Rewritten while redecorating my bathroom January 2011
M/S Nordic Link
I bought this picture in Rauma, Finland when I was onboard Nordic Link
M/S Nordic Link was built 1981 at Finnboda Varv, Stockholm, Sweden. # 414
Dimensions: 120,20 x 21,04 x 6,21 m.
Brt/ Nrt/ Dwt. 5006/ 1716/ 6704.
Main engine: Lindholmen-Pielstick 12PC2 diesel 4720 kW.
She had 1 main deck and 1 lower cargo hold. We loaded paper on main deck and in the lower cargo hold. On weather deck we loaded timber.
Saturday 7th of June 1986 and I signed on Nordic Link when she passed Helsingborg on her way to Blyth in Great Britain. According to a letter I found we left Helsingborg Pilot station in the pilot boat that was taking us to the ship around 3 o'clock in the afternoon.
My first letter to my Grandparents from M/S Nordic Link
My writing left a whole lot to wish for
My second letter to my Grandparents from M/S Nordic Link
My writing left a whole lot to wish for
Even though my writing leaves a while lot to wish for I'm glad that my Grandparents saved my letters and postcards. I learned a lot from these letters and postcards. I found out that the place up River Thames was Erith. Of course, no guarantees that my spelling is correct.
And I wrote that we might go in to “London to have a look” when I meant that we're going to be shit faced crawling around in the gutters. But of course, this was nothing I wrote home about.
I have scanned all the postcards and letters that I could find. And I will update my web page with some of them. Honestly, some of them are just too embarrassing. But I was young back then. But I'm sure this will be a nice scrapbook to browse through when I'm 90.
I also read that I work day man so I start by having the weekend off when I came onboard. Start work on Monday morning. And I can also read that I'm impressed that I have my own bathroom in my cabin. A wee bit different from M/T Vestria and M/T Corona.
Saturday and I really didn't felt like leaving Båstad to join a ship. Summer in Båstad means party and a good time. But it turned out to be 2 months of fun onboard M/S Nordic Link. We used to change crew in Öresund between Helsingborg and Helsingør with the pilot boat from Helsingborg. So it was bye bye Skåne.
We loaded paper and wood in Rauma, Finland and we discharged in Blyth, Great Britain just south of the Scottish border. When arriving to Blyth we went ashore for a few pints. There was 1 pub in the harbour just 100m from the ship but we went to the Port hole. Just up the road on the way to the village centre. We stayed overnight in Blyth every time so there was time to go ashore except when we had our night watch.
Before returning to Finland we made a stop in Antwerp, Belgium. It was summer and it was a nice weather and we went ashore in all the ports for a good time, oh yeah we were young and handsome so we didn't cared very much about sitting onboard a ship if we had the chance to go ashore.
And back then it was no problem to stay up all night and work the day after. In Finland we were at the disco all night and then I worked from 8 o'clock in the morning until 4 o'clock in the morning when I got off my watch
When I got off my watch at 4 o'clock in the morning we had left Finland behind after crawling around in the cargo holds securing paper rolls all day long.
We usually left Rauma in Finland late in the night.
Postcard that I sent from Blyth
Postcard that I sent from Rauma, Finland
Postcard that I sent from London
Postcard that I sent from Antwerp
Yes, if I would have to try this today I would have been dead before lunch, I even doubt that they wold get me out of bed in time for me to start work at 8.
Finland. We loaded in Kotka one time and there was 1 lady coming onboard. The kind that was prowling the ports back in the day, they could drink a case of beer as quick as you could say cheers.
She ended up in one of the AB's "Mr. X" (no name mentioned ) cabins. And I can promise you that no one onboard turned green of envy.
One time in Blyth when I was ashore with one of the AB's in the afternoon. We had been walking around the village and we had done some shopping. We had bought cowboy hats for the deck crew, but due to reasons I don't want to tell you about here we never got to wear the hats.
Well, anyway, we were on the way back to the ship. I had my watch from 2000 to 0600 in the morning so I needed to be back onboard before 8 o'clock.
But there were still a few hours to go so we sat down on a bench. We were sitting on the bench at a bus stop telling stories to each other when there came 2, hmmm, scandal beauties and 1 dog. They really did know how to spot 2 handsome sailors like us in a crowd.
- Do you want to come with us to a party? They asked.
- Oh yes, we will come in 5-10 minutes!
We agreed to meet and they left us and we left in the other direction as soon as they had got around the corner. No chance that we wanted to see them again.
We quickly agreed on that they looked worse than the one Mr. X had had in his cabin back in Kotka a few days back.
I was bored senseless during the night watch. Just to walk around checking and guarding the ship. But sweeping deck helped to alleviate the boredom.
Suddenly in the middle of the night I heard some ruckus from the stern ramp. Well, I wasn't surprised when Mr. X came back onboard with one of the beauties that me and my friend had meet while sitting on the bench enjoying the nice weather.
She had a dog with her and they were so shit faced so they had to carry each other, hardly making it onboard. Of course, she didn't recognise me.
- Please!! Where is my barf bag?
Well, everyone being to Great Britain knows how much they likes animal coming from abroad. They don't have rabies on the island and they are making sure that they will not get it from any dogs coming from the ships.
Hmm, when we called Mr. X for work in the morning he was still busy in his cabin.
- Where did I put my barf bag?
Pure ghastliness! Ms. Beauty was still drunk. I don't know, but I think the stevedores called the police about the dog. So the police arrived on the scene with the blue light on. The Police had to shoot the dog and then they had to carry the drunken beauty ashore.
Yes, it was summer and we went ashore in Rauma every time. I guess we had stayed onboard if it would have been during the winter.
There were a few pubs and disco's and during the summer there was always a party going on. Going to bed at 4 o'clock in the morning and up to work at 8 o'clock.
We left Rauma late in the evening so we had to work in the holds securing the paper rolls all day long until departure. Believe me when I tell you it was terrible. Crawling on top of the paper rolls with max headroom 50cm. Dragging plenty bags and an air hose to fill the bags in the gap between the rolls. Crawling around there with a hangover force 9,6 is no joke.
It was nice to go for a sleep when I got off my watch 4 o'clock in the morning after a long day and night in the holds. But we never learned, next time in Rauma it was the same story again.
- If you can be hero in the cargo hold you can be a hero on the disco, we used to say.
Postcard that I sent from Rauma, Finland
Postcard that I sent from Rauma, Finland
I remember one time in Rauma, they rented a raft and we spent the whole day painting the port side of the hull. We usually spent one night and two days in Rauma. First day we spent with painting and maintenance and we spent the night drinking.
The second day was spent securing the cargo. So we needed to finish the hull on the first day so they asked us if we could work until it was ready. No problem, a few hours extra and the hull were ready when we left for the pub in the night.
During my time onboard we discharged in London 1 time. We had some cargo for London so after discharging in Blyth we took off towards River Thames. Arriving in the afternoon and as the weather was nice I decided to get in to London for a good time.
We took a taxi to London and it didn't take long before we had lost each others. I ended up at a party in a huge apartment. Good music and plenty drinks and I was not back onboard until early morning.
And I felt like I deserved, but back then I was young so there were really never any problem. And strange, I was walking the streets of London and get's invited to the party. When I'm old no one invites Porky to any parties. As I use to say, should be 22 years old until the day I die.
I remember one time leaving Rauma. Our Cook missed the ship and our Chief Engineer volunteered to cook until our Cook came back.
Friday 1st of August 1986 and I signed off outside Helsingborg. I signed off with our Motorman and one of the ABs. The AB lived in Helsingborg and as it was Friday we had decided to spent the night in Helsingborg. I would stay one night before going home to Båstad.
They came with the pilot boat from Helsingborg pilot station to pick us up and we were soon returning to the port of Helsingborg. We went to my friend's apartment and we had a few beers before leaving for Charles Dickens pub a few blocks away.
There was a record shop in Blyth and I had bought plenty records and I had not been able to listen to them onboard. But my friend had a turntable so we could listen to the records, excellent music!
Of course, I don't remember much. It is 15 years ago! But according to my pictures we went to Dickens and then we continued to a disco called “Dag & Natt” on the beach front. Yes, this was as exciting as it got in Helsingborg back then.
Nordic Link was sold to Wagenborg Shipping in December 1989. Wagenborg took over the operation and M/V Nordic Link got Dutch flag. She was rebuilt 1993 by HDW shipyard, Kiel, Germany.
• In November 2002 DFDS Tor Line chartered M/V Nordic Link for the traffic between Cuxhaven, Germany and Harwich in UK.
• In August 2003 M/V Nordic Link was sold to Trinity Bulk Carriers, A/S (Eidsva Rederi A/S), Oslo, Norway and she was renamed to NORDIC
• In September 2003 she was renamed to SCAN NORDIC.
• In October 2005 she was sold to Scandinavian Shipping Invest, Valletta, Malta and renamed to ASSIL.
• In July 2006 she was sold to Kalafrana Shipping Ltd, Valletta, Malta and renamed to AYLMER.
• In April 2010 she was sold to Vertigo Shipping Co, Freetown, Sierra Leone and renamed to MED VISION.
Monday 4th of August 1986 and I was walking down on Stortorget in Helsingborg. I don't know where I had been. But I passed a car parked at Stortorget, an old Buick Electra. Motherf@cker, that was a big car I thought when I passed the car. Then I discover that my brother is sitting in the car.
I opened the door.
- What the f@ck are you doing here? And have you bought a new car?
My brother always had had a thing for big American cars, and this one was the biggest car I ever seen. I had an old Cadillac cabriolet and we could easily sit 7 to 8 people in the car and still be comfortable. But this one was bigger. OK, back then we were a lot smaller than today. Well, anyway, we decided to go for a tour around Skåne.
We called Åppsis Kallopsis and we took off to pick up another friend living in the area South of Skälderviken. Of course, we had filled up the car with Carlsberg beer.
I don't remember where he lived, but it was his summer house because he lived in Helsingborg. Never mind, this is 15 years ago and I don't remember. But I remember that he was happy when we came because he was bored to death sitting in the house in the middle of nowhere.
We took off towards Nyhamnsläge to pick up another friend. We arrived to Nyhamnsläge and on the way to our friend's house we passed another friend out walking with his wife.
We stopped the car and we dragged our friend in to the car through the window and we took off towards our friend's house with screamin' and smokin' tyres.
His wife never got a chance to say anything before we took off. Back then there were no mobile phones, but later on our friend told us that his wife had been pretty angry. But our friend thought it was fun and we were soon drunk.
We decided to go for a beer or two in Landskrona. We stopped for 2 hitch hikers when we passed Höganäs. No problem, there were plenty space.
I had been in school with one of the guys the last 3 years of our compulsory school. Well, back then we had just finished compulsory school so it was no big deal. Well, they were going to Helsingborg and we dropped them there on our way to Landskrona.
As this is many years ago I don't remember where we went, but thanks to my pictures I know we went to Oliver Twist in Landskrona.
Next picture is from Helsingør in Denmark. And I can see that we met yet another guy I went to compulsory school with back in the 1st grade. Well, I even think we went to kindergarten together. Back then I always meet someone I knew when I went to drink beer in Helsingborg.
Well, I don't remember where I woke up but I know that I left to join M/S Tina on the 12th of August 1986
Message=I remember the Nordic Link, because I worked at the Port of Blyth from 1976 to 2000. I also remember the dog on the ship and the police arriving and you are correct in stating that one of the dockers phoned the cops. We probably met on the ship as I was often working with the dockers. It was nice to read your page and remember" the good old days"
I received this e-mail on the 1st of October 2014 while on board Roy Maersk discharging in Mombasa, Kenya