peninsula Paria, Venezuela when I got of my watch at 12 o'clock.
Approaching Bocas Del Dragon
Trinidad on the left hand side and Venezuela on the right hand side
After lunch I went to my office and I made a trim table and I was off to deck. When I came on deck we had just passed Bocas Del Dragon and we were in Gulf of Paria. Captain told me that we would anchor at arrival and I hope we stay anchored for a few days.
We were anchored at Pointe-a-Pierre when I came on my night watch. Latest news, Pilot 0600 tomorrow morning and I hope they are late.
Friday 26th of September 2008 and our Pilot was not late. They called and woke me up at 0600 and I went straight to the shower. I stepped in on the bridge 8 minutes later with a diet drink in my hand.
After 10 minutes Captain shouted from the bridge wing, he asked if I had my camera with me.
- Always, I replied.
- Then you can come here and take a picture of our funnel.
GOOD MORNING smoke
We approached the jetty and it was hard to see anything behind us. A terrible black smoke came out from the funnel, but no one complained. It was a sunny and nice morning and we approached the jetty assisted by two tug boats.
Two Stingrays were swimming by and the crew on poop deck watched them while waiting for the mooring men to come aft with the boat.
We had all fast at 0720 and I was off to my office with a stop in the fridge for a diet drink. Busy with paper work and stuff so I didn't get my GOOD MORNING HUG until after 8 o'clock when I ran in to Bosun and Pump man in the mess room.
Our Loading Master recognized me ( Hmm) from when we were here loading with Barcarolle back in April. Well, at 10 o'clock we started to load the line flush. At 1420 something we were ready with the foot samples and I was off to my cabin. I will try to sleep, seems like it will be a long night.
Saturday 27th of September 2008 and they called me at 0530. I was tired, I went to bed at 2200 yesterday and I was tossing and turning until 1 o'clock before I managed to fall asleep. A hot shower and a diet drink later I was OK. Well, kind of OK anyway.
I stepped in to the CCR some 15 minutes later to assist our 3rd Officer topping up the tanks. We had to stop for a 2000bbls SHORT STOP. They will clear the line with our next product and the line is 2000 bbls. So you understand that they use next parcel to clear the line from the shore tanks down to the ship. The line is full of the new product when our first parcel is ready.
At 0845 we completed the Heavy Naphtha parcel (Unleaded gasoline) and at 0925 we started with the Naphtha (Naphtha).
Our Cadets had been up since before 8 o'clock and I was surprised. They went ashore last night and they were back onboard at midnight. I could not believe my ears when they told me that they had been back onboard at midnight.
- WHAT!!?? Friday night on Trinidad and 2 young handsome boys are back at midnight!!??
is a term used to describing a dominant leader of any group or society of animals that live closely together.
In human societies alpha male can mean very different things. Some use the term to mean the guy who seems most at ease with women and can essentially marry or date any woman of his choice. In this sense the alpha male is often good-looking, has a great build, and may have a relatively high socioeconomic status while beta males may be less assured around females and may participate in less “male” activities.
The guys who came back onboard at midnight or joins math teams or play chess at lunch are usually the beta males and may be thought less attractive by girls.
- What a waste! 2 Swedish Alpha males, direct descendant of the Vikings, travelling the world AND ARE BACK ONBOARD AT MIDNIGHT!!??
- Well, from now on its chipping and painting! No more going ashore.
I was back in my cabin at 11 o'clock when we finished foot sampling and we were loading with full rate. A diet drink and a shower and its lunch time again.
Well, first they told us that it would take 30 hours with the second parcel. Then it became 39 hours and when we started to load we were looking at 19 hours. when we are ready? Well, beats me, it's all a guess work around here.
Sunday 28th of September 2008 and 3rd Officer called me at 0530 “30 minutes to the SHORT STOP”. A hot shower and a diet drink and I was off to the CCR. Our 3rd Officer on watch and our Surveyor was in my office already. At 0610 we stopped loading and we resumed with the 2000 bbls SHORT STOP at 0650.
I was just about to jump overboard to aleviate my boredome when Captain came in to the CCR.
- Good! Now I have some one to harass.
While waiting for the terminal to resume loading I asked our KITCHEN DEPARTMENT to make breakfast for our Surveyor. Yeah, you guessed right, I skipped breakfast. Chief Officer never have time to sitt down relax.
Good for my diet. ( But later on I was so hungry that I ate a whole roll of Marie Kex )
Our Surveyor wanted to start measuring the tanks while we loaded the SHORT STOP.
- Well, we measure when we have completed loading! I said.
- I only have 2 requests, that we start to measure early and that we are on even keel! He said.
- Hey! I'm the Chief Officer! This is my show and I'm responsible for the whole operation!
- I'm not going to argue with you early in the morning, he said.
Well, measuring at even keel and loading 3 + 4 P/S at the same time, how is that possible? I think it's best if Chief Officer stays in charge of the operation.
We left the jetty at 0920, bound for the anchorage where we will wait for the cargo documents. We were assisted by 2 tugs at departure and we remember the “Report pollution” tug from when we were here last time with Barcarolle.
We dropped anchor at 1020 and we were just finished with the paper work. They were ready with the sampling at 1055 and at 1120 all the Surveyors left and we were alone onboard again.
And our Vikings had been ashore yesterday and they came out of bed just in time for lunch and we were just sitting down for lunch when our Agent came with the cargo documents.
We left Pointe-a-Pierre anchorage at 1300. Destination, Beaumont for order and that's almost one week up to Texas. I'm in no hurry, maybe I will sign off when coming to the US and I'm not looking forward to the flight back home.
I was back in my cabin just before 2 o'clock in the afternoon. A few words on my web page and a little bit of a movie before going for my power nap.
And I'll be darned! No matter how much I try to over sleep the dinner, I always wake up in time for dinner. So I was down for dinner even though I wasn't hungry. Back to my cabin and I finished a very bad movie I started yesterday, Hallam Foe. What the BIP??!! Where do they come up with all the BS?
Monday 29th of September 2008 and we're back to the GOOD MORNING HUG routines again after a few days in port. We're steering 293° towards Jamaica.
It was a beautiful morning and the spirit was high while drinking my tea listening to my language course. We got our discharge orders this morning, 1 parcel to be discharged in Beaumont and the 2nd parcel to be discharged at Port Arthur. I WILL SIGN OFF!
Yeah, my reliever is ready to come 7th of October and I will sign off in USA. OK, the flight is a drag, but I will soon be home and I will soon be steppin' in on the Pilates. OK, the girls will be a wee bit disappointed that my diet turned out to be such a failure.
We have planned for some drills at 1515 and I and our Cadets will try out the ODME before the drills. At 1430 Cadet #1 called me in my cabin.
- It's 1430!
- I KNOW! I WAS HALF WAY DOWN WHEN I HEARD MY PHONE AND I HAD TO GO BACK TO ANSWER!
No need to tell them that I was in the shower.
We were ready just in time for the fire drill. Today we will test our foam system and foam monitors.
We need to run the foam pumps and test the foam every 3 months and today was a great day to test the foam. Tailwind so it was no wind on deck that could blow the foam all over the ship. But it was hot on deck, must be 40°C in the sun and no wind.
- OK, let's get this over with in a jiff so we can return to the AC!
We opened one foam monitor on deck and they started the fire pump. When the water was coming out of the foam monitor they started the foam pump and we had foam on deck in a few seconds.
It didn't take long to cover deck with the foam only using 1 foam monitor. Took way longer to flush off the foam from deck. A heavy rain would do us good right now.
When we were ready we held a lifeboat muster and then we meet on the bridge for a meeting. I could not help but taking the opportunity to get a picture of the crew.
Om my night watch our Cadets came on the bridge for practicing celestial navigation. Cadet #1 will sign off with me in TEXAS so he wants' to make sure Cadet #2 know his way around the stuff before he is leaving.
Tuesday 30th of September 2008 and it was a gorgeous morning. Tailwind and we made almost 15 knots.
- I'm in no hurry! I don't want to be too early in Beaumont!
One of our computers on the bridge is not working properly and it's the one we have the cargo program on. So our Cadets came to fix the problem. Administrator's password? Not a clue and who the BIP is putting passwords everywhere?
Seems like there is a problem with the hard drive and the computer were still not working when I left for lunch. But at least our Cadets starting the get a grip on my “ONE STEP AHEAD” philosophy so they were on deck gas measuring the tanks while Windows was installing.
I skipped dinner (overslept) and I got a can of quick oats that I will bring to the bridge, so no more lunch and dinner for me. I have realized that starving is the only way to go if I want my V-shaped torso when I sign of in a week.
Well, it's time to swing over to October and I expect to be onboard for about 7 days in October before signing off.
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.
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 I put a “Next” button here and I hope that there isn't any problem to understand how to use that one. So just CLICK the “Next” button on your left hand side and you will be on the next page in a jiff!
Marunong ka mag-tagalog? Walang problema! Magpunta sa kabilang pahina pindutin ang “NEXT” button sa itaas
Faites vous parlez le français? Pour arriver à la page suivante faites s'il vous plaît un déclic le bouton “Next” ci-dessus!
Haga usted dice el español? Ver la siguiente página sólo hacer clic el botón “Next” encima!
Farla parla l'italiano? 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!