Rewritten December 2010
M/T Tärnsjö in Brofjorden
Thanks to Mr Jan Brügge, pilot at Brofjorden for photo
M/T Tärnsjö is the older sister to M/T Tärnland. Both ship built Kvaerner Kleven Leirvik, Norway.
M/T Tärnsjö was built 1993 and she is 129,05m long and 18,33m wide.
She's is on 10908 DWT and loads 12168m³ in 14 WT.
M/T Tärnsjö is a double skin tanker and have a ballast capacity of 4465m³.
She takes 183m³ heavy fuel and consumes 11 ton/ day.
Speed 85% MCR 12 knots.
She takes 63m³ diesel fuel for the auxiliary engines.
She has 7 Svanehöj electrically driven frequency controlled deep well pumps in each tank section.
Cargo and ballast system remote controlled and monitored by computers (SAAB MaC 501) from cargo control room on bridge. Computer system delivered by SAAB Marine Electronics. Closed loading system (acc. to SOLAS 74/8 reg. 59) by return vapour lines, high-high level alarms and remote temperature and pressure readout plant on bridge. Edge breaking technology.
M/T Tärnsjö is a wee bit bigger than M/T Tärnland.
Monday 1st of July 2002 and I signed on M/T Tärnsjö in Brofjorden after a night on a hotel in Lysekil. I was happy that Havsbadet was closed yesterday. I can just imagine how I would have felt coming down to the ship with a hangover. No hangover and I were ready to kick ass.
I woke up in my room at 0930 after a long night with a good sleep. I have not been sleeping without anyone calling me for watch duties for a long time so it was very nice to wake up by myself. (not entirely true because I woke up from the noise from the tennis court next to the hotel)
I called the ship 1015 and they had just arrived alongside in Brofjorden. I took a taxi to the ship and was onboard at 1130, just in time for lunch.
Swedish cook and he served raggmunk for lunch. My diet!! But I had my lint seed (a few kilos) with me. I have carried all this seed from ship to ship together with a few kilo of "Magic diet powder" that you mix with water and the plan is for my kilos to disappear.
Anyway, I decided that I will not carry all this stuff around anymore. So I had to get serious with my diet. Otherwise it would have been a waste of money buying all the powder, seed's and vitamin tablets.
Arriving onboard they showed me the newspaper "Lysekils Posten" from 24th of June.
It was about Scanraff in Brofjorden and from Tärnsjö.
M/T Tärnsjö is chartered by Preem and we are always loading at Preem's refinery Scanraff in Brofjorden or at Preem's refinery in Gothenburg.
We mostly take the oil to Sweden or Denmark. But sometimes we go all the way to Germany. (very exciting , not very) It's the normal clean petroleum products cargoes that we transport: Gasoil and Gasoline. Well, after 1 month I will be able to tell you more about our cargoes and my adventures onboard M/T Tärnsjö.
We loaded full cargo of Gasoil in Brofjorden for Hamburg. So I had a few days with the off signing Chief Officer and he showed me around the ship before he signed off in Hamburg leaving me all by lonesome.
Wednesday 3rd of July 2002 and we arrived to Elbe pilot early morning at 04:20 and we arrived alongside our jetty in Hamburg at 10:40. We had the tide with us up the River Elbe so the trip from Elbe pilot to Hamburg was pretty quick. We changed pilot 2 times on River Elbe, first time in Brunsbüttel and 2nd time when we got harbour pilot in the port of Hamburg.
And the weather was gloomy and grey in Hamburg, no big surprise there.
I checked my e-mail in Hamburg and my wishes came true, there was e-mail from Sue. I could not wait to come back to Brofjorden to check my e-mail again.
As this was pre satellite internet era I had to connect to the internet by my mobile phone and this was only possible in port.
Thursday 4th of July 2002 and we left Hamburg around 2 o'clock in the morning. I was hoping for an earlier departure so the pilot would have disembarked before I came on watch at 6 o'clock in the morning. Yes, bridge watch during pilotage is something of the most tedious I experience onboard the ship. But you can't get everything you wish for and I was happy for the e-mail from Sue, so never mind. Hopefully there are more e-mails in Brofjorden.
Friday 5th of July 2002 and we arrived to Brofjorden at 9 o'clock in the morning and we were ready to lift a full cargo of gasoil for Bremen, Germany. Yeah, back to Germany and several hours with pilot up river Weser, something I'm looking forward to. Yeah, fat chance!
We got a new Chief Engineer and AB in Brofjorden. I knew the new Chief Engineer since we worked together onboard M/T Tärnvind.
At 7 o'clock in the evening we had loaded 12000 cubic metres of gasoil and we left Brofjorden at 20:30 heading for new adventures in Germany, among other things an EXXON vetting.
Saturday 6th of July 2002 and we had to drop our anchor. Our ETA Weser pilot was 00:00 at the 7th of July. I called Weser pilot 2H before arrival and they told us that we should not pass Bremerhafen until 0630 in the morning. We had network coverage on the anchorage so I had time to update my homepage and check my e-mail while we were anchored.
We had to adjust speed to arrive to the lock in Bremen at 0930 because of the tide. It took us about 8 hours from the anchorage and until we were alongside in Bremen. We changed pilot 0625 in Bremerhafen. In Bremen we had to pass a lock to enter the dock and we were alongside 11:10 on the 7th of July.
We were going to have an EXXON vetting in Bremen and the Vetting Inspector was waiting on the jetty at arrival. So I was busy with the Vetting Inspector when I got off my watch at 12 o'clock and I could kiss my afternoon sleep goodbye. I had to answer all questions and show him around the ship. No problem, he was satisfied with the ship. I had put my best men and women on the job to get the ship nice before Bremen. No time to "spela sitta och sjunga kör"
And as I wanted to go sleep I chased the Inspector around deck.
- OK, I'm ready.
- No, you're not. You have to check this!
- OK, I'm ready. That was the last to check.
- No, you're not. You have to check this as well!
Yes, I didn't want my sleep to be interrupted by our Inspector having forgotten something and I wanted to make sure he had checked everything. Our Captain was so impressed by my way of handling the Vetting Inspector so he wrote a poem. Darn, I wish I had had scanned the poem and we could have read in here.
2nd Officer showed him our navigational aids and answered all his questions about navigation when I was finished his questions about loading and discharging.
We didn't left Bremen until 21:25 in the evening. We completed discharging 1920 but we had to wait until 2125 for the pilot. The lock was occupied by other ships so I had time to do the plan for next loading in Brofjorden. "One step ahead" as I use to say.
Tuesday 9th of July 2002 and we arrived to Brofjorden at 9 o'clock in the morning. We were going to load Gasoil and gasoline to Västerås. And going to Västerås means that we had to pass through a lock in Södertälje to get in to lake Mälaren.
Max draught 7m FW when passing the lock in Södertälje. Not to load full cargo this time. We have to check the draught on the jetty when topping off tanks in Brofjorden. Embarrassing to arrive to Södertälje with a draught more than 7m. Then it's not possible to enter the lock and lake Mälaren. To have a draught of about 6.92m aft and 6.85 fwd at departure will give us 7m even keel FW at arrival to Södertälje.
We had calculated about 5 hours for loading and 1 hour for the paper work. But when I came on my watch at 0600 the gasoline was stopped because Chess was loading the same product.
Harbour office told me that we could resume loading the gasoline at lunch. I had to stop the loading of the gasoil because we had to complete the gasoil parcel after completion of the gasoline parcel.
Loading for a draft max 7m at arrival I had to trim the ship with the gasoil parcel.
While waiting for 2nd Officer to call me for completion of the gasoil parcel I took the time to update my web page and to send an e-mail to Sue.
Finally he called me and I went to the CCR on the bridge. We completed loading at 14:40 and I had time for a shower and a "Power nap" before going on watch again at 18:00.
By then we had left Brofjorden behind. I could relax with a cup of tea and some very good music on the bridge.
They called from the company and told us that we should have a Noble Denton vetting when we come to Stockholm next time.
On the way to Västerås we should test the brakes on our winches. The equipment had been on another Tärn ship before and it had only been onboard for about 6 weeks so there has not been time to test neither the brakes nor the equipment!
Well, when we should test our winches we found out that the hydraulic jack was dry from oil and it was not working. (And yes we filled the jack with oil). Chief Engineer told us that there is a "non return" valve in the jack or something like that. Well, there was something that was not working, never mind what. We needed this test to be done before the vetting. Chief Engineer ordered a new jack for us to be delivered at arrival in Västerås.
Thursday 11th of July 2002 and we picked up the pilot at Landsort pilot station at 09:35 in the morning. So we had plenty time to catch the bridge opening in Södertälje. The bridge should open at 13:50 and the next opening should be in the evening. Well, we had to go on reduced speed through the archipelago from Landsort to Södertälje. After passing the lock in Södertälje we were in Lake Mälaren and from the lock it's about 5 hours to Västerås.
ETA Västerås 1930 11th of July. I was hoping for the delivery of the new jack in Västerås so we could complete the test of our winch brakes.
On arrival we should get a new Captain onboard and the old one should go home to Skåne, making the rest of the crew green of envy. (Not because he was going home but because he lived in Skåne)
We got a new jack but no manometer, and without the manometer the jack is useless, at least for testing the brakes.. After discharging our Gas oil and gasoline we had to wait for the pilot to arrive 0800 in the morning 12th of July. We had to adjust arrival time to the lock and the bridge opening in Södertälje in the afternoon.
On the way to Södertälje Tärntanks big boss called. He wanted to know something about our manifold. He told me he had just returned from Tärnhav, Tärntanks new ship, arriving from China. Tärnhav had loaded molasses in Egypt on the way to Europe and she had just arrived to Europe.
I had been 2 times on Tärnvik, Tärnhav's sister ship, delivered last summer. He asked me what I liked Tärnvik.
- It's a nice ship but I think she will look like a PanamaGreek in 3 years, I said.
- Why, he asked
- She's 1 year old and already very rusty on deck. Even pitting, I replied.
- In 3 years she will look better than Tärnland is today, he said
- Tärnland is looking better than Tärnvik today, I said
- Do you want to make a bet, 10$? You make more money than me(????!!!!) so let's make it 50$!
- OK, I said without any hesitation
Well, come back and visit this web page in 3 years and you will know. I'm jumping up and down in excitement. Easy money (I hope)
When leaving the lock we approaching the last 3 bridges that has to be open for us. The highway bridge is open only 3 times a day, I think, that's why we have to adjust speed to arrive in time for the opening of the bridge.
After passing these bridges there is no more bridges that needs to be open for us. Full ahead and I hope we have left the pilot behind before I have to go on watch at 1800.
Then I can enjoy my tea and no one comes with opinions about my music that I enjoy on full blast. Hmm, Captain always spends several hours on the bridge in the evening telling me old stories about his long life on the seven seas.
Well, if it's not the Captain and his fairy tales it's the girls. When "He-man" is on watch there is only one place for the girls to be, on the bridge chatting with me.
And, hmmm, no one seems to like my music. Otherwise they tend to leave me alone when I play my music.
Anyway, it's better with the girls than the Captain and his fairy tales.
Sunday 14th of July 2002 and when we arrived to Brofjorden at 5 o'clock in the morning we had to drop anchor waiting for the jetty to be free for us. The girl I have on my watch turned out to be a famous writer. She told me on her last watch with me (She will leave us in Brofjorden) on the way to Brofjorden.
I found her book and I read it and it turned out to be very good. It's not on every ship you work with a celebrity.
They estimated that we would have to wait for about 24 hours at the anchorage and they expected us to go alongside 5 o'clock in the morning of the 15th of July. Now you think that I had plenty time for updating my web page, writing e-mail and calling Sue. But this Captain just don't give up. He doesn't understand the easiest hints and even when I play my best music he won't leave me alone.
Bla bla..... 25 years at sea..... bla bla bla in Mexico.... blabla.. salary... when I was a AB...the good times....bla bla...this ship and that ship.....bla bla...I remember.....
Well, we finally came alongside and to load 2 parcel should be a quick task, but in Brofjorden you never know. With lab test and stops we left for Stockholm at 8 o'clock in the evening 15th of July. But we had very nice weather all day long and the summer is back in town.
When leaving Brofjorden we had a draft of 7,5m aft. So we had to call Drogden lighthouse at 06:00 in the morning to find out of the water level in Drogden. If it's below normal we have to go to Stockholm via the Great Belt. If it's normal or above we can pass trough Öresund and save about 12 hours. Drogden and the South is the part in Öresund with shallow water, otherwise there is plenty water in Öresund.
First thing for me to do when I'm coming on my watch in the morning (even before I have my tea) is to call Drogden lighthouse and find out which way we will go.
- Early morning responsibility.
I called Drogden lighthouse and got information about the sea level in Drogden. They told me the sea level was +6 cm but sinking. That meant that we could pass Drogden and thus saving 12 hours for the company and when we're using less bunker we saved the environment for the rest of the world which is the most important.
I got the picture of the lifeboat launch from Unge Herr Sjö Officeren, they have had a life boat drill when he was onboard. This was before I got onboard, but he sent the picture to me so I could put it on my web page.
Passing Gotland our agent in Stockholm called us and told us that the vetting was cancelled. It's better to sit on a hotel at night than to be on a ship so he didn't want to do the inspection during the night. Our ETA to Stockholm pilot was 1700 at 17th of July, 3,5 - 4 hours through Stockholm's archipelago and we would have been alongside around 9 o'clock in the evening giving the vetting inspector ample of time to do the inspection.
Wednesday 17th of July 2002 and the pilot at Sandhamn boarded us at 17:15 and we had a nice evening cruise through Stockholm's archipelago. Plenty sailboats and yacht's out sailing in the summer evening. We arrived to Loudden at 2100. Discharging operation were soon up and running and we could leave Stockholm 11:20 on the 18th of July. Bound for Brofjorden to load 3 parcels for Västerås and we got loading orders for a second trip to Västerås. So our next 2 voyages are to Västerås will be to Västerås and we know what to do for a week or two.
On the way to Brofjorden the weather became gloomy and gray again after 2 days with beautiful weather. Well, this is a typical Swedish summer.
Saturday 20th of July 2002 and we dropped anchor in Brofjorden. Our product (MK-1) was not ready, maybe in the evening. The company had ordered an internal audit so we had to pick up the inspector with our MOB boat at the pilot station. He was onboard for about 1 hour and asked questions and he took a look in our ISM manual.
Well, now we're only waiting for the Noble Denton vetting.
On the way to Västerås there was a gale blowing from SW, luckily enough it was coming from astern. When passing Ölands Södra Grund and we changed course from NE to a northerly course the ship started to roll a little. According to the weather forecast the wind should decrease and I was looking forward to this.
Wednesday 24th of July 2002 and we left out Pilot at Landsort pilot station at 22:30. We had discharged our gas oil and gasoline in Västerås and we were bound for Gothenburg to load gas oil and gasoline to Västerås again. In Västerås the Captain should buy a CD and sandals to me. But...hmmm yes, he managed to get a soccer magazine for me. I don't care about soccer but Sue's sister love soccer so I use to send her a magazine when I have time to get them. And she will hopefully be happy for the magazine.
Friday 26th of July 2002 and we arrived to Gothenburg pilot at 09:40 just south of Trubaduren lighthouse. 5 minutes after the pilot had boarded us the main engine broke down. We had to go in circles at slow speed before Chief Engineer decided that we could proceed to the berth. There was a tug boat meeting us just before the jetty to assist us if there should be any problem.
Motherf@cker, I had not been in Gothenburg for a few months and now we were delayed when my friends were waiting on the jetty. Finally we were secured alongside and my friends came onboard. AB on watch getting scared, as he told me later:
- I thought it was 2 pimps coming onboard.
We had time to go up to the town with my friend's Hip Hop mobile . We cruised the streets of Gothenburg in his Benzo while listening to Eazy-E on full blast. Yes, it was J's favourite song.
Click on the PLAY button to get the Hip Hop mobile feeling
Remember! It has to be on full blast
I was busy being afraid that someone would recognize me going around in my friend's car. We went to a restaurant and had a pizza (1 each). While they ordered pizza for us I went to the record store across the street and bought some CD's. When we finished the pizza we took off so we could buy me some sandals and some more CDs. I bought a pair of Birkenstock but I don't remember what CDs I bought. Well, we returned to the ship and I was onboard at 14:30 and I had time for a quick "power nap" before I had to go on watch again at 6 o'clock.
We had ordered pilot for 23:30 but there was a small fire at the refinery so they had to stop the loading. The stop lasted for 1 hour and we started again and we didn't left Gothenburg for Västerås until after midnight.
Sunday 28th of July 2002 and we had to drop anchor when we arrived to Landsort in the afternoon. The bridge opening at 8 o'clock in the evening was booked by a ship leaving Lake Mälaren and we had to pass the bridge when they opened at 21:48. It was OK for me, I had time to update my web page and send some e-mail after my watch, but no connection to the network with my mobile phone. Hmm, a nice nap instead is not bad.
After Västerås we should load gas oil in Gothenburg and gasoline in Brofjorden for Aalborg, Denmark. Steaming towards Gothenburg I called my reliever 30th of July giving him almost 1 week notice. I told him that we would be in Brofjorden around 4th of August after our voyage Gothenburg/ Brofjorden - Aalborg.
- Oohhh, this is a very short notice. I live on Gotland.
What can I say? Here we do 4 weeks on and 4 weeks off. So I doubt that it could be a great surprise that it was time to sign on around 4th of August. Especially when I offered him to stay home until beginning of September when I joined the ship.
Wednesday 31st of July 2002 and we dropped anchor at 07:00 on Gothenburg anchorage. We had to wait for the jetty for a few hours and our anchor was aweigh at 1015 and we were alongside at lunch. My friend was "stand by" with his Hip Hop mobile and off we drove toward Gothenburg city
Thursday 1st of August 2002 and we left Gothenburg early morning and we arrived to Brofjorden at lunch time. After completion the called us and told us that the cargo was “off spec”. The cargo was “off spec” and we could not leave Brofjorden so at 8 o'clock in the evening we had to send ashore the Pilot again.
The same evening there was a heavy thunder storm. On the radio they said that they have declared Orust (an island just south of Brofjorden) an emergency area. It felt 200 mm rain with in a very short period of time! That's summer in Sweden in the year of our Lord 2002.
Friday 2nd of August 2002 and we could finally we could leave Brofjorden 4 o'clock in the morning. We arrived to Aalborg, Denmark at 6 o'clock the same evening. Discharging our gas oil and gasoline and we returned to Brofjorden and loaded full cargo of gas oil for Bremen. After Bremen we loaded gas oil and gasoline for Århus, Denmark.
Friday 9th of August 2002 and we returned to Brofjorden and it was time for me to go home. Captain was in a hurry back to Brofjorden, he should start his new job as pilot in Kalmar 12th of August. But he had to make 1 more trip to Hamburg with gas oil. So I guess that he was late for his new job.
Well, our Pilot came onboard and I recognised him when I saw him on the pilot boat. I had worked with him when he was Captain onboard M/T Aurum when I was a AB there back in 1987-1988. 15 years ago in time really turns quick. We talked about the good ol' times and the hour that it takes coming to the jetty went pretty quick.
My reliever was waiting for us on the jetty when we arrived and I was soon on my way home in a rented car. Brofjorden to Gothenburg in 1 hour without being stopped by the police and when I arrived home we kicked off the party right on. Yes, J, this was the very same evening we went to Helsingborg and the taxi had to turn around outside Gothenburg due to motion sickness.
I had a good time on Tärnsjö. 2 new Captains relieving each other, new topics to discuss. And as it was new Captains it was not only:
- That Tärn ship 1972 and this Tärn ship 1969.
But for one of them it was the last trip, he started his job as pilot in Kalmar. Anyway it was a good time onboard.
After a little more than 1 month at home it was time again. They wanted me back to Tärnvind. The company had been looking for a permanent Chief Officer, but as I told them:
- Good Officers is not growing on trees.
They could not find any and I had to go back even though I only want a temporary job.
Well, I had time to start the work in my condo (kicking a few butts) and spend a lot of money on aircon, bathtub and washing machines etc etc. It's expensive to build a home. Well, when finished (the butt kicking) and there was nothing more for me to do it was kind of boring to just walk around scratching the behind. Yeah you know, nice to start work again.
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