Written onboard M/T Ek-River July 2010
Picture from www.faktaomfartyg.se Picture by Jörg Seyler
M/T Tärnsund is on 8828 DW ton and she's built 1989 Ulsteinvik, Norway.
• She is 113.15 m long and 18,33m wide.
• She have 12 WT and load 9889 m³
• 3624³ ballast in double bottom tanks.
• She takes 249m³: heavy fuel oil and she consumes 11 ton/ day. Speed 0,85 MCR 12 knots.
• She takes 76m³ diesel for her auxiliary engines.
• She has 6 Svanehöj electrically driven deep well pumps, 1 in each tank section.
Cargo and ballast system remote controlled and monitored by computers (SAAB MaC 501 ) from cargo control room on the 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 readout plant on bridge.
• She was sold to Alba Shipping A/S, Aalborg, Danmark 2005 and renamed to OTILIA
I signed on as AB 26th of September 1990 in Gothenburg. Tärnsund was almost brand new when I came onboard and she looked very strange to me. Big windows on the superstructure (house) and when I entered the accommodation it was like entering a house. There was a hat rack at the entrance.
Well, I had never seen a ship like that before. Big window in the cabin and she was really nice. I got used to it after a while.
We loaded gas oil and gasoline, mostly in Brofjorden and Gothenburg. It was all edge breaking technology onboard. Cargo and ballast valves remotely controlled from the bridge.
Fixed tank washing machines operated from the bridge. Everything was operated with light pens on 2 computer screens.
I don't think that I have to mention SAAB tank radar and cargo level monitored on the computer screens.
Ballast level was measured by pressure sensors and monitored from the bridge as well.
One screen was used for the cargo levels and cargo valves and the second was used for ballast levels and valves. Cargo and ballast pumps were also operated from the screens. We had Svanehøj cargo pumps, 1 in each pair of tanks. The pump had an ejector making it possible to drain the tank completely. The only problem was in the winter when we got ice plugs in the ejector. Explained on my webship
It was a new ship and we spent most time painting and washing the ship. (I was back on the ship 10 tears later as Chief Officer and the ship looked like new. No rust at all)
Well, it's worth the money to paint the ship with plenty paint when she is new.
They spent a lot of money on paint when she was new and it paid off later. Important with good maintenance. The only thing on deck was the hatches and the electrical motor for the pump. The grey thingamabobs you see sticking up on top of the cat walk on the picture of the tank deck above.
Ejectors and valves were under the cat walk protected from weather and wind.
As AB I was down on deck stripping the tanks while the duty Officer was sitting on the bridge scratching his behind. In the winter and when it was raining it was nice was sitting on the bridge scratching his behind.
In the winter and when it was raining it was nice with the catwalk. Hmm, it would have been nice to sit on the bridge drinking tea and listening to music.
Another thing I noticed when first set foot on the ship was the light blue deck. On all other ship the deck is dark red or green. I had never seen a light blue deck before and it was the same in the engine department. The ship looked very clean and nice. Accommodation was cleaned 2 times a week.
This was the first tanker of its kind under Swedish flag, maybe even in the world. Today there are 13 on a dozen, well, maybe not, now they build their ship in China and there is a slight difference in the quality and the price.
Of course, I don't have to mention the accommodation, top class. And the big windows, as soon as I got used to it I thought they were the best in the world.
- Was there ever a chance to go ashore and have a good time? You might ask.
- You know me by now. Of course we went ashore whenever we got the chance.
3 ABs on deck and we swapped watches with each other so we could go ashore. Our Cook wanted to go ashore as well, so we were ashore pretty much every weekend when we were in port.
There were 3 of us always going ashore, the Cook, one of the ABs and me. I learned 1 lesson on this ship, never ask an old timer were to go for a good time. Or at least take the suggestion with a pinch of salt. Yeah, well, you know what I mean.
We were discharging in Oslo and we wanted to let our hair down and we called a taxi. We asked the driver where to go and he told us that he had the right place for us.
- The best place in Oslo, he said.
When we entered the establishment the average age of the customers got down to 72, give or take a few year.
It reminded me of a restaurant in East Germany. I don't even remembering us order any beer before we left the place. It didn't take long for us to find many nice places in Oslo and we went ashore there every time we had a chance. Oslo is a very nice town, but Yoo, is it expensive or what? Millions of $ for a beer. But we were not on a budget so never mind. More important to have a good time.
I went ashore with the Motorman in Amsterdam when we discharged there and we walked around the city and had a few beers. But we should leave just after midnight so I had to return to the ship quite early. Even though I left early I hardly made it to the ship in time. And our Motorman had to come in the locks.
That's why I never go ashore when I can't stay all night long, it's very boring to leave an ongoing party when you're in a good mood for the ship.
I tried to go ashore in Helsingborg every time we discharged there as well. I used to live there and when I went for a tour visiting the different pubs I always meet someone I knew. But now a day’s everyone is sitting home married with kids.
Well, and of course, Göteborg. Whenever I had a chance I got ashore. One time ended really badly. we were at Frasses and I missed the ship. So as you can imagine it was not very fun to wake up on my friend's sofa when the ship was on the way to Södertälje.
I had to take the train to Södertälje 2 or 3 days later. Yeah, it was a dream come through coming onboard meeting the Captain and owner of the ship. I went to his office.
- I have no excuse for this. The only thing I can say is that it will not happen again.
- Yes, we're not 15 years old anymore.
Then we never spoke about it again. But when I meet him now a day I always remember him of the story.
- I don't remember, he uses to answer.
We had 2 very good Cooks onboard. The first one was from Skåne and he was very good. I thought it would be a good idea to start my diet.
I offered him 100$ every time he caught me eating. He tired all the tricks in the book to get me. He baked Semlor and while he was on his afternoon nap I sneaked in to the galley.
I surveyed the terrain very carefully, no sign of the Cook and I took a semla. I was standing looking out of the window with my back against the mess room. When I turned around the Cook was standing there.
- What the h••• are you doing here? It's only 2 o'clock and you should sleep until 3 o'clock. I said with whipped cream all over my face.
I lost 100$, but it was worth 100$ for the semla. It was a very good one, so never mind. But I manage to lose weight with my bet.
During Christmas the ship-owners daughter's husband was Captain onboard. We had the Christmas dinner but it was work as usual, never time to relax on a tanker.
But we had a nice Christmas dinner, well, honestly, I don't like this Christmas food very much. Prinskorv and brunkål is the only thing I eat at Christmas. And of course, Ris ala Malta.
The ship owner7 Captain asked me to hand out the Christmas gifts. Well, how can I say no? So I took on something that reminded about Santa's beard and I handed out the Christmas gifts.
We had a nice time onboard and it was very fun at times. We had a nice day room and a nice cabin. In Gothenburg I passed a second hand shop. I went in and they had comic magazines.
I bought the whole stock, 2 big bags and I brought them back onboard.
- No one is reading Donald Duck This is for children to read, they said to me.
Well, I found these magazines in all the cabins when I was around waking up people for their watch. I could still find some of the magazines when I was back as Chief Officer after 10 years.
I don't mind a good comic magazine. When onboard it's nice to have something to read when you're having your meal alone.
I wanted to stay onboard for 12 months and I had been onboard for 4,5 month's, when on the way to Brofjorden the Captain came down to the day room and told me that I had to sign off. They said that the company didn't like when you had been onboard too long.
- OK, I said
After 4,5 month's it was nice to sign off. Captain came back after 10 minutes.
- You don't have to go home. You can stay as long you want.
- Well, I can go home. 4,5 months is enough.
I wanted to stay 12 month's but during the 10 minutes I thought that it would be nice to go home. I told him that I wanted to sign off.
I signed off 13th of February 1991 in Brofjorden and we took a rental to Göteborg. I took a trip to Miami Beach when I signed off.
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